Willow Smith has not only dropped her last name from her music persona, but she has also lost the childish appeal that she became famous for. Never having released a full album, the one thing about Willow Smith that remains the same is that her release, 3, is just that; three more singles. Never mind the quantity, let’s focus on quality.
Willow begins by telling the world, “Keep the money / Keep the fame / All I want is truth,” in the song, “8.” Along with the fact that she is making major statements to her critics and the tabloids, her voice has a new mature tone that proves she’s not a little girl anymore. It also becomes clear while listening to this track that Willow is going for a more soulful sound. Previously, she has overtaken the pop charts, but this song is more heartfelt and less dance floor.
The maturity continues in “9,” as Willow Smith sings of a troubled relationship and being deeply in love. The fourteen-year-old is soon to be the topic of controversy again as some of the lyrics are quite suggestive of adult activity. In the song, she sings, “If only I could stay / If only you could stay / Hop up in your zone / Yes I’m all alone / Yes you’re all alone.” The song, featuring SZA, is very sensual, but in a normal teenage way. The trick is that SZA sings the inappropriate lyrics so that Willow doesn’t have to. But then she sings “I don’t play no more / I’m not a kid no more / I’ve did some things that you can see / I’ve been gone away.” If this music is the result of the old Willow going away and sending a new one to the music scene, I doubt that anyone will want her back.
Usually after eight and nine comes ten, but in this EP, the third song is titled, “Flowers.” With a beautiful guitar intro, followed by the new Willow’s voice, this last song is a more upbeat and less controversial. The song announces her feelings of uniqueness in an environment that seems to be against her. She is a flower.
This EP proves that a little life experience and even a little heartbreak can go a long way. Willow being in the midst of such controversy this past year has clearly awakened her creative spirit and allowed her to sing of truth. Everything about the three songs in this album is okay. Willow is still coming into herself. But, so far so good.