Updated: Jun 28
Devvon Terrell is giving us a backstage pass to his next attempt at love. His latest album, released October 2, covers the final moments of his last breakup, diving into his healing process. His heart may be mending, but Vol. 2: Deja Vu is just getting started.
Devvon Terrell lets listeners know right off the bat that Vol. 2: Deja Vu is a post-breakup album. The album is a fantastic example of everything Terrell is capable of. He demonstrates his versatility in tracks such as “Narcotics” that show off a trap beat and his flow while also maintaining the sensual aspect of R&B as shown in “When You Comin’ Back.” This versatility bolsters the album’s themes of recuperation after a breakup and a reintroduction to love. Terrell’s somber side, representing his moments of insecurity, are met with beautiful piano melodies and angelic ad-libs to warm listeners' hearts. When it becomes evident that Terrell has gained a little confidence back, whether to speak about his past experiences with his exes or to reference his new partner, he is backed by prominent hip-hop beats. Terrell walks listeners through his experience finding love, without leaving out any of the downfalls. The variety in the album allows listeners, as Terrell states, to “pick your pace.” Heartbreak is personal and so is its recovery. Take notes, lovers. The variety and vulnerability Terrell expresses is so profound, Intersect rates this a 9/10 on the 1-10 rating scale.
It wouldn’t be a Devvon Terrell album without his silky vocals that could make anyone melt. His soulful R&B style is reminiscent of other artists like Vedo and Bryson Tiller. His talent truly shines in tracks like “You Trippin” and “Take Pictures of You.”
“You Trippin” is a relaxing and rhythmic track. Terrell embellishes the track with beautiful layers of harmonies on the hook and accentuates his message with short yet impressive runs. The frequent echoes flow in waves over the track, making the two-minute and sixteen-second song feel frozen in time, lulling us into an amazed trance by Terrell’s voice and words.
“Take Pictures of You'' features an angelic piano and strings melody. His somber vulnerability seeps through his voice and words, surrounding listeners. The song feels similar to “Coaster” by Khalid, with its airy introduction, but Terrell picks up the pace in his verses contrary to Khalid, letting his chorus and its message stand out. Because of his sweet voice, Intersect rates Terrell's vocals an 8/10 on the 1-10 rating scale.
THE ART BEHIND THE ALBUM
Different from the other songs on the album, “Thank My Exes” begins with an uplifting Gospel-style sermon inspiring those to move on from past lovers. As the pastor passes off the microphone to Devvon Terrell, he’s met with a bouncy piano melody and trap beat. The ironically upbeat chorus lists off several negative emotions and experiences Terrell would encounter if still with his exes. Though he expresses his gratitude, highlighting what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, he still assigns blame for this regret he felt in his last relationship. When paired with such a catchy chorus, he invites listeners to partake in a cathartic expression of frustration. Each time we listen, we want to call out the person who made us feel “hurt, down, so depressed…” the list goes on. What makes this a phenomenal introduction to the album is the immediate connection Terrell makes with listeners. We can all identify with this feeling which leads us down the path of the rest of the album. What more can we identify with? The answer lies in the other thirteen songs as Terrell rehabilitates his heart.
As much as Terrell is thankful for his experiences with his exes, the feeling of revenge from “Thank My Exes” lingers throughout the album. Masked in self-doubt and fear, Terrell slowly opens his heart to another woman, with the occasional pause. These pauses give Terrell the chance to explain his ways and why he remains so cloaked. He so brazenly announces, “me and my ex were toxic” as a way to excuse his behavior. The double-edged sword of toxicity appears repeatedly in Vol. 2: Deja Vu such as in tracks like “Narcotics,” “Homewrecker,” and “Immature.” There seem to be times when things were bad, but when they went great, it felt so good.
Terrell lays out his experience with his ex touching upon that feeling of being “damaged goods” in his song “Immature” where he continues to express his overwhelming feeling of self-doubt and the fear of not being good enough. But the thing about love, as shown in the song, can all of a sudden come in and flood you with happiness, brushing away that fear, as you're just excited to be with that person. Regardless of how Terrell describes his exes, he’s still strong enough to admit when he’s scared in a relationship and treads lightly to avoid being hurt.
As the album ends, we watch Terrell take this whole romance thing seriously again. After being bumped and bruised, that taste of vengeance finally fades away as he lets someone new into his life completely. Not only has he given away the keys to his heart, but he says he’s “thinkin’ ‘bout givin’ [her] keys.” We can’t help but root for Terrell at the end of this album with good reasoning. Terrell takes listeners on his emotional journey of repreparing himself to fall in love. The process of opening your heart again to someone is lengthy and taxing, but the way Terrell frames his experience, we are given hope and a little expertise. For such amazing advice, Intersect rates this a 10/10 on the 1-10 rating scale.
Devvon Terrell, we don't want to see your heart broken again — but we thank you for the beauty that arose from the ashes of your last relationship. Vol. 2: Deja Vu receives a 9/10 on the 1-10 rating scale.