When It's All Said And Done... Take Time
GIVĒON says his quest to transform pain into something beautiful began with the music his mom would play while he was growing up—what he calls “Black woman heartbreak.” That included the stricken songs of Anita Baker, Mary J. Blige, and, later, Keyshia Cole. “I think that that rubbed off on me, and that's kind of my approach towards things at this point,” the singer tells Apple Music. When It's All Said and Done... Take Time, which combines his two previous releases and adds the gorgeous “All to Me,” is a page from that book. His voice is singular—vintage, fragile, wrenching—and he astutely chooses production that showcases it with ease. The project's first half, TAKE TIME, is a tapestry of grooves slinking towards the engulfing crawl of the back end. “Heartbreak Anniversary” is largely piano and percussion, and he soars over it, creating harmonies with himself that render a simple line like "Don't want to let you out my head" as gospel. “Like I Want You” pulls off a similar trick to create the kind of love song that sounds like it could exist in any era; some voices can be time-travelers. The bittersweet ballad “Vanish” tiptoes along a minimal melodic line, allowing the force of his vocals to propel the song forward and draw listeners into the rollercoaster of feels that make up the back. When It's All Said and Done maps the stages of a breakup through prideful posturing and palpable sorrow. By the time “Stuck on You” arrives, he sounds downright desperate in his anguish, accomplishing precisely what he set out to do—the sorrow of the lyrics combined with the aching in his tone bloom into radiance. “I kind of wanted it to be a little more elevated, because my voice is better now and I have a better understanding of what it is exactly that I want,” he says of the later songs. “I just wanted it to be a sense of an evolution, to see me growing slowly as an artist.” And with “All to Me,” a sexy stunner of a track that concludes in a bit of an emotional gray area, GIVĒON leaves us both fully satisfied and hungry for more.