Review: Sevyn Streeter, ‘Call Me Crazy, But…’


Sevyn Streeter, Call Me Crazy, But... © Atlantic

Call Me Crazy, But… is a good start for Sevyn, but not without flaws
Sevyn Streeter • Call Me Crazy, But… • Atlantic • US Release Date: December 3, 2013

Getting into the R&B game as a solo artist these days is tricky.  It seems so many newbies have nothing short of an uphill battle just to earn some notoriety, which doesn’t even necessarily include or translate into commercial success.  Singer/songwriter Amber “Sevyn” Streeter seems hungry to be R&B’s next star, but despite her impressive resumé, she’s not necessarily in advantageous position to do so.  Barriers aside (given a cooling genre), Streeter sports a superb voice and has some skill with her pen.  Call Me Crazy, But… is a good start for Sevyn, but isn’t absent of flaws.

Come On Over” matches up well with today’s current generation, which appreciates a sizable amount of suggestiveness.  Sevyn takes numerous lyrical opportunities to convey both his and her sensual endeavors.  Among the most notable hails from verse two as Streeter sings “Sent me a message / you don’t usually text me / say you want me for breakfast…” Innocent it may sound out of context, but the chorus confirms Streeter is playing up double meanings with one meaning likely being her aim: “I’ve been thinking ‘bout you / can’t get you off my mind / and if I gave it to you / why didn’t you love me right? / But I won’t have to wonder / if you’ll just come all over…” The opener is all about doing the do.

It Won’t Stop” follows up “Come On Over” in a chill, cool fashion.  Where  “Come On Over” embraced overtness, “It Won’t Stop” may not percolate enough.  That is surprising considering Chris Brown guests here and usually provides an energetic lift collaboratively. Sure Streeter and Brown mesh well on this duet, but instead of being a dynamic collaboration, its more mellow.  Overall, it’s pleasant and enjoyable, though not the ‘second coming’.

Sex on the Ceiling” atones, finding Streeter once more relying on sex as fuel for the fire.  It works, even if Streeter exaggerates just how good it is.  Still, she’s really into it and into him: “Take me hard yeah…switch it up one time / want you to drive me crazy / baby we gon’ have sex on the ceiling / I don’t ever want to come down boy / and I have you stand up when I’m around boy… we gon’ have sex on the ceiling.”

Soul Train Awards 2013 - Arrivals Orleans Arena at the Orleans Hotel and Casino Las Vegas, NV, USA 11/08/2013 © PRN / PRPhotos.com
Soul Train Awards 2013 – Arrivals Orleans Arena at the Orleans Hotel and Casino Las Vegas, NV, USA 11/08/2013 © PRN / PRPhotos.com

Title track “Call Me Crazy” follows up “Sex on the Ceiling” exceptionally, characterized by sound production work, some memorable lyrics, and a solid performance by Streeter.  Basically, Streeter is really, REALLY high on her man, period.  On verse two, an infatuated Streeter asks her man to “Lock me up in your arms forever / and never set me free, no free, throw away the key / damn right I be on that obsessive sh*t.”Obsessive indeed, Streeter vows on the chorus “I ain’t going nowhere, you’re my life apart / call me crazy…”

Following that dedication, Streeter then delivers “B.A.N.S.”, which stands for b*tch ass n***as. O.M.G.!  Streeter regrets giving herself to ‘him’, and spends the whole song venting: “I should’ve never offered it / but he made me feel like this could be forever / never thought he gon’ run off with it / but that don’t make it no better…” She comes to the conclusion that “N***as be on that bullsh*t / acting like they don’t do sh*t…” As the soul classic goes, “It’s the same old song…”

Shattered” is more subtle than the angry “B.A.N.S.”, but doesn’t quite reach the levels of the best tracks of the EP.  Still, the lyrics are nice, particularly the tail-end of the chorus: “It’s like we’re throwing stones at a glass house / and it shatters.” Closer “nEXT” is arguably the set’s strongest track for several reasons.  The theme is traditional, as is the overall songwriting approach.  The production embodies the cool, modern R&B sound, which is tasteful and not overproduced by any means.

Essentially, Streeter wants her ex back, without the rifts within the relationship (“How can my ex boyfriend be my next boyfriend…”).  She cites the issues within the ailing relationship throughout the song, including  “Together, forever / I would never, never let you go / see now soon as we say that, we at war…” (verse one) or “Every time we break up / we turn around and we make up / momma wonder when I’m goin’ wake up…” (verse two).  I’m sorry Streeter is having relationship issues, but “nEXT” is certainly the gem of Call Me Crazy, But….

How does Call Me Crazy, But… stack up? Overall, it is a good start for Streeter.  It’s not the most memorable collection of seven songs I’ve ever heard, but it has some notable songs and specific moments.   My hope for Streeter is that her full-length album has more memorability and distinction.  I also hope Streeter has another “nEXT” in her arsenal.

Favorites: “Come on Over”; “Sex on the Ceiling”; “Call Me Crazy”; “nEXT”

★★★

Photo Credits: © Atlantic,  © PRN / PRPhotos.com
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