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Review: Zinadelphia "Love Over Glory"

Guitarist and vocalist Zinadelphia is an up-and-coming soul artist whose work deserves more recognition. Hailing from Philadelphia, which no doubt influenced the latter half of her stage name, Zinadelphia has been passionate about music for her entire life. Citing neo-soul, jazz, funk, and folk as her primary influences, Zinadelphia melds multiple genres together to create music that is both timeless and current.

Zinadelphia has garnered a lot of attention on TikTok, amassing over 200 thousand followers through posting covers and her independent music. Her most viewed video, a cover of Adele's "Rumor Has It", boasts an impressive 4.8 million views. Her first single dropped in 2022, titled "Mirrorball", which was shortly followed in 2023 by her EP, Lucky, featuring her fan-favorite R&B track "Love Language". Currently, Zinadelphia is the opening act for Tori Kelly's 2024 Purple Skies Tour while continuing to post covers on TikTok and work on her independent music.

Album Art for Zinadelphia's single "Love Over Glory"

Zinadelphia's newest track,"Love Over Glory", released on May 3rd and has truly maneuvered the testy waters of TikTok song fame flawlessly. So often, unreleased songs are promoted on TikTok through the platform's trademark 15-second snippets and either take too long to release, or, when they finally do release, pale in comparison to their teasers. Zinadelphia didn't make either of those mistakes. She released the song in a timely manner while still building up suspense for her fanbase, and upon release struck the perfect balance within the track of adhering to the expectations of the song while also subverting them in a unique and enjoyable way.

"Love Over Glory" storyline-wise speaks to the larger issue of male manipulation in the music industry. Zinadelphia shares her personal experiences of belittlement, unwanted sexual advances, and abuse of power positions in this song, denoting instances of men saying things like: "Just let me do the hard work, you just sing your little songs," and, "I’ll give you everything you’ve wanted, but baby nothing comes for free."

"I'll give you everything you've wanted, but baby nothing comes for free."

The song starts off slow and fairly vocal-based, highlighting Zinadelphia's grainy Amy Winehouse-esque tone with a folky intermittent guitar strumming and drum combo that mirrors an old western movie soundtrack.

When we hit the iconic chorus that I, personally, had heard all over my For You Page, Zinadelphia makes her first genre subversion by adding horns into the instrumental mix, switching the vibe from folky to old jazz. She demonstrates her flawless transitions from chest to head voice and showcases her powerful lyricism, making tonal changes that were pleasant surprises to those who were used to the way the chorus was presented in the teasers.

"Boy that's a lot of loud talk, you want a girl not a woman."

The line that introduces the chorus is my favorite of the entire song: "boy that's a lot of loud talk, you want a girl not a woman," and helps express the storyline of being a strong woman who refuses to succumb to the uncomfortable advances of men in the industry for fame. She fiercely strikes back at these men, claiming her power back by stating that she will be the one that writes her own story, not anyone else. The impactful lyric, "why do I have to be saved to be great?" appears on the cover art of the track, which is a fantastic summarizer for the song's lyrical content.

"Why do I have to be saved to be great?"

Citing Gloria Gaynor's "I Will Survive" as an inspiration to this song via her TikTok, "Love Over Glory" really picks up around the one minute and forty second mark, keeping the same intensity emotionally but heightening the use of various instrumentals and a faster tempo. I can definitely see the disco vibe of "I Will Survive" clearly exemplified in the latter half of the song, with fantastical horn use and jazzy drums. One of Zinadelphia's strong suits is finding a way to not only meld different genres together simultaneously with instrumental use, but also to have two separate genres represented in a song independently with an innovative transition between one another.

Zinadelphia's unique and beautiful vocal tone is an advantage throughout 90% of the song, particularly during the sections that don't have such a powerful instrumental, but the other 10% combined with the boisterous backing track unfortunately makes it a bit hard to understand what she's saying and muddles the powerful lyrics. However, the instrumental is such a highlight that it doesn't take away from the track, although some of the descriptive lyricism can only be understood when the song is listened to a few times.

When I listened to "Love Over Glory" for the first time, I genuinely gasped out loud. I am in love with this track not only for it's incredible instrumental and vocals, but also for its important message. I am beyond excited to see Zinadelphia grow into an even bigger artist, and I encourage you to check out her other songs, too.

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