Author: Zoe Ettinger
While We Wait, Kehlani’s latest release, shows her vocals like dripping honey, spilling truth.
The album is an experience piece on lessons learned, and shows that she’s matured on this album, her fourth. She experiments with hip-hop, rap, and pop throughout the album, but it’s centered on R&B: a genre that works as a conduit for the sort of uplifting blues she’s singing.
Kehlani is unapologetic in her message throughout the album. She knows what she wants. In Morning Glory, she sings: “And if you don’t want me at my goodnight, Then you can’t have me at my morning glory.” Stripped down, she needs someone who will view her the same, and that’s something almost all women can relate to. In Feels, she speaks about the process of falling in love again after you’ve been hurt. She sings: “It took a lot of hard shit just to learn, How not to break down and stop, baby, No matter what I seen in the past, I won’t let it impact how we grow now”.
The production throughout the album is, in typical Kehlani fashion, phenomenal. Nights, featuring Ty Dolla $ign, begins with reverberating guitar chords, which create a perfect stage for her vocal power to perform. This song has more angst than the others; the feelings are raw. She sings: “I’ve been reminiscin’, sippin’, missin’ ya, Can you tell me what’s with all this distant love? If I called, would you pick up?” It’s when you know the love is lost, but you can’t help but keep looking for it.
While We Wait is Kehlani’s best album yet. It tells a story, and yet each song stands on its own as a message of emotional turmoil and how she processes it. As she says in Butterfly: “Oh, I feel it comin’, got a rush like I’m runnin’”