By Courtney White
Kehlani Parrish, a 21-year-old Oakland native better known as Kehlani, first gained mainstream attention with the release of her Grammy-nominated mixtape titled “You Should Be Here“. On January 27th, she released her first album, “SweetSexySavage”.
Throughout the album, Kehlani goes back and forth through love, heartbreaks, and self-awareness. The album opens up with a poetic declaration (“Intro,” recited by Reyna Biddy).
Less impactful, the album then transcends into a pop-ish, upbeat track called “Keep On” about a lover who continues to take her back despite her not reciprocating the her partner’s love. “Distraction” gives listeners a somewhat Brandy vibe as she explains her stipulations for being in a no-strings-attached relationship. This song happens to be one of my personal favorites because Brandy is one of my favorite singers.
Another standout from the album is the track “CRZY”. The song’s opening line sets the tone of the track, “Everything I do, I do it with a passion. If I gotta be a b—-, I’ma be a bad one.” This line alone proved this track would be one of the strongest on the album.
In “Too Much”, she implies that a relationship with an ex lover ended because her lover couldn’t handle her. The track has an early 00’s tone and is similar to R&B singer Aaliyah’s “More Than a Woman.” This track gave me a sense of nostalgia as it reminds me of all of my favorite R&B and Pop singers growing up.
A track titled “In My Feelings” opens with a sample from R&B group New Edition’s song “If It Isn’t Love”. Kind of opposite of her track “Keep On”, she describes a relationship where she loves her partner despite his faults. She sings, “why do I let you give me half then give you my all?” This keeps her “in her feelings.” This notion is very recurring in R&B music so this song perfectly embodies the blues part of R&B.
Upon first listen, the redundancy of many of the tracks was overbearing. As I listened more than once, the tracks differentiate from one another and it makes the album a decent listen. Listeners of Kehlani will appreciate the album because it is fairly similar to her popular mixtape. Those who have not listened to Kehlani can easily appreciate the material if a fan of R&B and pop music.
With the release of her album, Kehlani is set to start her 60 date SweetSexySavage tour Feb. 21 in Montreal, Canada. Her tour dates in Texas will be Dallas (May 19th), Houston (May 21st), Austin (May 24th) and San Antonio (May 25th).