Album Review: Kehlani – You Should Be Here

You Should Be Here by Kehlani

#aotd is You Should Be Here by Kehlani. Musically, this album is a pretty standard pop R&B affair which will sound fairly familiar to fans of Jhene Aiko or Ariana Grande. So what sets this pop R&B venture apart from others in the same genre? That’d have to be the super summery production which sounds reminiscent of the popular producer Lido’s output with shimmering synths exploding within every drop. It is always a pleasant sound and certainly makes this album initially appealing. Kehlani’s voice is good, especially on the less flashy songs like “Bright” and “The Letter” but she does lack a bit of charisma which makes her sound a bit generic. Her voice may be arguably generic but lyrically there is no question that Kehlani is generic. Unfortunately, it seems like Kehlani couldn’t write about something original to save her life let alone tackle the album’s themes of relationships, love lost and love found in a way that hasn’t been done to death. The guest features on this album are all very average, BJ the Chicago Kid fails to match Kehlani’s vocal ability on “Down For You” and even Chance The Rapper fails to impress on “The Way” (which pales in comparison to Ariana Grande’s single of the same name). You Should Be Here does succeed in being likeable in the way a pop album should, with pretty melodies and some confident vocal performances on songs like “Alright” and “Wanted”. Overall though, it is all very under baked and I can’t recommend it beyond a few songs, hopefully on the next album Kehlani pushes herself harder and produces something a bit tighter because the potential is there.
Rating: 2.9/5

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