REVIEW: Jhené Aiko – "Sail Out"

It’s been a little over two years since the free-spirited singer-songwriter Jhené Aiko stole many of our hearts once more with her debut mixtape, sailing soul(s) and left her ‘soulmates’ yearning for more.

Since then, Aiko has sporadically released throwaways such as “2 Seconds” and “Beautiful Ruin” and has also been featured on projects from artists including Wale, Big Sean, Casey Veggies and Drake, etc. Still, the fans wanted more.

Having been hard at work putting the finishing touches on her upcoming debut album, Souled Out, Aiko decided to fulfill fans hunger by putting together an EP titled Sail Out, to hold her fans over until the official release of the album.

Originally slated for a Nov. 12 release, the Slauson Ave. beauty surprised us all when she released the project two days in advance. The seven-track EP, produced solely by The Fisticuffs, with the exception of “Comfort Inn Ending (Freestyle)” which was produced by No I.D., includes guest features from Vince Staples, Childish Gambino, Kendrick Lamar and Ab-Soul.

Upon first hitting the play button, you are immediately met with a sense of euphoria as the rather enchanting lullaby-esque production quickly grasps hold of your attention and almost places you into a trance-like state.

You’ve been on my mind/I’ve been tryna let it go/I’ve been tryna find/Something as incredible/As you and I…” Aiko sings on the opening track, “The Vapors,” voice floating in unison with the tranquil beat.

Throughout the song, Aiko metaphorically compares the highs she experienced in a past relationship to the high she receives while engaging in vapor smoking. Chiming in at the 1:57 mark, Long Beach native and recording artist Vince Staples too finds himself reminiscing on the failed relationship.

With Aiko having already garnered favor as a free-spirited R&B artist, she brings to life that free-spirited nature on the Childish Gambino-assisted, “Bed Peace.”

Let’s get faded/Gotta call your job/Tell em you won’t make it/Ain’t nobody here/Baby let’s get wasted/We should just get naked…”

“Stay Ready (What A Life)” embodies production as engaging as “The Vapors” and the seemingly effortless way Aiko layers her angelic vocals over the beat surely adds to the captivation of the eardrums; not to mention the hazy flow Lamar provides us with.

Mid-tempo tracks such as “The Worst” additionally showcase the feisty singer we’ve come to know and love as she, like she’s done in past songs, gracefully tells off a former lover like only she can.

Please don’t take this personal/But you ain’t sh*t/And you weren’t special/’Til I made you so,” she declares.

Ouch much?

For Sail Out to have been her debut EP, Aiko certainly proved that she can carry her own weight, especially in the songwriting department. With Souled Out soon-to-be on the way, I’m quite anxious to see how she plans to outdo herself.

If you have not purchased Sail Out, do so here!

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