Broken Hearts Club
Columbia · April 8, 2022
Syd has delivered a strong and solidifying sophomore album with Broken Hearts Club, and defined her path as a trailblazer in modern alternative R&B. Syd, legally known as Sydney Bennet, began her career as a part of the lo-fi jazz infused group The Internet. The collaborative melting pot of Odd Future, Steve Lacy, Matt Martian, Patrick Paige, and Syd, collectively formed the experimental and smooth sound of The Internet. After releasing three albums with The Internet, Syd began her solo career with the release of Fin, a silky-smooth R&B album with a kick, which explored androgyny and identity. In her sophomore effort, Broken Hearts Club, Syd shows a bolder and more vulnerable side of herself than ever seen before.
Broken Hearts Club begins with the extreme highs of a new relationship’s honeymoon phase, while showcasing a sharper, pop-like, 80’s sound on the opening collaboration “CYBAH,” with Lucky Daye. The track list follows Syd as she falls in love, and solidifies past themes of androgyny and queer relationships, while exploring more complex motifs of commitment and vulnerability. “Right Track,” with Smino, showcases a catchy acoustic guitar riff, illustrating an entirely new side for Syd as an artist. The sleek and effortless melody fuses perfectly with Smino’s infectious verse. As the album progresses, Syd begins to question her relationship, producing a complex soundscape that soulfully matches the story she tells. On “Heartfelt Freestyle,” she samples the Khruangbin song “White Gloves,” flipping the track and asking if her relationship is real or just for show. This marks a strong turning point in the album, signifying a shift from thoughts of true love to betrayal and heartbreak. The standout tracks “BMHWDY” and “Missing Out” mark the end of the relationship. These songs blend airy snare drums and waft synth leads with crisp and magnetic vocals, sculpting the perfect sound for her heartbreak.
Syd is honest with herself and the listener, and she showcases the rawest points of her relationship, beautifully connecting to the listener through her glassy melodic pockets. Broken Hearts Club diversifies Syd’s sound; it shifts from silky guitar riffs, to trap beats, to deep cutting synth leads, and circles back to catchy pop melodies with introspective lyrics, all in the same album. It’s a beautiful and sensual expression of a queer relationship in R&B, and Syd continues to trailblaze as a androgynous and queer role model in experimental R&B today.