Dropping off album cuts in “Insecure,” “Bad Bad” (July 2022), “Young Boy Problems” (April 19), “Don’t Mind Me,” “Don’t Love Me” (May 31)” and his latest “Test What I Know” (July 19) over the past year, the OVO Sound prodigy celebrates his return with an evolution in all aspects. Over the course or 17 tracks, Roy juggles the throes of fame, fatherhood and keeping his vision clear-eyed throughout the biopic album. Roy recruits features in Coi Leray (“Hate Me”), Vory (“Unsettling”) and Jada Kingdom (“That Thang”).
Woods’ last project Dem Times (2020) was just a snapshot of the potency found on his previous full-length LPs: Waking At Dawn, Nocturnal and Say Less. With Mixed Emotions finally here, which is executive produced by Drake, Woods touched on the album’s core themes to Apple Music.
“All the songs that I put together all tell a story—about my childhood, about my family, about love,” Woods said. “That’s why this album is called Mixed Emotions: When you just keep the first two letters of Mixed Emotions and take away all the rest, it ends up being ME. That’s really what I want everybody to take away from this: I’m putting all of myself on this album. I’m letting you guys know what I hate about myself and what I love about myself and all the shit I went through.”
With initial lead cuts like “Insecure” and “Bad Bad,” Woods wastes no time getting die-hard fans hyped for Mixed Emotions. However, it wouldn’t be until a year later that the LP would drop. The latter sees Woods shifting back and forth between passionate singing and subtle self-accounts — ruminating over the highs and lows he shared with a former flame. With more guitar-driven melodies consistent with Carribean vibes, Woods woozily saunters over yet another love-laced beat.
With shimmering strings and hypnotic singing from the UTU heartthrob, Woods seems completely enamored with his love interest on “Insecure” — crooning “need me more than ever I can’t leave her / only thing I know is that I need her.” The track’s shuffling percussion insantly sets the beachy vibes as Woods continues to display his refined songwriting — speaking on how he feels the best parts of him are brought out when he’s with his girl.
All the things that you bring out me
Lets me know, you make out of me
Ooh, feels like you take all the hood out of me
Anything she wants to know, she can get out of me (Oh)Roy Woods — “Insecure”
The Toronto-based artist has been hidden in the shadow of the OVO powerhouse for quite some time. Yet his sound, voice and talent are an anomaly on any track he touches — meshing cadences found in the discographies of Nelly, The Weeknd, Michael Jackson and OVO pseudo-duo Drake and PARTYNEXTDOOR.
It’s apparent that a specific superstar talent exists in Roy Woods. Hopefully, in this next phase of his career, he’s able to make it out of the “Woods” and into the spotlight once more.
Listen to ‘Mixed Emotions’ below!