Jhené Aiko Provides Much Needed Peace, Healing, Hope & Serenity, On Masterpiece New Album, Chilombo

Peace, healing, hope and serenity.  All things we need in these crazy times we are living in and just like she has plenty of times before.  Los Angeles singer and songwriter, Jhené Aiko, provides the soundtrack for us to all live for a better tommorrow on her soulfully free-flowing and spiritually awakening new masterpiece solo album, Chilombo.  That finds Aiko over 20 tracks channeling her feelings of anger, sorrow, pain, love, and loss into feelings of healing, peace and hope.  A painfully honest album reflecting on her life and past relationships.  As well as how that previous heartbreak has helped make her into a more peacefully reflective and stronger person than ever before.
With a majority of the album produced by Lejkeys and longtime collaborator, Fisticuffs.  Except for the Micah Powell and Heavy Mellow co-produced, Tryna Smoke.  As well as the self-produced, Define Me (Interlude).  Aiko uses the instruments of crystal sound bowls mostly used it mediating throughout all 20 tracks.  That provides the perfect healing and beautifully smooth sounds we have come to commonly expect and work so well for the singer so far throughout her already well over a decade great career. 
The lovely and beautifully serene simple classic piano melody of the intro track, Lotus.  That shows off Aiko’s very implacably beautiful and calmly therapeutic serene vocals and lyrics.  That has her voice in its purest form throughout probably the whole album.  Let’s you know right away, you’re in for a very beautifully therapeutic and healing album.  That most all of us across the world are truly in need of right now.  Just like other great albums that other great artists have delivered in times of crisis and/or chaos before.  Chilombo, providing the hope, inspiration and therapy we need to get through these times.  Even on tracks like the previously released lead single, Triggered Freestyle.  That was initially released last May and is still one of her best and most successfully addictive records to date.  Not to mention still one of the best songs she has ever created with the way, like so many of her previous records.  She’s able to show off all her raw emotion, while also baring all her heart, soul and pain to heal herself and so many others that have gone or are currently going through heartbreak.  It also being one of the records that shows off Aiko’s signature soothingly angelic vocals.  The perfect example of her also using her tried and true formula of using her songs as means of not only healing her own broken heart and so many others.  But providing that raw therapeutic, strength, healing and self-discovery many of us need as well.

This continues on the also previously released single, None of Your Concern.  That finds Aiko collaborating with on-and-off again and now on-again boyfriend, Big Sean.  As through her therapeutic lyrics she tells the story that most will resonate with of getting past the point of being angry about a previous relationship and progressing past it.  No longer held bondage to her past feelings as she attempts to move on.  Jhené puts all her issues out on front street and makes it clear that, that once essential part of her is no longer a concern to her anymore.  Also not questioning herself anymore, she allows her feelings to flow without them crippling her.  Sean even adding his own boastful sexually explicit guest verse towards the end.  In which he reflects about his relationship with Aiko, his personal flaws, their physical encounters, and their connection.  

The very therapeutic and healing nature that’s the main theme of the majority of the album.  Is heard some of its best on the very beautifully soulfully and touching, Speak.  By far one of the top two or three tracks on the album.  It’s one of the records where you can most hear the soft and meditative sound bowls used throughout the album.  Used so perfectly too, it’s a really effortless and feel-good track.  That with its beautifully calming and peaceful harmonic tone.  Brings you into a very euphoric place of serenity and freedom.  That allows you that peace and calm, which allows you to drift off into another timeless realm of sunshine like freedom that tells listeners to speak and be who they want to be.  Aiko’s voice feeling like a ray of sunshine beaming down on you that make any day, including your worst days.  Feel like a bright and positive ray of sunshine.  As she sings, “Free, yeah-yeah, yeah.  Be free, my love.  Be free.  Free, free.  Now I'm movin' on, I'm free.  I'm movin' on, I'm puttin' on my free.  I'm movin' on, I'm puttin' on my free.  I'm movin' on, I'm puttin' on my free.  I'm movin' on, I'm puttin' on my free.  Free.  Yeah.”

Another standout on the album is the very next track, B.S.  Easily the best track on the album and a collaboration with fellow great California singer and songwriter, H.E.R.  It finds the two R&B stars venting on their toxic relationships over the very bouncy and hypnotic production.  The theme of the song obviously being about the two young ladies, being back up on their bullshit!  As they so perfectly mesh singing and rapping so unapologetically about bouncing back stronger than ever from a failed relationship.  That has both Jhené and H.E.R. channeling the sensual, cocky bravado many have heard from Aiko before.  But never heard from H.E.R. before.  The two singers respectively stunt on their exes and let it be known they can do just fine on their own.  The way that Aiko and H.E.R. are able to so seamlessly and perfectly bounce off one another is so addictive and comes together so well.  That it has you wondering why they never collaborated before and had this as one of the earlier singles for the album.

Previously released singles, P*$$Y Fairy (OTW) and the Future and Miguel-assisted, Happiness Over Everything (H.O.E.).  Finds Aiko bringing out the risqué and sexy, as well as sensually and seductively confident diva-like persona of hers, we have come to expect from her in certain instances over the years on P*$$Y Fairy (OTW).  Though still on the path of confidence and strength, she still desires her lover in more ways than one.  Aiko knows that her sex is entrancing and larger-than-life.  Which she has no problem acknowledging it either.  With opening lyrics such as, “I can't wait 'til you come over, I'm not sober, so.  You know how it's 'bout to go.  'Cause I like to fvck when I'm drunk (Ayy).  I like to suck when I'm drunk (Ayy).  Come on, my baby, what's up? (Sup).  I need you to hurry up, I can't wait, I can't wait.  P*$$y fairy's on the way (I got pussy on the way).”  Really letting you know how explicit she gets and how she feels her p*$$y, can put her lover or anyone in a trance.  While the latter track is more of an empowering and liberating one for women.  That’s also an updated version of her song, Hoe, from her debut mixtape, Sailing Soul(s).  Miguel just like this newer version, was also featured on the original version as well.  Jhené embodying the woman’s perspective of sexual freedom and confidence that has others considering her a “hoe.”  But Future and Miguel letting her know that they will not judge her.  Allowing her to have that freedom and happiness.

As we get closer to the midway point of the album, Aiko goes back to the some of the more Hip-Hop inspired sounds.  We previously heard from her in more of her Sail Out/Souled Out days.  Such as the Ab-Soul featured, One Way Street.  While songs like the beautifully transcendent and serene, Define Me Interlude.  Really put perfect use once again to the sound bowls.  As Aiko really shows off her humming and melodic voice in a way that’s so phenomenal that the only thing that could’ve made it better.  Is if it was made into a full song.  By far one of the best tracks on the whole album is the very next one with the Dr. Chill featured, Surrender.  Another record that really puts use to the crystal alchemy sound bowls to ease the mind, heart and body.  As Aiko spiritually brings yet another very lovely and beautiful sound that will give you chills.  That makes you want to surrender yourself to her music as you transcend to the heavens, earth’s and spirits of the universe.  Her father, Dr. Chill’s very beautiful introspective spoken-word outro.  The perfect way to close such a beautifully heavenly track.

By the time we get to the second half of the album.  Records like the stress-free and so beautifully amazing, Tryna Smoke.  Are the usual smokers records we come to expect.  Which even if you don’t smoke, can almost make you want to smoke too.  The next standout track, Born Tired, is easily one of the most standout on the album.  As it’s a record that is so beautiful and just plain classic with the way it truly touches your soul.  One of those so beautifully masterpiece records and songs that can virtually move you to tears with how moving it’s.  The guitar string backdrop of the production making it all the more beautiful, touching and perfect.  While a record like the more commercial-like, yet still beautiful, LOVE.  Is another very great song that sounds like it could easily be in a Disney movie.  Without sounding cheesy or out of place on the album.  

As we get closer to the latter part of the album, we get easily one of the top three tracks on the album with the Nas-assisted, 10k Hours.  That has Nasty Nas delivering one of his most reflective and greatest guest verses in years.  With both him and Jhené delivering one of the most pure gem R&B songs I’ve heard in years.  As they both reflect on love and loss, and all the different feelings it brought them.  It’s definitely one of those records that truly touches your soul each time you hear it, for the better.  Mourning Doves, with its delicate electric piano and bird sound, as well as the perfectness of Aiko’s voice from about the 1:41-1:45 mark, yet another standout.  That could’ve easily been an even longer and greater full piece song.  That’s not to say it isn’t already a great song and record either too.  

Getting to the latter end and final four tracks of the album.  Jhené really brings a serene peace we all need in these crazy times we are all truly living in across the entire world.  That starts with the very beautiful and peaceful, Pray for You.  That has Aiko singing about praying for her former flame in a respectful and peaceful manner.  With lyrics such as, “I pray you find your confidence.  Pray you find a confidant, pray you get everything that you want.  Pray you get everything that I could not give to you.  I know that it may seem weird to you.”  Letting her former flame know she’s healed and ready to move on.  While the very cinematic sounding, Lightning & Thunder.  Is a very cinematic masterpiece collaboration with John Legend that finds both Aiko and Legend, singing in such perfect harmony with one another.  As they tell a story of longing for their lovers to the point it feels like they are under each other’s spell.  Even when trying to rid themselves of these emotions they simply cannot.  Because the love they have for their partners is overflowing.  With no amount of distance or obstacles being able to stop it.  The guitars on this making it all the more theatrical, cinematic and perfect too.  Providing love and hope at a time we all truly need it.  With this record one of the most perfect examples of it.  It’s definitely one of those songs you can see many future or current lovers or people in relationships playing at their weddings too.

That quickly transcends into the very tranquil and beautifully soothing, Magic Hour.  Which has Aiko through her soothing voice, really bringing us such melodic beauty.  As she heals us through every bone of our body with her great usage of the bowls again on the production of the song as well.  That perfectly segues into the final track, Party for Love.  A collaboration with her longtime collaborator and friend, Ty Dolla $ign, that sees them ending the album on a very positive note.  It’s a record choke full of energy compared to the rest of the album.  That sees the two celebrate making it through all the trials and tribulations they have over the years.  While Jhené also let’s her listeners know to, “Party hard, party hard, party hard for me.”  Even when she’s dead and gone.  Which hopefully isn’t anytime soon.  She wants others to celebrate, be free, and be happy about her.  Instead of being down and sad.  Jhené reminds us that life is too short and to really live in the moment, love one another, and enjoy the times we have with each other.  In the same voice, both she and Ty rejoice in their existence and simply being alive.  The perfect message of hope, peace, healing, fun and happiness.  That we should all strive for in such uncertain times as these.  When so many of us, myself included.  Having recently lost my Father nearly two and a half weeks ago.  Could all really use to heal, bring more love, and peace to the world.  

Which is why Jhené couldn’t have delivered this album at anymore perfect of a time.  When so many of us truly need it.  It may not win or even be nominated for any, GRAMMYs or awards.  But the healing, love and peace it’s sure to bring so many of us who truly need it.  Definitely beats any awards.  A timeless masterpiece that will live on for ages in much the same way that artists like Stevie Wonder and Marvin Gaye, brought us such timeless masterpiece albums at times we truly needed them.