If you know me, you know my love for Sampha runs D E E P. There is never a bad time to listen to him, he always makes me feel ALL THE FEELINGS, and his vocal chords were hand stitched by angels. (I’m really not making that last part up, just freaking listen to him.) So without anymore of my fangirling, here is my review of “Process”.
The album starts with Neil Armstrong taking his first steps on the moon. Plastic 100° is the opening track on Process and sets the tone of hesitation and a little bit of resistance. In interviews Sampha has said that this song is about finding a lump in his throat. If you wanted to apply this to broader terms, it could be just the uncertainty of life or moving forward in life and reaching success, whatever that may be for you, realizing all eyes are on you but still feeling lonely. “And the more it grows, the closer I think you are, the closer I think you are to seeing me whole.” Best line in the entire song.
The first time I heard Blood On Me, I had to listen to it with my eyes closed. The vision that I had in my head was someone just running through darkness and constantly looking back. Something is out there and it feels like it’s getting closer. So you run a little faster, and slowly but surely start to feel safe again. The the chorus comes back and you’re running faster again. Something is out there but what? Blood On Me is definitely a bit more uptempo than the opening track, but still has a way of making you just C H I L L but also keeping up with that feeling of uncertainty that we got in Plastic 100°.
Every time I listen to Kora Sings it brings tears to my eyes. Being only three songs in, I was completely caught off guard with how hard this one hit me. Sampha is referencing his mother and her battle with cancer. His mom is his angel, and without her it’s empty. “You’ve been with me since the cradle. You’ve been with me you’re my angel. Please don’t disappear.” This song reminds me of my grandmother who I lost to cancer this past summer. The last few months I’ve been going through the motions of accepting this and as soon as I heard this song I felt like she was sitting next to me. It’s kind of crazy how you can feel someone else’s pain and it makes you feel yours even more.
By this point, I’m bawling my eyes out. It doesn’t matter how many times I listen to this album. I always listen from start to finish, and each time it feels like the first time. (No One Knows Me) Like The Piano is the song that says no matter where you go, no one or place will ever be that safe place like home. This dedication ballad to his mom and the piano in his childhood home is raw emotion. No matter what, you know me. And you know that I’ll always come home.
Take Me Inside is an ode to every person I have ever loved. Love makes you question, but real love is letting go. I’m not quite there with the letting go part, but we’re working on it. “I’m seeking something I can’t see. I may be reading in too deep. And maybe this is all a dream.”
I think you know you have a good song or album when as soon as it starts playing someone’s name pops in your head. Reverse Faults, is yep you guessed it! Another song to an ex. One in particular actually. Reverse Faults is that love that pulled out emotions that only one other person could. Those underlying feelings we didn’t know were or there or we thought that we could keep under control and couldn’t.
Under, describes what it feels like when you’re drowning in someone. Even after you leave you’re still under their spell. This is how I would describe my feelings about love, honestly. Gasping for air.
When Timmy’s Prayer came out, I remember seeing the link floating around on Twitter and sending it out to everyone I knew, turning my phone off and laying on my bed as it played on repeat. My grandmother is really sick, my best friend is sick, work is shitty, my love life is falling apart, and I just can’t seem to focus on anything. This song reminds me of loneliness. I even think you can hear it in his voice.
Incomplete Kisses has another (still the same) name pop in my head. I like how uptempo this song is, but still has my eyes misting up. On first listen of this song I actually thought for a second that we were going to be getting a SBTRKT collab. (Have I ever told you guys how much I love when Sampha and SBTRKT collaborate?) Incomplete Kisses is the part in a relationship where everything around you and your partner is on fire and you either put the fire out or burn down with everything. Incomplete Kisses is however starting to bring us back into the light and bringing our feelings back around. We’re still unsure, but we’re not in the dark.
What Shouldn’t I Be? beautifully wraps the album up. What am I supposed to do from here? What’s supposed to happen? This is the moment of realization of what needs to be done and looking forward. Even in the closing track things you can still feel the unsureness in his voice, but there’s also a feeling of tolerance at the end. He doesn’t know what’s going to happen from this point, but he has no choice but to keep going forward.
Process in my opinion is the perfect length, and takes you on an honest emotional journey. This is one of those few albums that I can’t say that there is a song that I dislike or can skip over. It feels like one collective piece. Start to finish and it almost, ALMOST feels like it’s too short. But then after you gather your thoughts when the album is over and you think of all the feelings you felt in such a short amount of time, you realize that it’s actually the perfect length.