Kehlani, also referred to as “Lani Tsunami,” happens to be exactly that — a force of nature. The 21-year-old R&B siren puts fans in a auditory trance with tunes on her highly anticipated major-label album.
SweetSexySavage is Kehlani’s shining, artistic moment — evidenced by the time she took with this project. In a time where artists are flooding the music scene with sub-par music, Kehlani understands quality will always beat quantity.
Kehlani keeps listeners engaged from the beginning to the end of her album. At the start of the album, the Oakland, California native uses poetic, spoken word (read by Reyna Biddy) to set the tone for the rest of the sonic experience. In her intro, she says, “I am a super woman/And some days I am an angry woman/And some days I am a crazy woman,” which convey the message of the album: Being incredible and owning flaws is what Kehlani is boasting.
The first song, “Keep On,” boasts the artist’s savage and relatable sides. She explains the feeling of being a person in a situation that is giving their all, but somehow ends up in the arms of an “it’s complicated” situation.
She keeps the savagery going in other songs like “CRZY” and “Personal,” where she even manages to throw a line at her ex, PartyNextDoor. She uses her raspy, feathery voice to show the world she may be cute, but she’s not to be trifled with.
One thing Kehlani does well is take control. Not only is she doing something unorthodox in having no features on her album (especially as a female artist), but she turns her flaws into statements of power, too.
She says “so what” if she falls in love and things don’t work out; love is a powerful emotion and, on this album, she knows how to harness that power.
Perhaps the most eclectic track on the record is “In My Feelings.” The radio-ready song is a stand out and masterfully exhibits the common feeling of being into someone but never knowing why you stay with them.
To add contrast, Kehlani thoughtfully incorporates slower, sultry songs into her album such as “Used To It” and “Everything Is Yours” to convey the vulnerable and sweet side of the tatted artist.
The album is organic and naturally persuades someone to listen from start to finish. The best thing about Kehlani is the listener connections she establishes.
Kehlani is a person and she shows that throughout the project. The music is meant to make you feel good and she uses her dynamic voice to tell her story.
Not many artists do this, but she wraps up her album with “Thank You,” a beautiful song for fans and supporters that have been there for her since she was a finalist on America’s Got Talent.
This album is for the girl who didn’t think she was enough; it’s for every girl who made a few mistakes here and there and anyone that has been in a relationship and messed up. SweetSexySavage is a journey that anyone should take.
– Brandon Fields