Grammy Award-nominated singer and songwriter Asiahn delivered her debut album, Love Train 2, earlier this year and it’s a very soulfully honest and solid album. Which just like a train rides into all the different emotions of falling in and out of love to lust, seduction, heartbreak, as well as some of the not as talked about subjects such as colorism, sexism and the lack of visibility for black and LBGT+ artists.
Asiahn is the latest in an ever always growing list of great R&B/Soul artists that started off as great songwriters for other artists in a more behind the scenes role. Only to emerge to the forefront as very great solo artists themselves and that is very much the case here. With the longtime singer and songwriter for the likes of such big names as Jennifer Lopez, Dr. Dre, Pitbull, Drake and several others showing she can hold her very own over the course of 12 tracks on her debut album.
Building over the very atmospheric and sensual production throughout the album that’s all produced by Cardiak, she shows she has a very strong ability for great songwriting, lyrics and narrative-driven concepts. Also having very potently and vibrantly angelic smooth passionate vocals, you can’t help but compare a lot of her great sound to another great Los Angeles based singer and songwriter, Jhené Aiko. All that said you can still tell that Asiahn is her own artist.
At its core, Asiahn’s full-length debut album is one that has that brutal sensual honest songwriting and lyrics that a lot of great R&B/Soul albums have of going from having no hope in finding love to eventually being optimistic and able to find love. You can tell this from the very extraordinarily honest opening record, Something New. A record where she’s ready to put on her red dress and red lipstick and admits being ready to leave her unfaithful partner for, “Something New.” A definite highlight of the album and the betrayal-driven record the perfect concept to build up from something you don’t really want to begin with, but eventually know you will have hope of getting out of.
Great production on records like the thumping drums of, Games, really helps the honest lyrics of, “Comparing me to other women, yeah. Tell you my feelings, say I’m tripping, yeah. Show you need space, but tell me different, yeah. Shouldn’t waste my time, you never listen, yeah. Say you don’t want me, then say you want me. Say you’re gonna leave, then you never leave.” Really hit home with her feeling all the emotions of betrayal her significant other is giving her, yet while still giving her hope that they belong together even despite all the games. The very thumping drums and detailed smooth piano keys on the very passionately powerful throwback R&B anthem and single, Like You, yet another highlight from the album. Where Ashian is really able to show off her very potently and vibrantly passionate vocals, as she sings and fantasizes about having a fleeting love interest in someone better than her significant other. Even despite this, she fights the temptation though that’s really a romantic figment of her imagination and also tackles sexism too. Which is perfect since she’s able to keep her integrity to have hope to be by herself, if not someone else, on the very emotionally charged, Truth Vol. 2. Where she pours all her heart and emotions into.
When we get to the midway point of the album is when it really starts to get its strongest. The next three songs, NOLA, Lost in London and Curiosity, by far the best three on the whole album. How they so perfectly and smoothly segue into one another really helping build the great core narrative of truly finally having hope in love again really starting to form at that point of the album. The very sensual and sexual tension you can really hear in Asiahn’s very smooth vocals and beautiful emotional lyrics, as well as great storytelling about a girl she met in London that seduced her and she fell under the spell of to forget her ex, on the appropriately titled, Lost in London. The trap percussion and ticking clock on, Curiosity, really able to help her showoff her sensual lyrics about Asiahn exploring her sexuality and belief in love again.
The pure sensuality in her delivery on the very standout, Drip, shows her willingness to use and embrace her sensually honest vocals too. In a very confident and explicit way that most aren’t willing to. Asiahn shows her ability to get off her message with a very stellar spoken-word rap on the third verse that drives the message of sensual honest lyrics about making her significant other/lover drip wet from how she’s able to sensually and sexually please them. The opening verse on, Belong Vol. 2, of, “I thought I knew. What real love was before I met you. I think I had lost my mind somewhereI thought I knew. What passion felt like. But it’s not pain or fighting. Like in the past I felt. Don’t know what I did before this. Not sure what I felt for all those years. But you came and showed me somethin’ new.” Really showing Asiahn’s new faith and hope that she actually was able to find love again by the end of the album. She gets you stuck in a trance with her beautifully amazing voice on the appropriately titled closing track, Stuck. Where she gives a repetitive chorus she sings with a chorus of people singing with her that’s a great and beautiful use of metaphors about love. Barely reaching forty-one seconds though it isn’t really a song and one of the few things that just prevents this album from being a classic. This album definitely shows you the great potential Asiahn has to be around for many more years to come though and I wouldn’t be surprised to see it on many top R&B album of the year lists by the end of the year.