Album Review: “SweetSexySavage” by Kehlani

Kehlani's debut studio album, "SweetSexySavage," was released by Atlantic Records on Jan. 27. (Photo: Genius.com)
Kehlani’s debut studio album, “SweetSexySavage,” was released by Atlantic Records on Jan. 27. (Photo: Genius.com)

WRITTEN BY: JANELLE WHARTON

Kehlani is a 21-year old star on the rise in the music industry. With a series of two widely known mixtapes and a Grammy nomination in 2016, the San Francisco songstress has been gaining momentum with the release of her first studio album, “SweetSexySavage.” Released on Jan. 27, the 19-track record embodies all three of these adjectives. The R&B singer takes you through a journey of failed love, self-discovery, and self-reflection with 90’s R&B inspired sounds flowing from song to song.

The spoken word on Kehlani’s first track, “Intro,” prepares listeners for the storytelling method  she uses throughout the rest of the album. This poem, performed by Reyna Biddy, reads, “I’m a super woman, and some days, I’m an angry woman, and some days I’m a crazy woman, for still waiting, for still loving harder even if I’m aching, for still trusting that I’m still worth the most, for still searching for someone to understand me better.”

Over the course of the album, Kehlani takes the listener through her journey, highlighting her struggles before becoming famous,  in tracks like “Not Used to It.” The artist also touches on letting go of toxic relationships in “Advice,” and embraces her rebellious side on the wavy single “Do you Dirty.”  

Fan favorites such as “Crazy,” “Distraction,” and her bonus track “Gangsta” are also included in the mix. Through this album, Kehlani is establishing herself as a unique artist, after spending her early career being compared to prominent R&B artists such as Brandy, Rihanna, and the late Aaliyah.

Overall, “SweetSexySavage” seems to be the start of a very promising career for Kehlani, separating her from her beginnings on “America’s Got Talent.” Through her struggles, both public and private, Kehlani has mastered the art of being fearless. “SweetSexySavage” shows that the up and coming artist is making music that encompasses what it means to be unapologetic.

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