In a year full of great R&B projects, OVO Sound’s Roy Woods adds his debut album, Say Less, to the mix. Woods has dropped two EPs and a mixtape within the few years he’s been around. Being the last of the top tier OVO artists to drop an album and the last to drop an album this year, one might wonder where the love and promotion for Woods is.
Say Less serves as Woods’ formal introduction to the R&B world, backed by three projects serving as preludes. A fairly long album, Say Less‘ 16 songs show his transition from looking for real love to avoiding it. With help from PnB Rock, 24hrs, and labelmates PARTYNEXTDOOR and dvsn, Woods takes listeners through the journey.
Starting off with “Medusa,” Woods details a girl that’s only around when she needs something; a gold digger. Despite this, he admits, “I already know I’m a young boss falling for her.” The track moves on to “Little Bit of Lovin,” an upbeat and energetic number where he boasts his appreciation and overall feelings for his newfound love. Moving down to “Bb,” Woods describes the feeling he has as he finally gets the girl he’s been chasing after, “All I’m thinking bout is you and I don’t know why I’ve been doing it/ The feelings you gave me, craving them daily.”
On the second half of the album, Woods transitions to a mindset of not desiring anything serious with a woman. On the PND featured “Back It Up,” the OVO artists sing about a lady who they have no interest in after the night, “Act like you don’t care about my time/ Actions don’t faze me you be on your fake sh*t/ You can’t be my lady.” “Balance” with dvsn and PnB Rock, follows the same idea. Woods and PnB refuse to deal with the drama of women, as a result, they make it clear they don’t want anything real. “Monday to Monday” serves as Woods’ grind anthem and makes it known that he doesn’t plan on allowing anything to distract from his goals.
Multiple times throughout the album, Woods pays homage to his roots. The main instance is on the track “B-Town,” short for Brampton, his hometown. On the song, he sings about hitting the city with his significant other. Woods brings an island vibe to the track “Top Left,” as he deals with a girl who’s playing with his heart. Fed up, he puts his foot down saying to end the games or he’ll leave “top left,” Toronto slang for “on God.”
After listening to the album one thing becomes excessively clear and evident: Roy Woods is severely underrated. He blends the harder trap-like tracks with the softer island and upbeat tracks so that there isn’t an excess of either on the album. Woods is a solid writer, creating compositionally decent songs on the many sides of love. Say Less goes down as one of the better R&B projects of the year, but is it enough to get Woods the attention he deserves? Already having previous above average projects, one can only wonder why Roy Woods still is overlooked as an artist. After a certain point, one can no longer blame the artist.