Monday, January 18th, 2021

Jazmine Sullivan ft. H.E.R. – Girl Like Me

Today we consider a girl like her and also a girl like H.E.R…


Katherine St Asaph: The same story of a woman — well, two women, but H.E.R. totally subsumes herself into Sullivan’s narrative — crumbling underneath men’s inescapable hell rules as “Mascara.” This one, however, isn’t as thoroughly sketched.

Thomas Inskeep: Oh, I want to like this so much. But the production here (by Bongo ByTheWay) is too sparse, and Sullivan’s voice gets kinda screechy as the song progresses. (H.E.R. provides a solid second verse and sisterly backup.) The lyrical intent of “Girl Like Me” is great, but I can’t get down with the way this is musically served up.

Juana Giaimo: I feel that there is no connection in between the lyrics and the music in “Girl Like Me.” The warm acoustic guitar loop and the funny background noises are nice but they don’t transmit the desperation and angst of the lyrics. Jazmine Sullivan’s voice sounds quite sad and reflective at the beginning, but when at the end of the song they reach the emotional culmination, it just sounds like a competition to see who can sing in the most melodramatic way. And in the background, you can still here the guitar and noises still doing their own thing.

Ashley John: “Girl Like Me” is one end of Jazmine Sullivan’s modern woman spectrum. Where on “Pricetags” she declares confidently “I can be a freak, throw it back, let you toss it,” in this track with stripped down guitar and gentle back and forth with H.E.R, she is less certain. Throughout Heaux Tales, Sullivan explores the world through the many lenses of being a woman: of being the woman lusted after and here of questioning what she lacks compared to others. Aside from the literal sense in the lyrics, the message of “Girl Like Me” is mainly confusion. Sullivan doesn’t have any clear answers, but her willingness to sit in the question makes this a worthwhile listen. 

Michael Hong: “Girl Like Me” isn’t meant to be an anthem. It’s much more private, with Jazmine Sullivan and H.E.R., over liquid guitars like drinks, swapping stories of when they knew it was over. Of the shame of not being good enough, the desperate ache of wanting more. Jazmine Sullivan and H.E.R. let loose with extended runs and belted harmonies, but the true strength of “Girl Like Me” is in the “ft.,” the pair’s harmonies and ad-libs an invitation to be each other’s company, which for now, has to be good enough.

Alfred Soto: Far from Jazmine Sullivan’s best, “Girl Like Me” goes through its prescribed paces without raising a fuss. When she wails in the last third, the structure trembles.

Aaron Bergstrom:I feel moments of sadnеss knowing that, you know, just me alone and who I am is not enough.” That’s the last line of “Amanda’s Tale,” the brief spoken-word interlude directly preceding “Girl Like Me,” spoken by a long-time friend of Sullivan’s taking stock of how social media has fundamentally changed her approach to romantic relationships. That sentiment is deeply personal but universal, endemic to our current age but timeless. We’ve all felt some version of that not-enough-ness, even if it isn’t always triggered by Instagram. The unifying genius of “Girl Like Me” as a response is its commitment to nuance, creating space that can be filled any number of ways. The instrumental is textured and sparse, all clicks and hisses, echoing samples and fleeting percussion enveloping minimalist guitar, like an intricate nest painstakingly crafted from the materials at hand. It’s a backdrop that allows two generational vocal talents to shine mostly though understatement, touching on emotions from confusion and self-loathing to anger and defiance. Is there hope for a girl like Jazmine Sullivan? Unclear, but at least there’s a step toward understanding.

Nortey Dowuona: Jazmine Sullivan only arrives when she’s made something she wants to share, which in a time where making a Tinder as a well known singer can pop up on gossip blogs if a spurned dickhead sells it. Meanwhile, Jazmine is really trying to get her rocks off, while H.E.R. bitterly strips down, her pissed tone seeping through her usual honeyed voice and Jazmine tries to comfort her within her massive, oceanic croon, more anguished and desperate than bitter and kissed by the sweet honey guitars and dribbling percussion melting behind them. Jazmine mixes the bass as H.E.R. strums, the groove slinking then disappearing as Jazmine shakes it, a sadness and desperation as she says “you gonna make a hoe outta me.”

Reader average: [7.25] (4 votes)

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One Response to “Jazmine Sullivan ft. H.E.R. – Girl Like Me”

  1. You review this and not Lost One? I would like to hear the logic.