Review: Dawn Richard – Armor On (EP)

Dawn Richard Armor ON

R&B is changing, and change, in this case, is really good.

Dawn Richard is placing herself among those at the forefront of that shift, and for good reason. She’s no stranger to transition. Since bursting into the spotlight years ago, we’ve watched her Make The Band with Danity Kane (& produce two platinum albums before the group disbanded on national TV,) rock stages around the world as a member of the Diddy-Dirty Money trio, and now…finally, she’s taking a step into her own spotlight.

Her new EP “Armor On” is an emotional journey, a love story, if you will… but it doesn’t comply with traditional standards. Even the title, a reference to girding oneself to face what has the potential to be a serious battle, could be seen as a metaphor for the way she’s maneuvered through the adversity she’s encountered in career, love, and in general growth as a woman.

With the definition of R&B in such a linear state, “Armor On” pushes the limits of the genre to new heights, giving fans an opportunity to experience the depths of Richard’s artistry. Sonically driven by production from GRAMMY nominee Andrew “Druski” Scott (Trin-i-tee 5:7, Michelle Williams, Letoya Lucket) the 10-track EP could have easily been an album. Highly conceptual in nature… the project does a great job of telling a story:

I wanted to create a musical novel so that when you listened to it you felt as if you had a cathartic experience,” remarks Richard. “For me, this EP is everything that I couldn’t say, was told not to say and was told I’d never say. I want the lyrics to move you, challenge you and sonically inspire you. In ‘heart music’ there are no boundaries or limits. We have the ability to fight, sword in hand and armor on.

A couple of shining moments include the Druski penned & produced “Bombs”… an aggressive record to say the least, and the dance driven “Faith” dedicated to Richard’s “hearts” (her fans). The former, a sassy and assertive tribute to unabashed self-confidence, is guaranteed to move crowds. Watch the video below:

“Armor On” is the first installment of Richard’s “Goldenheart” trilogy, and if it’s any indication of what is to come, doubters will be made believers upon first listen.

Stand out tracks: Bombs, Faith, Scripture

The EP is available for you to download exclusively on iTunes. Get it here.