Uchis seduces on debut R&B album

Mitchell Famulare

Colombian – American singer Kali Uchis has released her debut album and has been met with a generous amount of favorable reviews.

Deemed “Best New Album” by Pitchfork, a highly respected online magazine, “Isolation” encapsulates west coast charm and elegance.

Through the fifteen track LP, Kali Uchis seduces the listener with every note. With features from her mentor, Tyler the Creator, BIA, Steve Lacy, Jorja Smith, Reykon, and Bootsy Collins, “Isolation” sets up Kali Uchis to be the next big voice in R&B/soul.

With an array of strings and wind instruments, “Body Language” opens the album with Uchis asking the listener “Do you hear me?” The listener cannot help but think of vintage Charlie Brown music when listening to her opening track.

The provocative “Miami” featuring BIA, paints golden hour in the streets of the Floridian city.The crime themed song draws comparisons from Lana Del Rey’s “Florida Kilos” and harnesses eerie synths throughout the four minute long track.

The album’s first single, “Tyrant” with British R&B songstress Jorja Smith presents itself with a thumping beat and catchy lyrics.

The funky track, studded with lush melodies, showcases Uchis’s songwriting skills. Withsongwriting credits on every song, the songstress articulates betrayal, love, and internal conflict in such a personal tone.

The bubbly and upbeat “Dead to Me” could easily be a top ten hit with its relatable and harsh lyrics about the end of a friendship.

The production from “Isolation” differs greatly from her first EP “Por Vida.” The latter, with tracks “Know What I Want” and “Rush,” put Uchis’s vocals among simple beatsand synths. While the tracks on “Por Vida” are praiseworthy, the difference in production to “Isolation” is quite noticeable. “Isolation”’s instrumentals are polished with features from alternative band Gorillaz and Kevin Parker from the indie band, Tame Impala.

The Kevin Parker produced track, “Tomorrow,” hypnotizes the listener as Uchis sings “Let’s think about it tomorrow,” over seductive synths. The song leaves listeners craving a joint album between the two. “In My Dreams” could easily be featured in a James Franco directed indie film with its angsty lyrics and crisp sound effects.

“Isolation,” on its first listen should be listened to from start to finish. Scattered with interludes, Uchis tells a story. This story can be seen through her visuals whether it be the 50s inspired video for “After the Storm” with Bootsy Collins and Tyler the Creator or the video for “Tyrant” with Jorja Smith, painting Uchis as a chameleon.

Kali Uchis’s debut serves to show that she is a musical force. With her large twitter following of just under half a million, Kali Uchis is here to stay. “Isolation” shows Uchis at her finest and we cannot begin to comprehend what her next LP will be like.

If anything, she would continue to shine just as she did with her debut.