The R&B and Soul singer Queen Naija returned this Friday with her debut album, simply titled ‘Missunderstood’. After two years of an iffy Queen Naija fandom status, I can truly say this album was worth the wait and deserves the hype.
Queen Naija originally dropped four singles before the album, including the sleeper hit “Butterflies Pt.2”, the follow up to her platinum song “Butterflies” on her debut EP. These singles are also featured throughout the album. All of the singles she dropped were enjoyable, which heightened my anticipation for the album.
‘Missunderstood’ has a lot of features throughout, including rappers Russ and Toosii, R&B singers Kiana Lede, Lucky Daye and Jacquees, along with Instagram comedian Pretty Vee. All of them worked really well with the material, which only added to the crisp production value throughout the project.
The highlights of ‘Missunderstood’ were the songs “Too Much to Say”, “Dream”, “Pressure” and “Trial and Error”. The subject matter, production and instrumentation on “Too Much to Say” was immaculate, making it a great album opener. Queen Naija talked about her struggles with abuse, her divorce, co-parenting and alluded to sexual abuse within the lyrics of the song. She left no room for error with the album opener since it dealt with such heavy topics, and was unflinching in her discussion of her struggles.
The song “Dream”, featuring up and coming R&B artist Lucky Daye, was my favorite cut of the album. The instrumentation within that song was simply immaculate, with the instruments complementing both Daye’s and Naija’s voice. Queen Naija and Lucky Daye’s tones complimented each other very well with very little clash. The best part of the song was the bridge, which served as the climax of the song.
The next song, “Pressure”, is another one of my highlights for the album because it is truly an R&B song. In this day and age, the R&B and Soul genres aren’t truly R&B or Soul anymore. They use more hip-hop or trap beats and instrumentation, with so-called R&B singers performing over them. It is quite rare to find mainstream R&B or Soul music that maintains its initial instrumentation. “Pressure” is one of these songs, with the instrumentation, vocals and lyrics that made this one of my favorite album cuts on ‘Missunderstood’.
Finally, “Trial and Error” was my last highlight of the album because of the subject matter. In “Trial and Error”, Naija talks about the problems of staying relevant on social media, especially regarding topics she does not always know about. As someone who grew up in the social media age, it’s very easy to be judged and get ridiculed for harboring some ignorance towards certain subjects and topics. It also makes it easier for people to sit on their high horses, acting as if they are above making mistakes by deleting it off the Internet. So, I ended up relating to this song a lot more than anything else on the album.
The overall instrumentation, vocals, lyrics and creativity of ‘Missunderstood’ make it a very standout R&B project for this year. I am excited to see what Queen Naija has in the future and what will become of this album era.