New Jack Harlow Album is More of the Same

Rap sensation Jack Harlow released his first full-length album in almost two years on May 6. Harlow’s meteoric rise has taken the rap game by storm, becoming an iconic pop culture figure in an impressively short amount of time. Two singles were released before this album, “Nail Tech” and “First Class,” which samples Fergie’s 2006 pop hit “Glamorous.” With his massive popularity and the two singles that teased this album, fans held high expectations for “Come Home the Kids Miss You.” To others, this album must deviate from Harlow’s somewhat predictable sound to justify his wild popularity. 

The album starts strong with “Talk of the Town”, where Jack Harlow reflects on his upbringing in Kentucky and his rise to fame. The production on this track is unique, with a dreary looping piano setting a more introspective mood. Harlow’s industry presence can be seen on the track “Young Harleezy”, where rap legend Snoop Dogg is briefly featured. The track “Dua Lipa” is a somewhat corny tribute to the pop singer, but the song is very fun and on-brand for Harlow. Tracks like “Lil Secret,” “Movie Star,” and “Nail Tech” are all great songs from this project, and some of Jack Harlow’s best work to date. 

Features are an interesting part of the album, with a star-studded cast appearing on tracks. Drake, Pharrell, Lil Wayne and even Justin Timberlake are on this album. The features add some much-needed variety on “Come Home the Kids Miss You,” with dynamic production from Pharrell and a smooth chorus from Justin Timberlake. Arguably the best feature of the project comes on the track “Churchill Downs” with Drake. The dark beat with chopped vocal samples compliment both Harlow and Drake perfectly, and Drake’s verse on this track is very good. 

Detractors of Jack Harlow will have no trouble criticizing this album, with repetitiveness and a lack of depth clearly present. Even with interesting production and beat selection, Harlow’s lyrics often come off as basic. Besides one or two tracks, the album lacks depth and emotion. Tracks like “Side Piece,” “I’d Do Anything to Make You Smile,” and “I Got A Shot” come off as uninspired and uninteresting. For these reasons, those who already dislike Jack Harlow will most likely not be won over by this project. Harlow’s weaknesses as a rapper are still present as ever, but his improvements in other areas do a good job covering them up. 

Although this project has its issues, “Come Home the Kids Miss You” is definitely a step in the right direction for the rapper. The album still has hits with songs like “First Class,” and interesting production varies Jack Harlow sound and prevents an extremely repetitive album. Harlow also performs very consistently with solid rhyme schemes and wordplay, and his signature references to sports terms and figures. Even with its problems, this project will likely have Harlow atop the charts once again, and solidify his status as a star in the rap industry.