Listening to Jhené Aiko is like opening a bottle of wine with your best friend and having a conversation that’s strictly between the two of you. It’s intimate, real, honest and completely unreserved. You go through a lot of emotions but at the end you ultimately feel great.
During ‘Souled Out’ we hear all about love and heartache in its various forms. Jhené reveals heartbreaks and being mistreated by men in songs like ‘Limbo Limbo Limbo,’ ‘Lyin King’ and ‘The Pressure.’ She slams the men that hurt her by swinging some serious punches underneath those sweet sounding vocals of hers with lines like “Mr Serial Lover/ I wish your mother loved you like I could’ve/ That way you would’ve known how to love a woman.”
Possibly one of her best tracks to date and definitely the most sweetest and honest on ‘Souled Out’ comes in the form of ‘Promises’ which features vocals from Jhené’s daughter Namiko. It’s a conversation between the two where Jhené admits to finding it difficult to be a mother and an entertainer. She also dedicates the track to her brother Miyagi who passed away from cancer a few years ago. It’s a beautiful track full of love and reassurance that’s well worth the listen. Just like ‘Promises,’ ‘W.A.Y.S’ relies on the personal to draw the listener in and asks “Why Aren’t You Smiling”.
Jhené Aiko set a pretty high bar for herself in terms of what her debut album should sound like. While there are times where the songs tend to blend into one another that doesn’t take away from the real gems that appear on this LP. ‘Souled Out’ is therapeutic in ways as lyrically and sonically everything works to make it one of those albums you’ll find yourself going back to again and again – like that conversation with your best friend.
Check out the video to ‘The Pressure’ below and let us know what you think of Jhené AIko’s music in the comment section below.