Kehlani Parrish, simply known as Kehlani, is a fresh but familiar face to the New Age sound. You may know her from America’s Got Talent, where she, along with her band at the time, Pop Life, were introduced to the world. They obviously made an impression, because from there, she connected with Nick Cannon, who she credits for saving her life. He saw her musical vision, offered some studio time, and gave her a place to stay.
In 2014, she broke on the scene with her Cloud 9 mixtape, then a debut album, You Should Be Here, in 2015 and this year, she released her sophomore album, Sweet, Sexy, Savage, which is amazing!! First of all, the album has a whopping 18 tracks, giving close to an hour worth of listening. And though most, if not all, have Kehlani’s handprint in the lyrics, the album can be enjoyed by male and female alike. However, you can undoubtedly tell by some the lyrics the album identifies with women. The songs are about life, pain, passion, love, and triumph and you do not have to listen hard to hear it.
Here’s my review of the first part of the album
The album starts with a poetic intro from Kehlani, which is deep and shares her truth.
Then, with the first note of track 2, you are in music heaven! Keep On is my absolute favorite song on the entire album. I could rock this song on repeat and never get tired of listing to it. It has a serious upbeat tempo and smooth R&B sound. I love it!!
Track 3, Distraction, slows it down just a tad, but again the beat is banging and the lyrics tasteful.
Track 4, Piece of Mind, is yet another one—a smooth R&B jam that is certain to please your ears.
Undercover, track 5, has a nice beat, but it did not move me like the previous 4.
Track 6, Crzy, is just that…crazy! This song is my second favorite on the album. It has sort of a trap music sound (hip hop, dance, dub tempo). It put me in the mind of a Rhianna sound. The chorus is stupid slick. I love this song and the lyrics are pretty “crzy!”
Track 7, Personal, is my third favorite. I guess because I listen to the beat first then the lyrics, I definitely was feeling this song. It’s worth multiple listens!
Not Used To It, tracks 8, is pretty decent. It boasts a nice bass and tempo, but it did not grab me.
Track 9, Everything Is Yours, is a smooth mellow groove, for that reason, I would say this is my number 4 on the album. I absolutely love the beat.
Track 10, Advice, made me a little nervous. This song takes a turn for a different audience…a more teenage one. The sound drastically contrasts the previous 9 songs on the album.
Track 11, Do U Dirty, is a bit on the edgy side. It was not one of my favorites. It is laced with some sexual connotations, so be mindful of the volume if listening to around kids.
Now let’s look at the second part
Throughout the album, I could hear different artists’ sounds and while Kehlani clearly has her own, the next two tracks will clearly put you in the mind of a couple familiars.
Escape, track 12, immediately reminded me of a Brandy sound. This song has a nice and smooth rhythm. Nothing too extra about though.
Track 13, Too Much, is an Aaliyah and Timberland sound all the days long! It has a nice catchy beat. It’s one of those songs you’ll find yourself singing because the beat is stuck in your head.
Track 14, Get Like, is an okay song. It sounded more like something my 15-year-old daughter was enjoy more. It did have a nice beat though.
Winding it down, I have to say, the first thing that caught my attention on track 15, In My Feelings, was the chorus sample If It Isn’t Love by New Edition. Atop the already banging beat, the sample adds volumes to the song. I have never been much of a party goer, but this song is one I could definitely see being played at a house party or in the club scene. I would say it is my number 5 favorite on the album.
Hold Me by The Heart and Thank You, tracks 16 & 17, are okay songs. I liked the lyrics, but the beats did not move me. These are songs I probably would skip over, if listening to this album on a regular.
Closing it out, was track 18, I Wanna Be. This song picks it back up and ends the album with a strong finish. It’s another club/dance party sound. I could work out to this song, so definitely worth a repeat.
Overall, I would give Kehlani’s Sweet, Sexy, Savage album an 8.5 out of 10. With 18 tracks, I was impressed by more than half the album. This young lady, probably once considered a diamond in the rough, shined through on this project. Great job Kehlani! Caution: I would warn that even though I was listening to the clean version of the album, some lyrics can be “extra.” Please be mindful, if you allow your tweens/teens to listen to this album.