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Stream 6LACK's Ruminating 'East Atlanta Love Letter'

After an impressive debut in 2016, Atlanta crooner 6LACK returns with his sophomore album <em>East Atlanta Love Letter</em>.
Rich Fury
Getty Images
After an impressive debut in 2016, Atlanta crooner 6LACK returns with his sophomore album East Atlanta Love Letter.

As the seasons change, the melancholy of losing summer deserves its own soundtrack. Atlanta crooner 6LACK (pronounced "black") — who dropped a sleeper hit of a debut album in 2016 with Free 6LACKand in the time since has toured the world with The Weeknd and become a first-time father — has returned with his sophomore album, East Atlanta Love Letter,for just such a time.

The 14-track LP finds 6LACK ruminating on love's many stages and the corresponding doubt, denial, elation, bliss and fear that comes with it. 6LACK punctuates most of the songs on the album with voiceovers from people speaking about love — a large part of the album's promotion lied in 6LACK asking collaborators like Elton John, Majid Jordan and more their thoughts on love — which makes the sonic experience of the project that much more seamless and conversational.

Amid murky pianos and wallowing strings, early standouts include the farewell-to-summer song "Seasons" featuring Khalid, the personal pep talk of "Let Her Go" and "Pretty Little Fears," a vulnerable reminiscence of past relationships which marks a first-time collaboration between the singer and J. Cole. "I just wanna know / Don't you sugar coat / Or say it all if you want / And could you tell me like it is? / Pretty little fears / Music to my ears," 6LACK sings, in a low hum during its chorus.

East Atlanta Love Letteris available now via Interscope Records.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Sidney Madden is a reporter and editor for NPR Music. As someone who always gravitated towards the artforms of music, prose and dance to communicate, Madden entered the world of music journalism as a means to authentically marry her passions and platform marginalized voices who do the same.