Kehlani’s “SweetSexySavage” Gives Us a Modern Spin On the 90s

By Tykee Thurman

I don’t know where you’ve been hiding if you’ve managed to avoid all the hype behind the up and coming R&B star Kehlani’s debut album, “SweetSexySavage”, but if somehow you have, no worries. I’m going to catch you up to speed with a fresh review.

If you’re not familiar, Kehlani Parrish is a singer and songwriter straight out of Oakland, California, with a familiar rags-to-riches story. The singer auditioned for the sixth season of “America’s Got Talent” in a group called PopLyfe. After finishing fourth place with the group, Kehlani decided to go solo. Of course, we’re low-key happy about that, because, if we fast forward to July 2016, Kehlani started to sprinkle us with her newest hit singles at the time, “CRZY” and “Distraction”.

I know I’m not the only one that was left waiting to see what else our girl would drop on us, at least I don’t think I am. Either way, the “America’s Got Talent” graduate didn’t disappoint. She served us up a fresh plate of those throwback vibes, which are really reminiscent of TLC… I mean the 90’s. Actually, maybe I had it right the first time; Kehlani doesn’t even try to deny that she’s reaching back to her roots with her album’s title being a play on the iconic group’s award winning album, “CrazySexyCool”. I can’t even be mad at her, because “SweetSexySavage” is just as its title suggests.


In this album, Kehlani steps to the stage wearing her heart on her sleeve by immediately telling us who she is and what she’s about. She gives us each side of her: the Sweet, the Sexy, and of course the Savage. At the same time, there is an unapologetic vulnerability in tracks like “Not Used To It” where Kehlani takes a look back into her broken past. Lyrically, Kehlani doesn’t hold back on letting you know how she feels and what she’s thinking with this album, by essentially saying, “this is who I am and this is my baggage. Take me or leave me.” Don’t you just love an honest woman?

Let’s take a step back from what’s being heard and let’s take a look at what’s being felt by looking at the production. For most of “SSS”, Kehlani teamed up with music producer, Pop & Oak. I’ve got to hand it to them, they did a fantastic job by granting us with a familiar yet modern take on 90’s vibe, especially on tracks like “Keep On”. Though this album does a good job of capturing an Aaliyah-esque style, they don’t rely on it throughout the entire album.

Overall, I’d give “SuperSexySavage” a solid 7.5 out of 10. “SSS” is a great album in its own right serving its indie, R&B vibe. Unfortunately, throughout the 18 tracks that this album features (not including the intro) eventually it loses its edge and reverts to being a bit… common. Don’t let that stop you from checking out this solid album by our girl Kehlani, available now!

5. In My Feelings
4. Do U Dirty
3. Piece Of Mind
1. Distraction

Check out the album below:

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