Ironically titled, Giveon’s newest EP is a pensive trip down his stream of consciousness. A lot is said, whether it be in voicemails, conversations, or in song. But not much is done. When It’s All Said And Done is a unique peek into the artist’s soul at the intermittent end of a relationship.
The beauty of Giveon is what’s ahead of him. From the start of Giveon’s career, his music has featured light and breathy melodies and intense, powerful bridges. This EP didn’t say goodbye to the artist established in TAKE TIME, but rather elaborated. Giveon’s mellow vibes create the perfect soundscape for listeners to reflect on their emotions and their wellbeing just as he does. Each track has a moment that brings listeners back to the music to hear Giveon and his words before proceeding back into a reflective mode. Whether listeners tune in or out, Giveon opens the floor for personal growth and discovery in When It’s All Said And Done. The dual-purposed EP has earned itself a 10/10 on the Intersect 1-10 rating scale.
Giveon popped up on everyone’s playlists last spring when Drake released Dark Lane Demo Tapes. Before and since then, his beautiful baritone voice has remained unchanged and consistent. Each track on When It’s All Said And Done features Giveon’s voice followed by echoes, remnants of his fleeting thoughts. Listeners show that they are increasingly drawn to a cinematic experience in music, which is exactly what Giveon provides in this EP. His haunting echoes surround the listener, dancing through their ears as voicemails of a regretful Giveon play.
The most angelic and addicting tracks on the EP are also milestones of sorts for the artist. “Last Time (feat. Snoh Aalegra)” is Giveon’s first track with a woman as a featured artist. In the track, he introduces his lower range in a transcendent harmony with Aalegra. Their cascading runs create a prominent yet sensual chorus that will make you hit repeat all night long. Giveon continues to impress listeners with “Stuck on You.” The track creates a pre-chorus similar to “Last Time (feat. Snoh Aalegra)” but differentiates itself with Giveon’s increasing intensity and flourishing falsetto. The melodic similarities between the two tracks draw the thin line between attachment and fruition while Giveon’s divine riffs tear himself and listeners apart. We've never been more in love with anyone's vocals. Giveon earns a 10/10 on the Intersect 1-10 rating scale.
THE ART BEHIND THE ALBUM:
Giveon presents two sides of himself in When It’s All Said And Done. When he’s speaking to his friends, he’s cool, unfazed and laid back. But when singing to his ex, he’s a completely different person. Throughout the EP, we hear short conversations between Giveon and friends where he promises that he’s over his ex. Bluffing, he retells his friend, “I told her, like I knew it was gonna take time but Imma be good when it’s all said and done.” His denial is palpable in each hesitating breath. Moreover, there’s something so frustrating hidden in his “I” statements. Giveon brushes aside his ex’s feelings while also hiding his own. He refuses to open up and express his inner confliction and attachment to his male friends as to not seem weaker. His cold facade may show him as a real man in society, but listeners still have front row tickets to his self-reflection.
Diving into the melodic verses, Giveon begins to confront his own views of toxic masculinity. Though he may be lying to his friends about continuously seeing his ex, we theorize that he’s also partly lying to himself. He begs his ex, “Don’t tell my friends that I’m here.” He may say this to avoid being teased or chastised by his friends. It may also be sheer embarrassment of his emotions. He continues to sing, “I can’t say I love you no more, ‘cause my friends gon’ judge me for sure.” Going through a breakup is undoubtedly painful, and acknowledging that pain as a man may be even more agonizing. Giveon shouldn’t have to have the internal debate about being less than a man for his hurt before he finds a shoulder to cry on. On the other hand, he may not want those moments to escape into his real life. If people know about this rekindling, what will Giveon have to say? He might not be in love anymore but he isn’t ready to divulge that, nor is he required to do so. It is the pensive artistry shown throughout his EP that contradicts the toxic masculinity Giveon demonstrates in each conversation.
Focusing more on his lyrics instead of his conversations, listeners watch as Giveon holds onto his ex, not out of love, but out of pride and fear. “Still Your Best” explores this duo in depth. Giveon holds his ground as his territorial mindset changes with the foreground of the song. He proclaims to his ex, “your body knows me.” He doesn’t want to lose that feeling of being everything to someone. There’s comfortability in attachment. Conversely, his proclamation also introduces his pride in territorialism. The knowledge one has about someone they love is endless. To compete with that can seem foolish and time consuming. Those negative aspects give Giveon the confidence to say that he will remain her best because she might not invest in another man. To know her is to love her, and while Giveon may repeatedly say he doesn’t love her anymore, he still knows her better than any other man.
In the end we learn that Giveon might not have been the one to end things, which he explores in “Stuck on You.” He sings, “you’re my baby even when you leave me.” The track as a whole wanders through Giveon’s insecurities in his relationship. Though he seems pridefully attached, it may be a continuation of his cold facade that he keeps on for the boys. Just as Giveon is forced to sit back and reflect on his decisions and words, so are his listeners.
The complexity of this album leaves listeners with so much to digest. For this, we rate the EP a 10/10 on the Intersect 1-10 rating scale.
Earning an overall 10/10 on the Intersect 1-10 rating scale, we can and will listen to this album on loop. But don't take our word for it. Check out Giveon and When It's All Said And Done below.
MY TOP TRACKS ON THE ALBUM:
When It's All Said And Done, Still Your Best, Last Time (feat. Snoh Aalegra), Stuck On You
APPLE MUSIC'S TOP TRACKS ON THE ALBUM:
Still Your Best, Stuck on You
SPOTIFY'S TOP TRACKS ON THE ALBUM:
Stuck on You