Kiana Ledé carries R&B on her back while having us in our feelings with this album.
HONORABLE MENTION. Bitter Bitch – INTROlude
I hate that this intro is so short. What a great opener this is. “Bitter Bitch – INTROlude” previews the toxic nightmare we’re about to endure with dreamy production full of angelic guitar chords and soft piano keys. Don’t let this light, contemporary track fool you: It tells a story about a bitter bitch, and I want all the tea.
5. Gone (Ft. Bryson Tiller)
Kiana Ledé and Bryson Tiller are a great duo in “Gone.”
In “Gone,” Kiana Ledé and Bryson Tiller share their perspectives on a messy fallout. Ledé claims their love came and went quickly, while Tiller says she’s to blame for her unhealthy ways. We don’t know who to believe, but what we do know is that we need another collab from these two, ASAP!
4. Gemini Slander
This song is proof that Geminis are some of the worst people in the world.
In “Gemini Slander,” Ledé doesn’t hold back on her hate for her ex, who happens to be a Gemini. She puts him on blast for playing with their relationship and putting our girl through hell. This smooth, alternative R&B track sends a message that this hot girl summer, we drop that extra baggage.
An anthem for people who never meant to fall in love.
In this track, Kiana Ledé talks about blindly falling for her ex. Ultimately, she ends up with a broken heart. This soft, mid-tempo contemporary track has an infectious melody that blends with Kiana’s vocals well.
Why do they come back, even when they’re the problem?
In “Damage,” Ledé finally cuts ties with her ex after realizing he only wants her when it’s convenient. As a listener, you can feel how done she is and the courage it took to end things. This track should push you to end your toxic relationship for good, even if there were good times.
It’s okay to have grudges still while growing.
In “Grudges,” Kiana Ledé is honest and authentic. Throughout the song, she tells us that she is tired of pain and has grudges she can’t let go. Ledé’s reflection will invoke painful yet raw emotions in those going through similar struggles. Though her vocals are killer, her willingness to admit that she is working on herself hits home.
SONG BY SONG BREAKDOWN
1. Bitter Bitch – INTROlude (4.5/5)
2. Irresponsible (4/5)
3. Promise Me (3/5)
4. Gone (with Bryson Tiller) (4/5)
5. Gemini Slander (4.5/5)
6. LMK (4.5/5)
7. Jealous (with Ella Mai) (3/5)
8. Self-aware (3.5/5)
9. Focus (4/5)
10. Damage (4.5/5)
11. Too Far (4/5)
12. Deeper (4/5)
13. Grudges (feat. Kiki & Friends) (5/5)
14. Deserve (4/5)
15. Same Type (4/5)
16. Where You Go (with Khalid) (4.5/5)
17. Closure (4.5/5)
18. Magic (4/5)
Kiana Ledé is no stranger to R&B, but her latest project will make her a household name in the genre. Her sophomore album, Grudges, is lyrically and sonically more evolved than her debut album. Though Ledé heavily channels R&B, she plays with the sounds within the genre. Her mature, experimental style accompanies her process of overcoming the bitterness and anger she had from a brutal breakup.
The guest appearances on this album are amazing. Each star-studded artist matches Ledé’s laidback sound but doesn’t outshine her.
Ledé’s airy, dynamic vocals alone set her apart from her peers. Her tone throughout each song invokes such strong emotions that fans will be able to feel her pain with each lyric. Fans will also be provoked to tackle their own relationship traumas and feelings.
Besides her vocals, it’s clear that Kiana’s grown sonically compared to her first album. She manages to capture a peaceful yet dark vibe that helps create her pathway in contemporary R&B. After hearing “Damage,” I would love to see Kiana dive deep into the alternative scene; it would compliment her vocals and style so well.
Grudges is unapologetically vulnerable; it captures the words we can’t always say. What I love most about this album is that Ledé acknowledges healing is a long, self-reflecting journey. People should listen to it because it has therapeutic classics to help us through tough times.
Mya Whyte is a multimedia journalist. She is an entertainment writer and hopes she goes into entertainment news in the future.