If you’ve been listening to the radio then you’ve probably heard,
“I don’t need you, I don’t need you, I don’t need you, I don’t need you, but I want you”, if you have then you’ve heard this spiritual songstress Jhene Aiko.
Aiko’s single “The Worst” for her debut EP, Sail Out seemed to be everyone’s favorite summer song. And that’s understandable.
You can feel Aiko’s free-spirited, humble, “I’m sweet but don’t mess with me” vibe in every song she has been creating.
In her debut album, Souled Out which was released this past Tuesday (September 9th), Aiko lets us know,
“You are a soul with a body and not a body with a soul” and to stay true to ourselves, she says this in her
behind the scenes documentary for Souled Out.
See it here
Souled Out is a theme connecting to her 2011 mixtape, Sailing Souls, and her 2013 EP, Sail Out.
‘Souled’ is a play on words, putting the idea of ‘soul’ and ‘sold’ together, Aiko explains this concept in the behind the scenes documentary [link above].
You can expect love, heart break, the I love you’s, the I hate you’s,
and everything that’s real from Jhene Aiko’s Souled Out.
1. Limbo Limbo Limbo
Jhene sings a story of a girl that has been living her life for a guy that she was in love with but is now trying to find her way in life without him. That’s what I got from her words on this futuristic song. B+
This track takes you in as soon as it begins. “Life only gets harder but you gotta get stronger” Jhene lifts us up by reminding us that although things can get tough we need to keep on smiling through it all. Great advice Jhene. A+
3. To Love & Die ft. Cocaine 80s
The ride or die love, Jhene and Cocaine 80s live for the love and die for it too. With her vocals and you’ll want to live for the love as well. A+
4. Spotless Mind
Coming in with an acoustic guitar you know this song will warm your heart. Although she sings of two people parting because they can’t stay in a committed relationship. She’s a wanderer who jumps from one guy to the next, at the start of the song, Jhene sings, “Change is inevitable, why hold on to what you have to let go of?” and at the end sings, “Shame on me for changing, no shame on you for staying the same”. She still makes you feel cool vibes like everything’s alright. A+
5. It’s Cool
Is that Cocaine 80s singer, James Fauntleroy in the background? Possibly, probably so. On this cool track, Jhene speaks of a love that she’s well “cool” with not being official, its all on him, all she knows is that she’s deeply in love. Because “even nothing is something”. A-
6. Lyin King
You know that guy that could have had it all but messed up because he doesn’t know how to treat a woman? Yeah, he’s that ‘Lyin King’ (King of lying, ha get it?). “I wish your mother, loved you like I could’ve, that way you would know how to love a woman” she only speaks the truth. Straight to the point. A-
An ocean tide sweeps in, as feelings do too. There’s that one you want, but doesn’t really notice you. Just like in the ocean she walks through the motions, waiting or “wading” for him. B+
8. The Pressure
That famous line, “Have you seen my f*cks to give? I have none…” very relevant, once again Jhene tells it like it is. Explaining the pressure of staying in a relationship that is no longer healthy for you but you still have feelings for them and vice versa. “But it’s really out of my control, the way you feel is not my problem, I don’t want to see you go but I don’t have time to solve this”. A+
A heart once broken, it now takes bravery (or some crazy) for this one to love her. In “Brave” Jhene warns this lucky man that if he’s going to be with her, he has to be one tough cookie. A+
10. Eternal Sunshine
A piano, Jhene’s soft voice, honest lyrics. Sweet memories she recalls, only the good things (this song will be on here for sure). A feel good song. A+
11. Promises ft. Miyagi & Namiko
The voices of her late brother, Miyagi and her daughter Namiko (or Nami) fill our hearts. A tear jerker this song can be, Jhene tells her daughter to promise that she’ll be alright if anything is to ever happen to her. With Jhene being the performer she is, she sings the struggle it can be to be away from Namiko. In response, Namiko herself sings “Promise I’ll be alright”. The second verse, Jhene makes a promise to her brother, that although he is no longer here, for him she promises she, “won’t do nothin’ crazy”. A+
12. Pretty Birds ft. Common
Two poetic minds come together for “Pretty Birds”. What exactly do they mean by “pretty bird”? Jhene talks to us in the first verse, “She had just self expressed herself to death, now nothings left…nothingness”. Towards the end of the song Common raps, putting it all into to perspective, “I’ve seen the strongest of them be torn from men, ripped apart and put back together, them the ones with the most beautiful feathers”. A+
A sweet sound, not just her voice but the lyrics, the guitar, everything. As beautiful as this may sound, she throws some jabs in between the melody, “You’s a sucka a**, busta a**, If they ask tell them that, I ain’t mad, I’m just sad it never worked out, Now you coming back, second chance f*ck all that”. Wow. If he didn’t know, now he knows. A+
14. Blue Dream
Expect the song to be just what you expected from the title. “My afternoon dream when the world is speedin’, I am still sleepin’, In my blue dream and I know the meaning for all the seasons, you are the reason, my love”. A love like a dream. A+
A love from many places, many perspectives. From broken wings to blue dreams. Aiko sings poetry. This album I give an overall A+.
If you have yet to hear Souled Out, go listen to it now!