- Category: Volume 88 (Fall 2016 - Spring 2017)
- Published: 08 February 2017
- Written by AYSE YASAS | CONTRIBUTING WRITER
On Jan. 27, Kehlani Parrish dropped her first full length studio album. For fans that have been following her since her appearance on America’s Got Talent in 2011 with girl group, PopLyfe, they know that this has been a long time coming. A lot has been accomplished since then and Kehlani was even nominated for a Grammy for her mixtape “You Should Be Here,” despite the fact that it was a free mixtape on SoundCloud. She was also featured on the Emmy- nominated Suicide Squad soundtrack with her song, “Gangsta.” So it’s incredible to see how much she accomplished before she even had an album out.
If this album isn’t beautifully feminine, honest, nostalgic, empowering, old school and real R&B, then I don’t know what is. As a female listening to these songs, they make me unapologetically proud to be a woman. “Intro” is a poem read by Reyna Biddy and she refers to herself as a “superwoman,” “angry woman” and “crazy woman.” Perfectly describing the several layers that comes with being a woman which is what this record is all about.
Other songs like “Keep On” and “Too Much” completely go against the female stereotype. They’re all about being a heartbreaker and being too strong and powerful for someone to handle. If you’re a lady and a player, “Do U Dirty” might be your new anthem. Instead of only songs about heartbreak and sadness after a breakup that you’re used to hearing a woman sing, Kehlani’s lyrics give you the sense that she’s the one that’s causing the heartbreak. She’s the one in control because she’s ‘too much of a woman/too much of a boss.’
Although, “Piece of Mind” and “Hold Me by the Heart” shows that this boss lady still has a soft side. “Everything is Yours” is so raw and about giving up and giving yourself completely to another person, showing the different levels that come with being a powerful woman with a loving heart.
If you thought there weren’t any more sides to Kehlani, think again. “Get Like” makes you smile and shows the cute and sexy side to this superwoman. When you listen to “Undercover” you can’t help but want to dance in your seat because you can’t help but have fun. These tunes are catchy and the feel good vibes you get from the songs are infectious.
If you watched the music video to “Distraction”, it’s pretty obvious that Kehlani pays homage to Destiny’s Child “Say My Name.” Throughout this whole album, the 90’s and early 2000’s R&B influence is very prevalent. The title of the album is also reminiscent of TLC’s album, CrazySexyCool. And of course, this album wouldn’t have felt complete without a little touch of Aaliyah. The beginning of “Advice” reminds you of “Try Again” and makes your heart happy.
One of the last songs on the album is “Thank You.” It’s a letter to everyone who has supported her and her career. She wrote and released her music in times of depression and homelessness which makes her successes all the more special. In this song, she’s honest and genuine about her growth and strength that she found on her journey. It’s heartwarming to see an artist show such gratitude to the fans, and Kehlani definitely makes her supporters know how much she appreciates them.
Overall, this album is a wonderful work of art that shows a sweet and fun side to miss Kehlani Parrish. This is the album you listen to you when you’re lounging at home, blasting it as you casually dance around your room. It’s the perfect record to chill out and have a good time and also makes for a great sing-along.
Looking at all of Kehlani’s releases, Cloud 19 being her first mixtape that put her on the map and showed her vocal talent. “You Should Be Here” was poetic and showed the R&B world that she knew how to write. Now we have SweetSexySavage that shows where she lets loose and has fun all while still being a boss.
image taken from www.billboard.com