Doja Cat cements her legendary status with third studio album, “Planet Her”

Doja Cat releases new album “Planet Her,” featuring pop/R&B tracks about love, lust and loss, with SZA, The Weeknd, Ariana Grande, Young Thug and JID as guest artists.

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Doja Cat’s “Planet Her” is available to stream wherever you get your music. (Spotify)

David Cohen, Staff Writer

After a two-year hiatus, the iconic singer and rapper Doja Cat returned June 25 with her third studio album, “Planet Her,” an R&B/pop collection infused with hip-hop and Latin elements. The album is the perfect addition to your summer, featuring sensual songs about lust that will have you dancing, but also poignant, introspective songs on loneliness. With numerous Billboard hits and music awards to its name, Doja Cat’s “Planet Her” secures her legendary status as a rapidly growing artist.

Here’s a rundown of the album’s 14 tracks:

“Woman”

With a lively Latin style beat and a whispery, mysterious tone, Doja captivates us almost instantly as she sings about the beauty of her body and her power. Her soft tone contrasts nicely with her raspy rap voice during verses, fluctuating between passionate and fierce. She entices us, singing “Let me be your woman,” but she also holds her ground that she is her own person, rapping “Gotta prove it to myself that I’m on top…/ …you will never know a god without the goddesses.” After breaking up with indie artist Johnny Utah a few months ago, Doja may be using this song as a means to boost her confidence about finding love again.

“Naked”

In this track, Doja proves her versatility once again, interweaving a sultry rap verse into an otherwise playful song about wanting to hook up with a boy. The song takes on a fast pace with a rhythmic style similar to “Woman,” but more soft and delicate, with subtle bells layered in the background.

“Payday” (feat. Young Thug)”

Despite her growing success, Doja reminds us how humble she actually is in this track, singing about how she already has what she wants and is willing to share her wealth with people she cares about: “All this money on me/ It don’t mean a thing/ See it in your dreams while I spend it all on my team.” The song takes on a more serene vibe here, with Doja showcasing her powerful, raspy tone and her smooth, heady voice on top of a harp-infused instrumental beat. Young Thug echoes Doja’s tone perfectly too, not only singing in the same gentle, whispery tone, but in the same key as well.

“Get Into it (Yuh)”

With a cartoonish, laughing tone, Doja raps fast on this track with muffled mallets playing in the background. She has fun with rhyming schemes, using the phrase “Get into it” in almost every possible context and commanding people to respect her. Her enunciation here heavily resembles Nicki Minaj’s style, and Doja even praises Nicki at the end of the song, commemorating the artist she has claimed is her biggest role model in music.

“Need to Know”

Similar to “Naked,” Doja expresses her fantasies and desires in this track, sexualizing her body in the hope of catching another person’s intentions. She doesn’t hold back in being very direct about what she wants, and after some unfilling relationships, who can blame her for wanting more? While she fluctuates between rapping fast and singing slow, her vocals drive the song as an R&B beat plays in the background with gentle chords to accompany it.

“I Don’t Do Drugs (feat. Ariana Grande)”

While Doja keeps the subjects of her songs mostly ambiguous, she doesn’t hesitate to reflect on the challenging parts of love. In this song, she sings about finding someone and wanting to stay with them even though they might not be good for her: “Love got me f*cked up/ Had to give in, couldn’t give up/ I just want you, but I don’t do drugs.” She draws a creative parallel here, between the struggles that a drug user might face in letting go of bad habits and the way a lovestruck person might navigate toxic behavior. Though the song is objectively melancholy, both Doja and Ariana feature the gentle soft parts of their voices, singing and harmonizing in various rhythmic styles as a smooth beat underlies the music.

“Love to Dream”

Taking on a different perspective about love, Doja sings about reminiscing over the times she spent with an ex-partner in this track, and being in disbelief that they are really gone. She sings over an electric guitar refrain here, expressing vulnerability through her voice, although the beat itself is more calming. Though it’s not clear who she might be referring to, one thing is certain: Doja has experienced all kinds of heartbreak, and music is her way to tell those stories.

“You Right”

Adding another complicated story of relationships into her repertoire, here Doja sings about being with a man but wanting to be with someone else who is also in a relationship. She sings, “I got a man, but want you/ … I try to hide it in my face/ And it don’t work, you see through,” expressing how passionate she is to engage with someone else. The Weeknd plays the role of the secret man here, and the connection between them is accentuated by how perfectly their voices line up in harmony.

“Been Like This”

Reminiscent of “Streets” from her album “Hot Pink,” Doja sings peacefully over a calm, slow beat in this song. With her high falsetto range showcased near the end of the track, she keeps the music mellow and serene, though the lyrics suggest otherwise. Here, Doja sings about how someone she loved and gave her all to started changing for the worse, and she no longer felt happy. While she blesses his heart, she affirms that she can’t live the way she’s been living with him, wanting to get out of the affair. The song ends abruptly before transitioning into the next track, almost suggesting the pain she is experiencing had to end, whether respectfully or not.

“Options (feat. JID)”

Sexual desire appears to cement itself as a theme for this album, as Doja once again sings about wanting to spend the night with someone. Her vocals are very powerful on this track, echoing well with her alluring intentions. However, unlike in “You Right,” where she expresses hesitation over infidelity, she is more bold about it in this song, singing “I don’t need lovin’, late-night cuffin’/ …We know we both got options.” With JID’s soft vocals coming later in the song and muffled flute melodies playing throughout, this song introduces smooth, relaxing vibes.

“Ain’t Shit”

After singing about wanting to engage in hookups, Doja introduces her more independent side here, rapping and singing along with a slow drum beat about the various ways men have dissatisfied her. From feeling used for sex to freeloading on rent and food, she isn’t allowing herself to be taken advantage of and is not afraid to point out anyone’s faults. With her sharp vocals in the beginning of the song and cartoonish high-pitched tone later on, she meshes the perfect balance of seriousness and comedic effect to show how ridiculously some people have treated her.

“Imagine”

The upbeat R&B bass vibes are heavy in this track, with Doja featuring her vocal dexterity by changing between a sweet and sharp tone in the choruses and verses. She appears celebratory, singing “Put the studio in the mansion … all this work paid off.” After winning three Grammys and buying a fancy home in Beverly Hills, who wouldn’t want to praise their own success?

“Alone”

With electric guitar riffs and layered vocals embedded throughout the song, the pop artist’s production skills shine through here. Doja truly knows how to craft a song about broken love in a way that sounds genuine and relaxing. She sings, “I ain’t wanna share my dreams when it involves you…  but bein’ lonely better than ‘needs control’… is it crazy I’m not scared to be alone?” While fans haven’t yet speculated if she is referring to a certain person, Doja knows what she wants, and she isn’t going to settle for anything less.

“Kiss Me More (feat. SZA)”

The album closes off with its lead single, the infamous pop-rap duet that continues to dominate at the top of the Billboard charts. While the previous songs in the album often featured something unfortunate or desirable related to love and lust, this song is more uplifting and playful, with a fast-paced beat driving the energy. SZA’s sing-rap style blends beautifully with Doja’s, and with a driving electric guitar melody playing in the background, this song is sure to have you dancing wherever you are.