Album Review: Jhené Aiko’s ‘Chilombo’

By Silda Martinez

After teasing listeners for months by dropping short songs like “None of Your Concern” and “Pu$$y Fairy,” Jhené Aiko finally released her new album March 6. The painful wait was well worth it.

The new album, “Chilombo,” starts off with the intro track “Lotus.” Boy did this set the perfect vision for the album. The track makes it clear that Aiko will be creating a story within her songs. The way she delivered it was artistic and lyrical all in one.

In lyrics like “There was a woman born from a lotus / Her heart was golden,” Aiko is clearly referencing herself, painting the illusion to the audience.

Prior to the album release, Aiko made multiple posts stating she wanted her audience to see the type of zenful lyrics she incorporated within the album. She pushed for the message of self evaluation and self love to be taken from “Chilombo.”

Songs like “LOVE” and “Define Me” have such blissful harmonies that it’s hard not to feel the meditating outlook Jhene enforced.

“Nothing bothers me at all / I am more than my emotions / I know I am control when I am living in the moment -dedicated and devoted -praying often staying open To more love, love.” Lyrical skills like these send such a powerful message to the listeners.

Aiko got the response she wanted from her audience,which was for them to really see her artistic side. A response from Melissa Guillen, a young college student, was nothing but positive comments about the album.

“The ‘Chilombo’ Album was amazing,” Guillen said. “I listened to it thousands of times and everytime it got better. I was really able to see her artistic side through each song. There’s nothing the new album lacked.”

However, Aiko could not reach all listeners. There were also responses on the negative side, believing the album was too emotional and not artistic enough.

Felix Soria, a young college athlete, was disappointed in the new album.

“I felt like the album was too dull,” Soria said. “She kept putting out the same tone in each song. It felt too repetitive for me and it lost my attention quickly.”

I can see where, at times, the album got repetitive. Songs like “Triggered,” “None of Your Concern” and “One Way St.” all had similar beats and lyrics. They meshed up too much and made you feel like you listened to the same song more than once.

But you need to remember there was a message Aiko was trying to get across to the audience and, well, a little repetition never hurt anybody.

The repetition of lyrics and beats is not enough to take away the title of masterpiece for this album. Jhené Aiko’s lyricism is too strong to dull down this album.

“Chilombo” made me so excited for not only new music to come from Aiko, but to see more of her artistic side and how far she can take her music with it.