Kehlani brings sweet and sexy, lacks savage on ‘SweetSexySavage’


Artwork by Atlantic Records.

By Michael Gorman

Drawing comparisons to a young Rihanna, Kehlani has been making waves in the R&B world. On “SweetSexySavage,” the singer successfully combined many R&B and hip-hop influences from the past 20 years to create one amazing sound.

Kehlani capitalized on the popularity from hits “CRZY” and “Distraction,” two songs with soothing vocals and mature lyrics for a 21-year-old; this maturity shows she’s here to stay.

The first song on the album, “Keep On,” is a light yet meaningful track in which Kehlani sings about a relationship she felt she didn’t put enough effort into: “But every time I come crawlin’ on my knees / You’re there.”

She further proved herself as a capable songwriter with “Advice.” Taking a turn from “Keep On,” the Oakland singer gushes about how she needed to “Take [her] own advice” and move on, “’Cause how is the man of my dreams / Not a man of his words?”

Kehlani ends the album on a pleasant note with “I Wanna Be,” a song about how she “Wanna be the only girl you ever need.” As it isn’t a particularly clever song and doesn’t add anything to the album as a whole, it proves that “SweetSexySavage” could have been stronger with fewer tracks.

Kehlani has a beautiful voice but doesn’t always take full advantage of it. Many of her songs give off a similar, soft tone and lack the dynamic sound she has the potential to produce.

Rating: 3 out of 5