Image courtesy of Warner Music
Review by Alexis Wolfram
Kehlani’s newest album While We Wait showcases her incredible songwriting and vocal abilities in nine refreshing and ethereal R&B tracks. The album, released this past February 21st, is the Oakland artist’s fourth project since her first commercial mixtape, Cloud 19 in 2014. Though only 23 years old and still at the beginning of a flourishing career, Kehlani shows off emotional maturity and strength in her lyrics. The artist has spoken openly about her difficult childhood and her issues with mental health, just two of the many topics explored in her songs.
The nine tracks on While We Wait narrate the navigation of modern relationships in a way that exhibits Kehlani’s emotional wisdom that is way beyond her years. Each song is sincere, passionate, and soulful as the lyrics highlight the difficulties of love and communication in modern relationships. Kehlani sugarcoats nothing and displays the underbelly of romance through each song, striking a chord with any listener who has been involved in a less-than-ideal relationship. The lyrics and music of each track on While We Wait work cohesively to express that immense feeling of loss when a relationship turns sour.
While We Wait’s opening track, “Footsteps,” relays the emotions that accompany the end of a dysfunctional relationship. The song features the lyrics “Residual damage left in place of what was beautiful / Excuses only work when what we've done is still excusable.” Within the song that introduces the entire album, this couple of phrases is just one of Kehlani’s many profound lyrics showcased in the entire collection of songs. Kehlani translates the heartbreak that comes with the disintegration of love between two people and what comes after. She exposes many of the common problems people encounter in relationships and tells it like it is. Though the album covers a pretty upsetting topic, her tone still generally retains a feeling of optimism that keeps the entire album lively and enjoyable to listen to. Kehlani deserves the highest of praise for both her songwriting and vocal abilities illuminated in While We Wait.