Album Review: Kehlani 'You Should Be Here'
Thu, 07 May 2015 16:30:29
Bay Area soul siren makes a strong early play for R&B Album of the Year with the prelude to her Atlantic Records debut…
Kehlani takes R&B to a new stratosphere on You Should Be Here [Tsunami Mob]. Out now, it became this week's #1 R&B debut, reaching the top of the iTunes R&B/Soul chart and #2 on the Overall Albums and Current R&B Albums charts organically. Last year's Cloud 19 project first introduced listeners to the Bay Area native's undeniable soundscape, but You Should Be Here augments and expands that ethereal experience immensely, reaching utterly divine heights in the process. This all lays a solid framework for her forthcoming Atlantic Records debut set for later this year. However, just bask in the glory that is You Should Be Here first. It's a strong enough play for "R&B Album of the Year" on its own.
The production is a lithe mix of spacey sonic textures, finger snaps, and drippy soul-soaked moments. It's as if the album paints a musical portrait in brushstrokes of eras. There are passages that could've sprung right out of the nineties on "Yet," while "How That Taste" and "Wanted," with its distinct heart, feel like tomorrow. It takes her voice to really breathe life into everything though.
After a sweetly somber conversation with her grandfather, the phenomenal title track announces why "You should be here," if you've been part of her tumultuous ride thus far. "The Way" brings her together with Chance the Rapper for a wild, weird, and wonderful love song that's as psychedelically delicate as it is sensually charged.
Listen to "The Way"