Tate McRae’s sophomore album, “Think Later,” starts off with a bang and ends with a fizzle as she experiences the emotions that come with the end of a relationship.
McRae got her start in the world of dance on the hit show “So You Think You Can Dance,” but her singing career took off when her single “you broke me first” went viral on TikTok. Her expressive songwriting and relatability won over many hearts.
Her new album, released earlier this month, will make these hearts grow even fonder with recognizable TikTok hits and lots of relationship talk — mainly about those who fell victim to the college “situationship,” a relationship that doesn’t quite have a label (just yet).
If your situationships have ever left you at a loss for words, this album is for you.
McRae opens the album with the bass booming “Cut my Hair,” a track about the motivation to make a dramatic change after a split from a partner.
The intro to the song starts out low, but doesn’t waste any time getting to the hook. It’s the perfect sing-along for getting ready, rollers in hair, one hand holding a beauty blender while the other is up jamming along. As McRae puts it, listen to this song before you “go out and get messed up.”
While McRae’s TikTok tracks make great sounds for 15-second videos, they tend to sound over-produced. “Exes,” with an infectious and empowering chorus, is famous on TikTok — and for good reason. Once her hit song “Greedy” has run its course, “Exes” is sure to reach similar levels of popularity. That being said, the beginning of the song is filled with bells and whistles that overpower McRae’s natural talent. At one point in the song, a soundbite of chaotic laughter covers up McRae’s voice. There’s nothing wrong with naked vocals for a couple beats, even in an upbeat song.
Deep cuts “stay done” and “messier” are two of the standout tracks that are sure to make listeners appreciate McRae’s songwriting skills. Both are stripped-down tracks where her writing and vocals shine through. “Exes” would’ve done well to stick with that trend.
The album closes with a stark contrast to the beginning. The last song on the album, “Plastic Palm Trees,” reflects back on the relationship. Its slow tempo showcases McRae’s vocal range and emotion. It holds universal meaning, a reminder not to see the world through rose-colored glasses.
With its bops and empowering message, McRae’s spirit shines through on the album. McRae believes that this album, most of all, will showcase her growth as an artist.
“You can see me evolving as a person in my writing,” she said in an interview with TODAY.
So if you wanna grow with McRae, listen to “THINK LATER.”
Josh Pawlik is an assistant arts editor and can be reached at email@example.com
The arts desk can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Josh Pawlik is an assistant arts editor for The Spectrum. His hobbies include playing guitar, working out and reading. He can be found on Instagram @joshpawlik
Sophia Stines is a staff writer.