The self-proclaimed lovechild of Sade, Dr Seuss and 2Pac, Jhené Aiko’s debut album is a slow-burning R&B record that grows with the listener over time.
While her ‘Sail Out’ EP of 2013 features four rappers across seven songs, for ‘Souled Out’ she mostly goes it alone, save for a few choice appearances from James Fauntleroy and a verse from Common.
Her very personal, almost rapper-like approach to writing and melody is at its best on the LP’s most emotional cuts. ‘W.A.Y.S’ sees her dealing with the passing of her brother, whose last tweet – “Why aren’t you smiling?” – is central to the lyrics, and ‘Promises’ sees her talking to him again, as well as her daughter, who joins in on the chorus.
Words: Grant Brydon
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Listen to ‘Souled Out’ in full via Deezer, below…