From mixed roots including Japanese, Spanish, and African American, Jhené Aiko is sweeping the R&B world by storm. Already nominated for three Grammys this year, including “Best Urban Contemporary Album” and “Best R&B Song” for her top 50 hit “The Worst,” Aiko has set a reputation for herself in a matter of months.
The best way to describe Aiko’s debut album Souled Out is in the title itself: soulful. Incredibly dynamic and complex, the album features songs that are introspective, dealing with love, heartbreak, and life in general.
Aiko begins the album with songs about personal relationships and the heartbreak that resulted from them. Aiko directs the lyrics of one of the songs, “Lyin King,” to someone who broke her heart, saying “hope you find comfort in all of the lies that you told.”
In another, “The Pressure,” Aiko details the pressures in a relationship and what those pressures entail. Later on in the album, Aiko sings about the loving aspect of a relationship in “Blue Dream.”
One of the most personal songs on the album is entitled “Promises,” and features both her late brother and daughter. In it Aiko directs a portion of the song towards her late brother, saying “Swear that I can still feel you here/I just can’t believe you’re not here,” providing insight into her feelings towards his death.
Aiko also features her young daughter Namiko in the song, asking her to promise that she will be alright, followed by her daughter’s childish voice saying, “Alright, promise I’ll be alright.”
This is not the first collection of music Aiko has released. In 2013, Aiko released an extended play titled “Sail Out,” which featured “The Worst,” and before that, released a mixtape “Sailing soul(s).”
She has been working on entering the music world since she was 15 years old. She left the business for a few years after being told to “sell herself” when meeting record labels. Rather than “sell out,” Aiko decided to “sail out,” giving inspiration for her EP title.
Souled Out is the perfect relaxation album that will leave you feeling optimistic and help you reflect on your own life and decision s.