Back in 2014, Kehlani made a buzz when she released the Grammy nominated mixtape You Should be Here. Since then, the R&B diva has risen to superstardom -between a very public breakdown and an extremely successful bounce back, the Bay area singer has made a powerful debut with her well-received project SweetSexySavage. After releasing the singles “CRZY”, “Distraction” and “Gangsta”, Kehlani gave us a taste of what it means to be a “SweetSexySavage” while exploring a modern R&B sound. However, is Kehlani really a SweetSexySavage? And what about the music? Is the sound really as good as the hype?
SweetSexySavage opens up with a powerful message on the intro before diving into the R&B influenced “Keep On” which sets the pace for the entire album. After revisiting the smooth and sexy “Distraction”, Kehlani reflects on a past relationship on a vulnerable track titled “Piece of Mind”. Picking up the pace, Kehlani samples Akon’s “Don’t Matter” on a moody, attitude-stucken cut titled “Undercover”. After getting a little “CRZY”, Kehlani slows it down with “Personal” – a savaged-touched love letter to previous lovers and doubters. On the next track, my personal favorite, Kehlani reflects on her past experiences and relationships insuring she’s “Not Used To It”. The next tracks, “Everything Is Yours” and “Advice”, are the lowest points on the project finding Kehlani dealing with heartbreak and regret. Before getting too caught up in heartache, K reminds us she’s still a savage with an unapologetic track titled “Do U Dirty”. On the next track, Kehlani explores feelings associated with relationships in “Escape”,”Too Much”, “Get Like” and “In My Feelings”. While these songs aren’t stand out tracks on the album, they merge the “sweet”, “sexy” and “savage” while delivering smooth and soulful sounds that make “Baelani” a unique artist. The final track “Thank You” serves as an appropriate closing to the album as Kehlani thanks her supporters up to this point.
Kehlani’s SweetSexySavage challenges expectations in so many ways. Firstly, the album boasts the diversity of womanhood. Following a very powerful women’s movement in our society, Kehlani challenges what it means to be a strong woman. You can be soft and vulnerable while taking charge of your sexuality, and mistakes, all at the same time. Secondly, the sound of this project is something missing in the music industry today. Exploring R&B, soul and jazz genres while delivering that mainstream pop appeal is something that Kehlani does so effortlessly. And her voice is mesmerizing, adding to the complexity of this project. Overall, SweetSexySavage is a well-produced project that definitely sets the pace for a promising career for the ever so talented Kehlani! Check out SexySweetSavage below!
Kehlani – “Distraction”