I’ve never heard a Kehlani song before this listen. I didn’t know what genre she was or what to expect from her. The only thing I knew about Kehalni is that she was involved in a bunch of “drama” last year that involved Kryie, PARTYNEXTDOOR, and a supposed suicide attempt. I hate all this bullshit gossip and drama in today’s media and I’m not one to speculate on the validity of claims, but I will say that it did admittedly have an effect on my opinion about her, and not in a good way. I was actually going to pass on giving SweetSexySavage a listen, but I kept hearing good things so I ultimately decided I’d give it and her a chance.
I would have to say that was a good decision because SweetSexySavage is full of some really good music. It definitely toes that line between R&B and pop, but I’d say it leans more heavily into modern R&B than pop. The production isn’t anything I haven’t heard before and it falls into the same vein as a lot of other successful, albeit short lived, singers that have come before her. What it lacks in genre shifting originality, it more than makes up in it’s pure high quality studio production. It’s all extremely well polished and it’s mixes are all sonically pleasing. The album opens up very strongly with songs like “Keep On”, “Distraction”, “Piece of Mind”, and “Personal.” They’re all incredibly bouncy and infectious songs that stuck with me for a while. However things really start to drag towards the end, and not necessarily because they’re bad songs (there’s not any songs that glaringly stick out as bad), but because of the sheer length of the album. Fatigue really started to set in a little over halfway through; this is a case where less would have been more, she should have cut it down to about 12 tracks.
“Everything I do, I do it with a passion
If I gotta be a bitch, I’ma be a bad one
I’m A.I. with the designs, du-ragging
Bounce back game good, why we talkin’ practice?”
After listening through SweetSexySavage I can see why so many people were high up on her, because she really does have an incredible voice. I have a sneaking suspicion that she’s had some technological assistance, but I can’t really say since I haven’t seen or heard her live. Assistance or not she does possess that prototypical R&B/pop voice and she does convey a certain amount of swagger in her music without it feeling forced. Artistically I think there’s still a lot of room for improvement as it’s far more style than substance, but it’s a solid start.
Have you heard SweetSexySavage? What’d you think about it? Do you think it left enough of an impact? Let me know in the comments below and be sure to leave your rating for the album.
SweetSexySavage was a solid, albeit somewhat shallow, major debut from the singer. It's high quality, studio production combined with her great prototypical R&B voice and natural swagger create some really infectious moments, but ultimately drags on a bit due to it's sheer length.