Jhene Aiko’s new album takes us on a “Trip”

Aiko makes a stunning return to the music industry

Photo provided by: www.rap-up.com

Photo provided by: www.rap-up.com

“Bed Peace” singer Jhene Aiko released her sophomore album Trip on Sept. 20 after removing herself from the music scene for over three years. Following her EP, “Sailed Out,” Aiko returned with a 90-minute album, short film and upcoming book of poems.

The 22-song-album starts off with “LSD,” a song comprised of slow beats and a hypnotic melody. The song describes Aiko’s struggle dealing with the loss of her brother. Extremely heartfelt, personal lyrics mixed with mellow harmonizations make for a relaxing start to the album.

A few songs later, “While We’re Young” gives off a fearless, adventurous vibe. The track is about living the best life you can with the love of your life. This one really hits home for me because I’m a big believer in living in the moment and being happy no matter what circumstances.

“Sativa” follows, featuring a rap by Rae Sremmurd singer Swae Lee, contrasting the preceding smooth vocals. Tying back to the theme of the album, Aiko sings about the different ways she tries to escape from the grief she is facing. It expresses her want to be told everything is OK, even if nothing is going right. Aiko said in an interview that the focus of this song was the beats and flow of the music because she couldn’t put into words the way she felt. This is my personal favorite song in the album due to its soft, slow sounds.

Directly after, “New Balance” starts with Aiko talking to someone. The track is about her reminiscing on times with her brother and comparing them to how she feels when she’s around this special someone, explaining how he makes her feel calm and content. The clean, lengthy notes add to the longing feeling the song gives off.

Later in the album, “Nobody” switches up the previous message of the album. It is the only song that seems kind of out of place, talking about how she never needed anybody to tell her how to live. The electronic songs match the theme of the album, but the lyrics give off a different vibe than the other songs.

“Oblivion” is the most emotional song from this album. In the track, Aiko explains how she feels worn out and like nothing is worth it. It has a depressing tone and the lyrics depict regret and hopelessness for the world. In contrast, “Psilocybin” talks about another way she tries to escape reality, this time with a meditative state induced by the mushroom, psilocybin. The vibes of this song are mesmerizing, and met perfectly with incredibly high vocals.

“Ascension” and “Trip” end the album flowing right into each other, both explaining Aiko’s newfound interest with spiritual connections, in an attempt to feel closer to her late brother.

Overall, Trip combines both grief and adventure throughout its length, and has taught me  life lessons through sounds alone. I have learned that pain will pass, connecting your mind and body is important to complete acceptance and the journey to contentment is a lifelong one.