The album- in the most Jhene Aiko way possible, lyrically sounds like a mind in battle with itself that sonically sounds as peaceful and lonesome as visiting a Japanese Shinto temple taken back by nature. This juxtaposition continues until “Surrender” as she cleans the temple, and her mind comes to an inner truth of oneself. From there the sonic environment of the able syncs up with the spiritual projection of Jhene creating a harmony that is greater than the sum of its parts.
Where in the 1st half you have summer night drives under empty streets in “One Way St.” ft. Ab-Soul, unrealized love between exes in “None of Your Concern”, flipping the negative word of “H.O.E (Happiness Over Everything), and confronting herself and others on “Triggered”, there’s a sense of underlying multi-directional hedonism as she follows her morals to reach happiness.
Following with the 2nd half of the album, a “cleaner” sound arises as she cleans the temple, with bells and percussion changes at “Surrender” creating such a calming effect. The uplifting empathetic lyrics of “Born Tired” over simple guitar and wooden percussion and its seamless transition to “LOVE”.. Leading to “10K hours” touching upon a missing love so strong it inspired the great Nas to somehow fit a hard verse that brings a smile to your face at its sentimentality. A song that relates to anyone who’s loved another. To the tear-filled, good-willed closure found all over “Pray For You” and the “Magic Hour” sounding like being on the top of a grassy hill looking over foliage and flowers with words interlocking feelings of sadness and content.
The non-linearity of the album parallels the human condition. Being happy one moment to angry the next, confident to sad and every permutation in between where your start with her journey may not be on track 1. Knowing the ending track sits firmly there. On “Party For Me” she talks about the happiness she wants to happen when she’s gone, for those who took the time to listen to her journey. An emotional album that has the best of Jhene Aiko to date.
You can find more information on Jhene Aiko on http://www.jheneaiko.com/
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