Jhené Aiko “Souled Out” Album Review – 5 out of 5 stars
Thu, 04 Sep 2014 09:53:06
Some albums take you on a journey. They bring you to a place that you often don’t want to come back from. They lift you up emotionally, mentally, sometimes physically, and always spiritually. It’s these kinds of records that pop culture needs more of. They’re the pieces that can change the world. They bring inspiration and even a little hope. Now, Souled Out is one of those albums. Jhené Aiko’s first full-length album remains an opus in its own right. It’s expansive, endearing, and enigmatic, fusing alternative psychedelica, classic R&B skill, hip-hop swagger, and an undeniable aura of its own into something truly timeless.
"Limbo Limbo Limbo" opens up the gates as her lithe vocals immediately transfix. For the rest of the ride, you’re wrapped in her embrace whether it’s the uplifting energy of "W.A.Y.S." or the stark poetry of "To Love & Die", which encompasses a killer cameo from Cocaine 80s. Souled Out unfolds like a movie from the dips into darkness like “Lyin King” back up to the bliss of “Eternal Sunshine” and the questions of promises. Throughout the production is nothing short of rapturous outshined only by Aiko’s inimitable voice, soulful delivery, and raw emotionality. You’ll feel that on “Blue Dream”, and you won’t want to wake up from it. Common drops by on “Pretty Bird”, and it’s an important guest spot in an album that mostly sees AIko performing solo.
Still, everyone’s playing in her sandbox. Remember throughout the whole journey this Aiko’s ride. You’re going to want to take this trip as many times as possible. This declares that she’s here forever as one of music’s most important voices bringing it one of 2014’s best albums.
What’s your favorite Jhené Aiko song?