Kali Uchis – “isola†ion” review

Kali Uchis is a Colombian-American R&B singer & this is her full-length debut. The album starts off with “Body Language”, where Kali gets playful over a jazzy funky beat. The next song “Miami” with BIA sees the 2 talking about living fast in the titular city over some bass guitar chords & some hi-hats while the track “Just a Stranger” is about a gold digger over a funky beat from Romil Hemnani & Steve Lacy.

The song “Flight 22” uses airport metaphors for love over a blissful instrumental while the track “Your Teeth In My Neck” gets sexual over a Neptunes-esque instrumental. The song “Tyrant” with Jorja Smith is a post apocalyptic love tune & the song “Dead to Me” is this middle finger to an ex of Kali’s over a house beat with some wailing synthesizers. The track “Nuestro Planeta” is sung in Spanish & it talks about wanting a lone planet just for her & her lover a bouncy reggaeton beat while the song “In My Dreams” tells us what the perfect boyfriend would be like for her over a laidback beat from Gorillaz.

After the wavy “Gotta Get Up”’instrumental, we then get into the next song “Tomorrow”. Here, Kali vividly talks about making it out of the rough city over a spacey beat from Tame Impala. Then right after the funky “Coming Home” interlude, we then get into the next song “After the Storm”. Here, Kali hooks up with Tyler, The Creator to talk about saving yourself over a mellow instrumental from BADBADNOTGOOD. The penultimate track “Feel Like a Fool” talks about how dumb she felt after learning that her ex was cheating on her with a baby mama over some keys & the closer “Killer” continues this theme over a smooth instrumental.

I’ve always been curious to see what Kali would do after her Por Vida EP in 2015 & this just goes to prove that she is gonna be a new face in modern neo-soul. The production is just as beautiful as the EP & Kali’s Erykah Badu-like voice is stronger then ever as is her songwriting. If you loved her feature on Tyler’s last 2 albums but haven’t given her a change in her own, give this a listen

Score: 4/5

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