An album that almost never was
from an artist that claims no name, Room 25
marks yet another remarkable body of work from hometown heroine Fatimah Warner. What the follow-up to Telefone
had in store is something fans have pondered since the 2016 debut had time to settle in, but it’s clear no one thought more deeply on that than Warner herself as the question echos all the way into the opening words of the album. After a series of hypotheticals about what Room 25
could be, what the appropriate context is, and who it may represent, Noname set the story straight “…actually this one for me.”
That sentiment is one of the governing factors of Room 25
and perhaps the most identifiable change from our last time hearing from its narrator. As personal as her previous works were, Noname gives herself over to a new level of honesty over the 35 minute offering, and seems to let more of her whole self show. Setting down the necessarily careful tone that colored much of Telefone
, Room 25
lets other aspects of her personality have a voice - including humor and pettiness - which helps to maintain lightheartedness after innocence lost
As the project plays on, “Blaxploitation” and “Prayer Song” solidify that the self actualization established in the introduction would serve as yet another tool to further another major theme of her music: shining light on social injustice & crafting her perspective of the black experience.
To handle the responsibility of musically matching the mind and message behind Room 25
, Noname enlists frequent collaborator and multi-instrumentalist Phoelix for executive production. Together, they brought in an impressive group of musicians to create the live instrumentation that set the tone of each of the project’s twists and turns, while and polishing things off with carefully selected features from their incredibly talented friend group.
With Room 25
, Noname shares a clearer and more confident view of herself and her music, one that doesn’t beg the same questions as it looks to the future.