On average, nearly 8 people a day, yap to me about the upcoming election. When you're constantly coming across acquaintances, whether liberal or conservative, about choices they feel led to choose, it kinda starts to angle ya in one direction or another. As a matter of fact, it sorta cavorts, capers, or better said "dances" the thoughts in the brain. It could gyrate like fiery hips swinging the sways of the Salsa dance style, or maybe even charm in swivels from the close & caressing cascades that meander by way of Merengue. However, It might jus be the slow, beautiful, yet expressive dance called the Bolero, which when changed a bit spells, “Belaro”, the brightest, yet best kept secret of the blue hot (which is higher temp wise than red) wave of what we know to be Latin Pop. The blazin' hot Belaro recently released her latest Single, "Forever", and it not only challenges the doors, that have been opening in up for this progressive genre, it also reveals how she's elegantly blazed it open...
Belaro released a sizzlin' hot Single last year called, FGIRL. (It's really one of the most slept on Latin Pop Singles of late, as it unapologetically anthems empowerment with a magnificent mesh of Pop Culture & 'Latin Lady-Boss' brilliance. (It’s the stuff we generally see done by the J-lo's, Shakiras, or even Belindas of the industry.) Still, "Forever", forecasts tempestuously with a glittery star rise, calling for Latin classed culture versus the seen so often, plead for Pop music's hand in marriage, and the vibratory superpower of sound design, empowered by the outstanding Olivier Bassil (Youngboy NBA, Don Toliver, & more) insures that Belaro's latest song laces eardrums exquisitely while also stylishly. It's got a Dance Music genre tempo fasho, while it sonically announces an authenticity of Latin heritage, that heralds this vessel of vocals with a leg up creatively, that catch's a vibe in a manner that her first release has n't quite accomplished yet.
All that glitters is n't gold, but in the case of Olivier Bassil's 'Belaro' & her new hit "Forever", it's pretty freakin' bright. Combing through the follicles of thoughts about so much lately, from social media stresses, gymin' during a pandemic, or the illusory vices & virtues of virtual learning, I learned something of value. The art of Music may be even more important now than ever. Why?? We all know that 2020 (or for some, most of their life) has been hard. With so much that is seemingly dark and sad, we're all compelled to sojourn toward some type of light. The shine & 'show-magic' of sound designing, could coil a constant, that can free us all from the insistent angsts and irks of lately. In other words find ways to will yourself through, ‘whatever’. We're all connected in everything, and when ya fasten that kind of thinking to pretty much anything, the future can aspire to be just that: anything. Anyone need ‘a light’??? 😉
Subconsciously, I prolly tried not to review Kehlani's mesmerizing & mellow-smoothed pre Summer R & B masterpiece, "It Was Good Until It Was n't". To say that there's a lot going on, as it was released, is an understatement. A pandemic (that is supposedly resurgent), a worldwide protest (that's sorta, long overdue), and an upcoming election with drama more exciting than any on the tube, I care to look at for too long (except for perhaps 'Riverdale') adjoined it. All this, teeters my 'what I have time fors’ toward "the anxiety free, less traveled road". Which somehow keeps leading me back to this album.
Imagine you're a born romantic, but you're living in a world that warps that. Ya feel artists like Drake, Doja, The Weeknd, PND, Jorja, Jhene, & any that fit into my genre of choice, Trap Soul. Ya sorta, late night 'drop' to hide away from the losses, and yet ya sit alone thinkin' about em anyway. Those are the feels frolickin' back and forth along Kehlani's second studio album, and it fixates such in 🔥 fashion. So much so, that ya kinda wonder why everybody's not posting about it. (I lowkey feel like the album is tailored to show us all, why so many girls are venturing out of 'the norms' of typical dating.) Anyway, the ff production by Boi1da, G.Ry, Beazy, Jake One, Pop, Go, Some Randoms, MARS, & more top off Kehlani's savagely seasoned songstress stylings in an astronomically winning way throughout the LP.
Stand out tracks (to me) are "Serial Lover", "Can I" (feat. Tory Lanez), “Toxic", "Can You Blame Me" (feat. Lucky Daye), and my fav, "Open (Passionate)", while "Grieving" (featuring James Blake), and the skits, deserve to be mentioned. Hopefully, you've been following Kehlani's social media lately. Yes, she does most of the work for the album "COVID-savvy" style (from her home), yet she's still been way active during the wave of protests, oscillating the globe in the wake of the death of George Floyd and others. It's one thing to see someone talk about change, but it's another to see them active within it. I met Kehlani in Houston while on tour, and the coolest thing about it was her humility. No, she does n't do too many interviews (like most of my favorite artists), but that's prolly what keeps her work so pure. Pure does n't always mean 'pretty', but in the case of being open, real, and skilled, "It Was Good Until It Was n't" is pretty damn lit, as well the most complete R&B album of 2020 so far.