Tate McRae – THINK LATER

4.5

Tate McRae’s sophomore album, THINK LATER, is here and she’s so much over the sad girl era that she’s even poking fun at it; “Sad girl bit got a little boring.” There are a lot of themes spread across its 14 songs that it feel like a complete journey that takes you from one end of the relationship spectrum to the other, and it’s all made more interesting with catchy lines and dance-worthy beats.

This McRae era is confident – confident as in she knows what she wants and she makes moves to get it. The album kicks off with a song – “cut my hair” – that may well be the polar opposite of “she’s all i wanna be.” In the track, she sings, “she’s got everything that I don’t have / how could I ever compete with that?” The new one sees her singing, “Just wanna cut my hair, little black dress / Can’t forget/Just wanna show you whatever she do / I can do it better.” 

The following single, “greedy,” sees her put on a more self-assured role as she promises, “I would want myself / Baby, please believe me.” “greedy” took McRae places she’d never been to before, and I mean right at the top of the Billboard Global 200.

Co-executive produced by Ryan Tedder, the album was promoted with singles “greedy” and “exes.” And while the McRae promotional formula – TikTok push, catchy lines, exotic dance routine – don’t always work, it did work for Think Later’s singles.

As McRae herself says, the songs are often an extreme version of herself and her emotions, and they do not represent her or any other person she knows. This sentiment shines through in most of the songs, more so in “guilty conscience,” which sees her sing, “Waist deep in the mess you started (Ayy) / ‘Cause I need you, darlin’ / Is that wrong? (Na-na) / All my morals shot, even that don’t faze me / Lovin’ you batshit crazy / Kinda reckless lately.” So every once in a while throughout the album, we get glimpses of hardcore lover McRae.

While the album mostly dwells on relationships, the lyrics have a hard time portraying McRae as a romantic, at the very least not Taylor Swift-grade romantic. She’s more of a sporty lover than anything else, remember “greedy” and “exes?”

When it comes to the new generation of popstars – yes I mean Olivia Rodrigo and Billie Eilish – McRae’s got a sort of an upper hand: she knows how to make a good beat work so well on the dance floor. She’s the whole package; the perfect definition of what a performer ought to be. She knows it and she’s making it work for her.

Speaking on the album, Tate says, “After freshly turning 20, when I began to zoom out and reflect on the relationships and situations in my life, I realized that a common thread was that I had been living and making decisions much more spontaneously and way less with my head for the past year. This album represents the feelings of falling in love, feeling glimpses of obsession, missing the signs, and feeling the repercussions. I really wanted to lean into a more pop leaning sound, and approach my writing from a way more playful and curious place. I was able to make this album with a few people I admire so much, and cannot be more grateful.”

If you want confidence-boosting songs that you can dance and sing to like no one’s watching you, McRae’s THINK LATER will well satisfy that craving.