"Hitting the Right Notes: Exploring 'Come Thru' by Summer Walker feat. Usher"
When Summer Walker's debut album "Over It" dropped in 2019, it quickly proved to be a game-changer in R&B, showcasing the Atlanta singer's talent for blending vulnerability, sensuality, and sassiness with modern production and guest appearances by fellow stars. One of the standout tracks on the record is "Come Thru," a slow-burning duet with Usher that samples his own classic hit "You Make Me Wanna..." and expands on its theme of longing for an ex-lover. In this article, we'll take a deep dive into the music, lyrics, and context of "Come Thru," from its origins to its impact.
History and Collaborators
"Come Thru" was produced by the duo of Boi-1da and Vinylz, who have worked with global icons such as Drake, Rihanna, Kendrick Lamar, and Beyoncé. They took the "You Make Me Wanna..." riff, played on a Yamaha DX7 synthesizer, and slowed it down to create a haunting melody that floats over sparse drums, gentle guitar licks, and atmospheric pads. The result is a hypnotic atmosphere that captures the mood of late-night reflection and desire.
The lyrics of "Come Thru" were written by Summer Walker, Usher, and their co-writers, including Brandon Hodge, Akeasha Boodie, and J-Louis. They switch between Walker's sultry whispers and Usher's smooth crooning, with each artist confessing their thoughts and feelings about a former flame that they can't shake off. The song plays with gender stereotypes and power dynamics, as Walker assumes the role of the pursuing lover who wants to hookup, while Usher plays the hesitant response who worries about the consequences of rekindling the flame.
Themes and Techniques
At the heart of "Come Thru" lies the theme of nostalgia, which is echoed in both the music and lyrics. The use of a sample from an early 2000s hit creates a sense of deja vu and recognition, while the lyrics reminisce about a past relationship that was explosive but left scars. Walker sings: "Used to lay up and then stay up / Had sex and then blow dank / I shouldn't have rolled, tried to hold back / But I'm falling right back." Usher responds: "I know I sound crazy / But I think you could be the love of my life / I know it's supposed to be wrong / But I'm so in love with you."
The song's structure is simple yet effective, with a single verse that repeats twice, followed by a chorus that the two voices sing together, and then a bridge that reveals more vulnerability. The chorus contains the most memorable lines, as Usher sings: "If it's meant, then it's gon' be / And I'm tired of controlling / That's when you come / Come through, ooh, ooh." The repetition of the phrase "come through" reinforces the urgency and hope in the singers' plea for a second chance.
The use of falsetto, vibrato, and ad-libs further enhances the emotional impact of the vocals. Usher's falsetto on the line "And my intentions are never to hurt you" is a highlight, while Walker's breathy delivery of "Rather lock eyes 'cause we're grown" adds intimacy. The ad-libs that Usher and Walker sprinkle throughout the song, such as "Ooh, ooh" and "Got me saying aye," provide extra layers of expression and spontaneity.
Impact and Reception
"Come Thru" has been praised by critics and fans alike for its smooth execution, sultry vibe, and nostalgic appeal. It has amassed over 200 million streams on Spotify alone, making it one of the most popular tracks from "Over It" and a staple in R&B playlists. The music video, directed by Lacey Duke, depicts Walker and Usher in a dimly lit house, with cameos by other singers such as Jhene Aiko and 6lack. It matches the song's mood and adds visual symbolism, such as the use of water and reflections.
In terms of context, "Come Thru" can be seen as part of a larger wave of R&B songs that blend old-school and new-school elements, building bridges between different generations and styles. It also highlights the importance of collaboration and creativity, as Walker and Usher bring their distinct voices and perspectives together to create something fresh and timeless.
"Come Thru" by Summer Walker feat. Usher is a prime example of how music can evoke emotions and memories through its sound and words. With its haunting melody, sensual vocals, and nostalgic lyrics, the song captures the essence of a bittersweet love that refuses to die. It showcases both artists' talents and expands the boundaries of R&B, while also paying homage to its roots. Whether you're a fan of the original "You Make Me Wanna..." or discovering "Come Thru" for the first time, you're sure to be blown away by its beauty and depth. So next time you're feeling a little lonely or wistful, just put on "Come Thru" and let it work its magic.