The opening of “Souled Out” sounds like a drug infused dream and I imagine myself slowing falling out of the sky colliding with clouds along the way. This dreamy sound isn’t too far of a departure from Aiko’s previous efforts (Sailing Soul(s), Sail Out) and I like that she opened with something I could instantly fall in love with.
Jhene Aiko has been on my radar since I heard her mixtape Sailing Soul(s) and the wait for her debut album “Souled Out” has been torture but now that its out I can say that Aiko definitely didn’t disappoint fans of her previous work.
Songs like “Limbo Limbo Limbo”, “W.A.Y.S”, “Spotless Mind” and “Lyin King” are her signature sound and it was easy to vibe along with them. It’s hard not fall in love with Aiko hippy tendencies when you hear the positivity radiating from “W.A.Y.S”
If there’s one thing that I learned
While in those county lines
It’s that everything takes time
You have gotta lose your pride
You have gotta lose your mind
Just to find your peace of mind
You have got to trust the signs
Everything will turn out fine
After that track one of her singles “To Live And Die” comes on which I have to admit I wasn’t a huge fan of when it first came out but its appearance on the album gives “Souled Out” some variety and changes the mood of the record with the mid-tempo beat. The flow of the record prevents it from getting bland and Jhene sounds best when she’s telling her love that she doesn’t need him and its hard to be with someone who can’t handle the truth “Have you seen my fucks to give?
I have none, I cannot live with the pressure…”
Hearing her collaboration with her daughter Namiko on “Promises” is sweet but I don’t see myself going to the track when I’m not listening to the album from track to track. Its interesting to hear Jhene Aiko freestyle on “Pretty Bird” but I think of her other freestyle “Comfort Inn Ending” and wish I could hear the second part to that song. The album ends on a slow note with “Remember” and the finished version of “My Afternoon Dream” which became “Blue Dream”
“Souled Out” is a solid debut album from an artist that I feel hasn’t even reached the peak of her singing and writing ability. This album will definitely be on repeat for awhile (I still have to go back to Sail Out from time to time). With a couple hit singles and a growing fanbase, I don’t see Jhene Aiko going anywhere but higher.
Sail out with Jhene Aiko tomorrow and let me know if “Souled Out” was worth the wait.
Standouts: W.A.Y.S, Lyin King, Spotless Mind, The Pressure, Wading