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Thread: Jhene Aiko - Sail Out (ep)

  1. #1
    Grumpy Old Man Music Head's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Lancaster, Kentucky, United States

    Default Jhene Aiko - Sail Out (ep)

    enters the Billboard chart this week at #8

    allmusic gives it a 1.8 of 3.0
    Grooveshark online listen
    just the fact she appeared on Drakes album probably killed it for me
    some jazz influences make it listenable
    featured artists on a few tracks
    nothing I would ever purchase

    Bio - from allmusic

    Born and raised in Los Angeles, R&B singer/songwriter Jhené Aiko first came to prominence during the early years of the 2000s when she was
    signed to Epic and contributed vocals to several tracks for labelmates B2K. Coming from a musical family, with two of her sisters (Miyoko and
    Jamila) members of the group Gyrl, Aiko had all the musical grounding to launch her later successes through various appearances on music videos
    and soundtracks.

    After collaborating with other artists during her early to mid-teens, she took a brief hiatus to finish her education. In 2011, she released her
    comeback mixtape, Sailing Soul(s), comprised of dreamy, minimal R&B vocals; it was entirely written by Aiko herself and featured collaborations
    with Drake, Gucci Mane, and Kanye West. The mixtape was certified gold, with over 100,000 downloads to date. In 2012, she signed with Def Jam-
    ARTium Records and released the single "3:16AM." The following year proved to be pivotal for Aiko -- she featured on Big Sean's Top 40 hit
    "Beware" and teamed up with Drake for an appearance on his highly anticipated album Nothing Was the Same. Critics praised her performance with
    Drake, which raised her profile globally. In November 2013 she released her debut EP, Sail Out, which included the tracks "Bed Peace" (featuring
    Childish Gambino) and "The Worst."

    Album Review - from Pitchfork

    It is easy to see the feather-voiced R&B singer Jhené Aiko in the lineage of female artists whose music hinged on the paradoxical power of
    vocals that felt like an outgrowth of a whisper. There is Cassie, the one-hit wonder who eventually achieved near-idol status amongst electronic
    producers enchanted by the icy sensuality of her music, and there is Brandy, whose voice is much richer but who nonetheless found her songs
    being clipped and looped by the same sort of producers (Burial, James Blake). There is someone like Ciara and, of course, there is Aaliyah,
    revered now like a goddess thanks to the crushing emotionality of a voice that put her far out of step with the divas of the 90s.

    It is even easier to see how the recent adoration for these singers—not just from British boys clicking through Logic, but also from stars like
    Drake (who has an Aaliyah tattoo) and Chris Brown—may have provided a perfect incubator for an artist like Aiko, whose music attempts to hit you
    in precisely the same way. And it is true: the sustained interest in this sound has likely contributed to her rise, which culminated in Sail Out
    debuting in Billboard’s Top 10 debut. But more importantly, as the sound of popular rap has continued to take on a form (in mood if not always
    in sound) mutated from Kanye West’s 808s & Heartbreak, Aiko’s malleable and far from overpowering voice has become a frequent accompaniment.

    In 2013 she has starred on Big Sean’s hit single “Beware", snaking her way through the track’s ample empty space, and on Drake’s “From Time"
    joining Alicia Keys, Nicki Minaj and Rihanna as the only women to appear on any of his albums. (She is also currently opening for Drake on his
    American tour.) Despite not being a megawatt name, her inclusion on Nothing Was the Same almost felt like a foregone conclusion: no current
    vocalist—male or female— better accentuates the damp throb of Drake’s music. If you lie in bed at night in a pitch black room aglow only with
    the light of an iPhone, Aiko’s voice is the one that might feel the most appropriate.

    But being asked to help solidify the mood of a song is an altogether different task than carrying an entire project. Aiko has been around the
    industry for almost a decade, signing a record deal with Epic as a teenager and eventually surfacing on a number of Black Hippy projects, a
    pairing that makes perfect sense when you consider that Kendrick Lamar would eventually build a track out of a Janet Jackson sample. But in that
    time she’s put out only a single full-length, the 2011 mixtape Sailing Soul(s), which nonetheless featured contributions from Kendrick, Drake,
    Miguel and Kanye West. Sail Out is Aiko’s first release with the world watching.

    Though it is easy to grasp the broad appeal of Aiko’s music, it’s harder to decipher whether the songs are more appealing than the mere
    atmosphere they create. One issue she doesn’t have is establishing a clear point of view: on Sail Out, she sings exclusively of contentment
    being just out of her grasp, be it because a relationship is fractured emotionally (“3:16 am”, “WTH”) or by distance (“The Vapors”), or because
    she has to continue with the motions required of her profession (“Bed Peace”). Regardless, there is an unavoidable longing at the heart of this
    EP, one that seems connected to her fixation with weed. On “Bed Peace” she sings of a desire to wake up in the middle of the day and light a
    blunt, but the idea of intoxication is a metaphor she returns to often. On “WTH” she steps back from a sputtering relationship and realizes that
    she "might've got way too high" and on “The Vapors” she links drugs and sex, repeatedly singing “Can I hit it again?”

    It doesn’t seem like a coincidence that there is also a distinct numbness to Sail Out. The production—handled by Fisticuffs, a duo that worked
    heavily on Miguel’s first album—is downtempo and unobtrusive, with percussion coming from drums that are no louder than a snap or a clicking
    lighter and keyboards that offer a soft bed for Aiko’s vocals. Those vocals are often emotionless; Aiko sings with a medicated distance, never
    getting too up or too down even when she sings of despair.

    It is here where Sail Out is likely to leave some cold. Vocalists like Cassie or Aaliyah were able to convey a spectrum of emotions within a
    limited vocal range, summoning strength or giddiness or compassion when necessary. Aiko has yet to display this ability, and Sail Out leaves you
    searching for emotion where it isn’t. Instead there is a glazed-over blankness to her delivery that does these bare-by-design songs little

    The EP’s best track is also its outlier. “Bed Peace” is powered by a bouncy, bright guitar strum that blossoms into a chorus of fluttering
    keyboards, radiant backing vocals, and screwed vocals that bob and weave with Aiko’s own singing. It is the most fully developed track, but more
    importantly the bliss seems to draw her into easing smoothly into a higher register. It is a subtle shift that feels too much like a revelation.

    is this video supposed to be a John and Yoko thing?

    Track Listing

    1. The Worst
    2. Wth
    3. Bed Peace
    4. Stay Ready
    5. The Vapors
    6. 3:16 AM
    7. Comfort Inn Ending
    “A man only learns in two ways, one by reading, and the other by association with smarter people.”
    Will Rogers

  2. #2
    Record Label Executive SteveO's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Dartmouth, Canada


    ^ Video was too long and nothing earth shattering here! LOL....John and Yoko bed in !!!!
    Last edited by SteveO; 24-11-2013 at 20:21.


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