REVIEW:India Shawn Digs Beneath the Surface in Album ‘BEFORE WE GO (DEEPER)’

On July 22, R&B artist India Shawn released her full length debut album, BEFORE WE GO (DEEPER). The project follows Shawn’s 2021 EP, BEFORE WE GO, adding another seven songs to the EP’s already impressive tracklist. Shawn teased the album with lead single “EXCHANGE,” which earned a slew of critical acclaim and 317K Spotify streams while setting the pace for a dreamy R&B delight. 

A single for the original EP, “DON’T PLAY WITH MY HEART,” reappears and continues to be a favorite in Shawn’s repertoire. The classic track, nostalgic to the 70s, relies on funky guitar and bass lines, breezy harmonies, and a laid back drum groove. Shawn’s voice is smooth as silk as she floats over the song’s melodic hook, singing, “Don’t play with my heart unless you can finish what you start”.

“SAME FLOOR” takes a different approach to Shawn’s style. In the track, the album slows into the acoustic guitar-driven ballad, letting Shawn’s alluring voice carry the song’s intimate lyricism. Shawn expresses the pressure she faces and the resulting high she chases, singing, “First impressions my obsession, thinking way too much.” This vulnerability blended with slower drums and breezy flute creates an emotional yet peaceful track. 

“CAUGHT IN THE MIDDLE” is an in-depth look at the complexities of a relationship. The song utilizes ¾ meter, setting the track apart with its unique sound, while layered background vocals contribute to the consistency of the fullness and smoothness found in Shawn’s style. With catchy, clean guitar riffs and a tambourine beat, Shawn provides a hypnotic soundtrack to a rollercoaster romance. Shawn’s voice soars powerfully through the higher belted notes, showing off her impressive range and soulful tone as she sings, “And it would kill me if I let you go, but it hurts the same to hold you close”.

India Shawn isn’t afraid to dig beneath the surface in “BEFORE WE GO (DEEPER)”. Through personal lyricism and heavenly R&B instrumentation, she provides authentic tracks relatable for her audience. The album perfectly encapsulates Shawn’s message of femininity and empowerment; in her own words, “I’m a voice for women who know their worth and what they want. And won’t settle for anything less.”

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