Souled Out

On her raw, emotional debut full-length, Souled Out, Jhené Aiko's eclectic musical influences pour out through diverse melodic patterns and a voice that fluidly transitions between hip-hop, reggae and neo-blues styles. Souled Out chronicles a woman's voyage through the wreckage of a broken heart following the death of her lover. The opening track, “Limbo Limbo Limbo,” applies a distorted CB-like voice effect to words that bleed like new millennium techno-blues: “Her celestial frequency was needed/ to fulfill the prophecy/ She was too real to believe in/ though if they would, she could free them … Life is on a ride, your whole life is on a ride.” “To Love & Die” is a replay of the love affair, while the chorus on “Spotless Mind” points to feeling lost as Aiko bemoans, “I'm a wanderer … He's a wanderer.” On the deluxe version of the album, four additional tracks (including one featuring Common) complete the story. On “Promises,” Aiko shares how her heroine begins the healing process. A small child (Namiko) assists on the chorus, singing, “Promise I'll be all right.” Aiko responds: “Don't think I can make it/ but then I hear you say/ That, I bet' not do nothin' crazy/ 'cause Nami really needs you/ And I would never leave you/ 'cause I am in the stars/ and everywhere you are.”