Music is timeless, and although this review comes eight months later, I couldn’t allow my thoughts to sit idly any longer. I want the people to experience the essence of soul-moving music. Lucky Daye delivered a 7-track EP, Table For Two in February of 2021, a few days before Valentine’s ‘Daye’—a great marketing move and moment for those experiencing lackluster love. If you aren’t familiar with Lucky Daye, the Keep Cool artist was introduced to the world through a series of EPs in 2018, which then formed into his 2019 debut album, Painted—the deluxe version was released in 2020. Lucky Daye’s eclectic and soulful sound is addicting—it’s impossible to listen with no emotional reaction. Each song leaves you craving more.
Focusing on the title of the EP, Table For Two, the concept is centered around Lucky Daye going on a date—seated at a table for two. He’s seated across from his love interest, engaging in dialogue and intimate conversation through song. Each song has its own sound, message, and overall feel, but fades seamlessly into one another to tie into the overall message of the EP. Table For Two features duets with some of music’s most talented female vocalists, which is an amazing creative touch because as the listener experiences each song, they’re exposed to various perspectives. Spotlighting the EP’s artwork, Lucky Daye is seated alone, looking defeated—as if he was stood up. The concept and artwork work in tandem to create a mood that is both warm and intimate, yet imperfect, raw, and telling. If you’re a Lucky Daye listener then you’re familiar with the spoken word that’s artfully positioned at the end of his songs, offering glimpses into his mind—a feature that I appreciate and have grown accustomed to and one that is well done here.
The introduction, “Ego Trip,” begins with a waitress seating the listener at a table, pulling them in by with the groovy bass-filled beat of track two, “How Much Can A Heart Take,” where Yebba sings with conviction. Lucky Daye’s and her verses answer the title’s question, how much can a heart take? She feels like he’s not giving his all in the relationship and takes a ‘you get what you give’ stance. He’s not taking accountability for his actions and she’s fed up. Their emotions are metaphorically compared to changes/phases of the moon—always anew, but in this case, crippling. He then flips things on her, addressing her faults and pouring salt on her wounds, forcing her to look at the role she has played in their trivial test of love. They’re both confounded with themselves and one another, confused about what they’re contributing to in their karmic relationship. The connection is bound to fade away due to their lack of accountability.
Next, we are left “On Read” with Tiana Major9. This song highlights a common issue in relationships: no one likes to be left on read or be ghosted. In this conversation, Lucky Daye addresses Tiana for not communicating with him in a way he deemed acceptable. He feels like she won’t find another guy like him and is annoyed with the fact that she’s not responding—”got me all in my head.” He’s pleading and craves her interaction. She sets things straight—“You never back your chat with your actions / I ain’t the one / Baby, I’m so headstrong / It’s your Lucky Daye if I answer.” I appreciate the fact that the woman is being assertive and deadening a situation that she felt was doing her a disservice. “On Read” tugs at your heart because the majority of us have been in a situation similar to theirs—longing for a response and to be affirmed, but also frustrated.
Mahalia’s raspy vocals and Lucky Day’s warm tone intermingle with the drums and keys on “My Window”—playing on a slower tempo from the previous track. This is a great implementation of Erykah Badu’s beloved “Window Seat,” a clear indication of inspiration with the sample and similar song title. Mahalia and Lucky Daye are both hiding parts of themselves, masking their true feelings. However, neither of them are showing up in moments when the other needs them. They’re simply going through the motions—”If you can’t stand the rain then I can’t stand the sunshine / If you can’t take the pain then I can’t make your sun rise.” “My Window” embodies the energies of forcing and letting go.
Ari Lennox guards her heart on “Access Denied” and Lucky Daye is determined to enter. His charm is irresistible and the feelings between the pair are mutual. He attempts to reassure her that she is worth his energy and that she should give him a chance, letting her know that “it’s hard to read you.” There is a runner and chaser here and although Ari is entertaining him, she’s still not letting him in all the way. He gets to a point where he accepts the reality of their dynamic, faces defeat, and walks away—”Another one stuck in line / Baby, love scares your mind / No wonder why you keep your time / Baby love’s not a crime / Scenarios keep you behind / Enough tries, you’ve gone cold.” Despite the letdown, the energy they shared was sensual, flirty, and playful—the banter was clearly a waste of time, though.
On to track six, “Dream”—Queen Naija and Lucky Daye address their feelings for one another over a wispy-like beat. They’re in the lovebird phase of their relationship, enjoying each other’s company. The lovers bask in the bliss of how they make each one another feel. They share a familiarity, hesitancy, and dreaminess of what falling in love is and what it could be—”No, I don’t wanna fall too far / Just ride this high that you givin’ me.” As the date is wrapping up, we ease into the final track, “Falling In Love,” featuring Joyce Wrice. There is a subtle shift in the soundscape to a funkier feel. It’s here where the lovers fulfill one other’s needs in all aspects. They’re giving love a chance and both crave reassurance. They’re questioning each other’s intentions and need to know that once they give their hearts to one another, it won’t result in regrets and time wasted. They both had failed relationships in the past that amplified their insecurities and their need for reassurance.
Although Table For Two was released during the “month of love”, the EP is not a picture-perfect depiction of love, roses, and assorted chocolates. It is an open conversation that forces partners—committed or not—to be clear with their intentions and how they communicate. The lovers slow dance with their traumas and tango with the fear of commitment. Despite the never-ending dance, the pair is willing to make a sacrifice for love.