Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Album Review | Souled Out - Jhene Aiko

At first listen, I wasn't an immediate fan of Jhene Aiko's latest release, Souled Out.  However, I was open to giving it another chance, because I have always been a fan of her music. It was then, on second listen, I realized what I was missing. It certainly didn't take long for me to grow in love with this compilation. 

Always hard to choose, but my favorite tracks are:
It's Cool, 
Blue Dream, T
o Love & Die (ft. Cocaine  80's) and, last but not least,
Promises (ft. Namiko-her daughter & Miyagi).

I really like the use of metaphor in Blue Dream and the bliss that resounds through W.A.Y.S., an acronym for Why Aren't You Smiling.  For some reason I can't pinpoint,  To Love & Die reminds me of the late Tupac, or something that he would be featured on if he were alive. Hearing little Nami's voice on Promises is absolutely adorable, I love that song, not only because I'm just a sucker for family oriented tunes, but the lyrics are what I'd sing to my child, if I had one. 

This album is a true gem, not hidden in the debris of trying too hard to be relevant in mainstream music.  Initially, I was too sleepy to really take it all in, therefore, it easily felt like a lullaby. Her beautiful, angelic voice flows so smoothly through every track and it's so easy to get lost in.  Despite calm being the signature of her melodies, she's evolved so much as an artist and it definitely shows on this album.  Jhene's songwriting were able to create stories in each track, each bleeding with a different life experience to portray love and heartbreak; struggle, and triumph. With No I.D. and the production team behind this LP, the final creation was flawless.

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