Three years after the release of Nocturnal, singer-songwriter Yuna returns bearing bad news and lessons in overcoming heartbreak with her latest album, Chapters.
Her first lesson for overcoming a broken heart? Acknowledging that it’s inevitable.
Opening track Mannequin is the perfect introduction to the album’s overall lush electronic sound and inviting slow-moving beats. Here she sings about feeling lifeless next to an equally nonchalant lover. Her soft, breathless voice brings more heartache to lines like: “Can you breath love into me?/So I know what it’s like…”.
Your Love may have a slightly upbeat dance pop feel to it, but the lyrics are equally heartbreaking as Yuna sings, “My heart is wanting me to run right back to you/My mind is telling me to go find something new”.
Then the heartbreak intensifies in the piano ballad All I Do, in which Yuna asks, “Tell me if there is a way to fall out of love with you”.
Did I almost cry listening to this song? I’m not admitting anything. But, urgh, Yuna, a piece of advice – delete that person’s number.
But before you go calling Yuna sappy, she bounces back with some uplifting numbers. In the dreamy synth pop, R&B-tinged number Best Of Me, Yuna tells off her haters and uses fingersnapping beats to prove her point in a classy, subtle manner. Places To Go is another standout 1990s-inspired track where DJ Premier acts as her inner angry voice: “Actin’ like they feelin’ my pain, my pain”.
Hence, lesson two in overcoming heartbreak: Just don’t care anymore.
She saves the best for last with the catchy Time, a song perhaps inspired by Yuna’s own life. The unforgettable chorus, “It takes time, baby”, is a mantra used to overcome rejections from music executives, former friends, and moments worse than a lousy person breaking your heart. It’s a rewarding lesson she saves till the very end.
With Chapters, Yuna proves that time (and maybe a little duet with Usher in the sexy Crush) can heal broken hearts and that journey can inspire a stellar album.