Album artwork for "Souled Out." Used under Creative Commons License.

Album artwork for “Souled Out.” Used under Creative Commons License.

R&B recording artist Jhené Aiko released her first album entitled Souled Out on Sept. 9.

The popularity of the E.P. she released in 2012, entitled Sail Out, made this album release highly anticipated. Popular and successful names in the rap industry, such as Drake, Kendrick Lamar, and Childish Gambino can be heard on her 2012 E.P.

This time around, however, she completes the album in its entirety with no feature artists. She collaborates with well-known producers such as No I.D. and Fisticuffs whose tracks compliment her angelic and heart-filled sound.

The songs on this album are relatable, yet personal. She opens the door for her listeners to join in her experiences of love, loss, and spiritual awakening.

For example, in the song W.A.Y.S (why aren’t you smiling), her lyrics expresses what losing her brother to cancer has taught her.

You gotta keep going

Life can get wild when you’re lost in the whirlwind,

But you gotta keep going.

We’ve all dealt with loss at some point in our lives, so this song is emotional yet powerful and moving at the same time, and can relate to so many people.

Much of the music in the current R&B era tends to idealize and glorify sexuality in order to sell music. What makes Aiko’s album different is that not a single song objectifies herself or other women sexually. The example she is paving for her female listeners in this album can be compared to the works of Lauren Hill or India Ire.

The music behind Aiko’s voice blends and comes together in an amazing way. She invites you to relax and listen. In this highly enjoyable album, her sound, melodies, and soulful lyrics break new ground incomparable to R&B artists of her generation.