I Can't Call It: Souled Out - Jheno Aiko

Posted On Friday, September 19, 2014

A minute ago my dude asked me, "what you think about this Jheno Aiko chick?" I was like, "you mean the chick who keeps repeating herself?" And he was like "what are you talking about?" And I'm like, "the I don't need you, I don't need you, I don't need you chick right?" Of course this dude is cracking up now but that's the first thing I think about when I hear shorty's name. To me she's like the female version of Drake. The only problem with that is, it's not like Drake is a REAL singer...he's just a MC who just happens to be able to hold a note but don't ever get it twisted and think Drake is a singer. So it's not necessarily a good thing if I'm comparing a dude who can't sing to a actual chick who IS a singer but neither here nor there. There's absolutely no way in the world I can say I was hype for shorty's album cause I wasn't but it's on tap and there's no other R&B right now holding me down so why not give shorty a shot?

Now, before we even get started, let me say that this entire album has one feel to it...period. So throughout this review don't expect a lot of's "this track is uptempo but over here she slows it down but then on this track she does blah blah blah." Naw...it's almost like if you're not paying attention this album can sound like one entirely long song. And that's not a dis, it's just a fact. Now the key phrase I used in that last sentence was "not paying attention." But if you are paying attention, you'll see that even though a lot of her songs do sound the same that there's no way all of these songs ARE the same. "Limbo Limbo Limbo" sets the album off and has Jheno schooling you on  a shorty living in limbo in the game of life, "W.A.Y.S." aka why aren't you smiling is my ish and my new daily pick me up song with Jheno singing "you've got to keep going (she actually repeats this 9 freaking times in a row...more of that repetiveness) If there's one thing I learned, living in these county lines/is that everything takes time/you have gotta lose your pride/you have gotta lose your mind/just to find your peace of mind/you have got to trust your the signs/everything will turn out fine/so why aren't you smiling, why aren't you smiling/life can get so wild, when you're caught in the world wind."

"Spotless Mind" is dope, "It's Cool" is bananas and STAYS on repeat while "Lying King" has shorty talking about a dude running his game and breaking hearts, "ok, so you just go around breaking hearts just to see what's inside/go around stealing 'em, feeding 'em to your pride/did you ever stop to think that I might really need that, to stay alive?" Yeah, don't sleep on shorty, she may repeat herself all of the time but she does get deep with her lyrics. "Wading" is ill cause of the way Jheno switches back and forth between using the words "wading" and "waiting" to tell a story of waiting for her man to get his act together. The first single "The Pressure" is one of the harder tracks on the album, "Eternal Sunshine" is flat out beautiful while "Blue Dream" has Jheno talking about how dope her man is, "don't wake me up cause I'm in love in all that you are/you make me see the truth in things, I think that you are/the remedy for everything, it seems that you are/the truth itself because nothing else can take me so far." Unless you have no heart at all, there's no way you can't LOVE "Promise" Jheno's duet with her daughter, "so every single little moment, I can't be there to hold your hand/I need you to know that, anything should happen, anything should happen/cause anything could, anything should happen/know that you'll be alright" and the album ends with one of the strongest cuts "Pretty Bird" featuring Common which is REAL dope but it just helps to reiterate my point that this shorty repeats herself like no other. I mean, she literally says "pretty bird" 40+ times on this song...ya'll read that right 40+ TIMES! I feel like I'm talking about an Iverson game circa '02 with the amount of shots he used to put up and not a R&B song!

One of the many downfalls on the entertainment industry is it's VERY shallow. I'm only bringing that up cause I know a lot of folk are feeling shorty but before listening to this album, I always wondered if she got a pass cause she's the Ghostface "half hawaiin with a slight touch of chinese" looking chick or is it because people really dug her music? I mean, if Jheno Aiko looked like Precious does she get all of this love? Does she get a spot on Saturday Night Live with Drake? Does No ID even sign her to his label? Now don't get it twisted I'm not trying to take nuthin' away from shorty, I'm just sayin'. But after listening to the album and chillin' with it for a sec, I gotta admit that Jhene is MUCH more then just a pretty face. At the end of the day, I actually dig the album cause it's much better then anything I expected from shorty.  Now, if you're looking for some "take me to church soulful sanging" then this jawn ain't for you...by NO MEANS. But if you already rock with shorty's style and like her steez then you'll 9 times outta 10 rock with the album, I know I do.

3.5 outta 5 mics

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