Mini-Reviews 1 (Selena Gomez, Charli XCX, Jessie Reyez, Kehlani)

Reviewed here – ‘Rare’ (Selena Gomez), ‘How I’m Feeling Now’ (Charli XCX), ‘Before Love Came To Kill Us’ (Jessie Reyez), ‘It Was Good Until It Wasn’t’ (Kehlani)

Rare – Selena Gomez // Selena Gomez has had a really tough last couple of years – mental health struggles, chronic illness, surgery – and her goal with ‘Rare’ – to create an album that deals with this pain, without dwelling on it – is admirable. While ‘Rare’ is an enjoyable listen, it lacks the depth it seeks to achieve. That being said this album is of a similar quality – if not an even higher quality – to Gomez’s previous works and those who have enjoyed her previous work are unlikely to be disappointed with this album. (6.0/10)

How I’m Feeling Now – Charli XCX // For an album made entirely during quarantine, the production on ‘How I’m Feeling Now’ is surprisingly professional. Charli’s forth studio album is admirably experimental and features heavy use of autotune – creating a sound distinctly different from XCX’s biggest hits. The album lacks any significant lyrical depth, but the songs on this are catchy enough to make up for this. In opening track ‘Pink Diamond’, Charli sings “I just wanna go real hard” and on this album she does just that. (7.3/10)

Before Love Came To Kill Us – Jessie Reyez // As should probably be expected for a debut album, ‘Before Love Came To Kill Us’ is an uneven record. The album begins with a more aggressive, electronic sound, before moving onto a more chilled/stripped back sound (this is when the album really comes into it’s own). The album features two collaborations – one with Eminem and one with 6LACK. While the collaboration with the former artist is underwhelming, 6LACK helps to make ‘Imported’ one of the best tracks on this album. The last track on this album, ‘Figures’ (Reyez’s breakthrough 2016 single) feels out of place on this album and the preceding three tracks – ‘Kill Us’, ‘Love In The Dark’ and ‘I Do’ – would have been a perfect trio of album closers without this additional add-on. That said, it’s hard to listen to this album without seeing tons of potential in Reyez as an artist. (6.5/10)

It Was Good Until It Wasn’t – Kehlani // For a young artist, still in the early days of their career, it is remarkable how cohesive Kehlani’s second studio album is. For the most part, Kehlani also manages to walk the difficult tightrope that is creating an album that is cohesive, without becoming repetitive. There are far more experienced, commercially successful artists that haven’t been able to find this balance as well as Kehlani does on ‘It Was Good Until It Wasn’t’. Where this album falls down is in it’s lyrical content and it’s lack of experimentation – which leaves listeners wanting more from Kehlani. (6.7/10)