The wait is over, folks! Kali Uchis’ debut album has arrived. After tirelessly teasing fans with snippets of unreleased music on her Instagram page for months, we can finally give her album a listen in its entirety! So far everything she put out has become a hit, so the bar is set pretty high for “Isolation.”
5. DEAD TO ME
“Dead To Me” is a funky fun dance track and also one of the few fast-paced songs on the album. I gravitate towards songs with glum lyrics and peppy beats, so this was an instant favorite for me. I can imagine a sped up version of this song playing on somebody’s runway this year and definitely at Forever 21.
Kali Uchis’ sound is one of a kind. She doesn’t fit the young new pop star or r&b singer box, and she is able to masterfully add her own signature flair to every single song. Also, the use of synthesizers added an extra layer of funk to the instrumental on this track.
4. AFTER THE STORM
This is not the first time Kali Uchis and Tyler, The Creator got together to give us musical excellence, and hopefully not the last!
Kali Uchis’ dreamy and transcendental signature sound sets her apart from the rest. Her ability to produce quality hits without compromising her style as an up and coming new artist earns her a spot in a lane of her own. With that being said, “After The Storm” is a metaphor. Although it may not feel like it during the “storm”, rainfall can be spiritually cleansing, and it’s only after we weather the storm that the sun will shine and the flowers will bloom. The chorus sings, “the sun will come out, nothing good ever comes easy, I know times are rough, but winners don’t quit, so don’t you give up.”
After listening to “See You Again” off of Tyler, The Creator’s “Flower Boy” album a billion times, Tyler and Kali just sound right together. Their chemistry is palpable! And if Bootsy Collins’ voice sounds familiar, it’s because he went viral for his “oh no baby what is you doing?” video/meme/gif. His ad-libs and background singing sound like the intro to a Barry White song and are perfect for the tenderness of this track.
3. NUESTRO PLANETA
I love this song so much! If you thought this Colombian-American singer migrated to Alexandria, Virginia and forgot her roots, you’re in for a rude awakening.
“Nuestro Planeta” is a sultry little ditty about seeing a change in a love interest’s devotion and wanting to escape to their own little planet to rekindle a flame. This English translation was helpful in order to get a full understanding of the song for the review, however, with music you don’t have to understand the words to recognize a hit — and this is clearly a hit!
2. FEEL LIKE A FOOL
Thank God for Kali Uchis, because through her and this song Amy Winehouse lives. At the end of the song (2:24-2:41), Kali does a run that gave me so many chills I immediately added it to my Amy Winehouse playlist.
The chorus goes: “It’s not fun to feel like a fool when you learn your baby don’t belong to you.” Although this is not a slow jam, the lyrics are definitely soulful. I’m not sure if Kali Uchis identifies as an old soul but this song has all kinds of vintage vibes.
“Tyrant” was first released as a single in May 2017, so it was the first song I heard off of “Isolation.” After listening to the full album, it’s still my favorite song. Kali Uchis and Jorja Smith made a song that I can play over and over without getting tired of it (aka the best kind of songs).
“Tyrant” is set to a whine friendly instrumental, which is fitting because if you’ve seen any of Kali’s performances then you’ve most likely witnessed her epic whine/ bellydancing moves. I placed this track at number one because it stood the test of time. It has almost been a year since its initial release and the quality and catchiness of “Tyrant” have not let up, not even a little bit!
SONG BY SONG BREAKDOWN
1. BODY LANGUAGE (INTRO) (5/5)
2. MIAMI (5/5)
3. JUST A STRANGER (4/5)
4. FLIGHT 22 (4.9/5)
5. YOUR TEETH IN MY NECK (5/5)
6. TYRANT (5/5)
7. DEAD TO ME (5/5)
8. NUESTRO PLANETA (5/5)
9. IN MY DREAMS (5/5)
10. GOTTA GET UP (5/5)
11. TOMORROW (4.8/5)
12. COMING HOME (5/5)
13. AFTER THE STORM (5/5)
14. FEEL LIKE A FOOL (5/5)
15. KILLER (5/5)
Kali Uchis breaks all the genre barriers throughout “Isolation.” This is clearly not an artist who can be told to stick to a particular sound.
One thing I noticed is Kali’s recurring use of jazz instrumentals. She has cited Ella Fitzgerald and Billie Holiday as some of her biggest inspirations so it’s only right that she threw in a little jazz here and there.
If you’re planning on visiting a pool anytime soon, Kali Uchis has provided the perfect soundtrack to live that poolside lounge-life with “Isolation.”