by KehlaniKehlani

CD(Special Edition)

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Kehlani's You Should Be Here struck some surprise blows. Her second self-issued mixtape went Top Five R&B/hip-hop, cracked the Top 40, and was nominated for a Grammy in the category of Best Urban Contemporary Album. Proper full-length debut SweetSexySavage followed its release by almost two years. While it was in the works, anticipation was built with a clutch of tracks, including a streak of three that charted. The appealingly scruffy and scrappy "CRZY," recorded with up-and-coming duo Denisia Andrews and Brittany Coney, became Kehlani's first commercial hit back in July 2016. Shortly thereafter, the Pop & Oak collaboration "Distraction," a sweet midtempo number regarding a no-strings fling, evoked prime Missy Elliott and Timbaland -- and faintly echoed forebears Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis -- with harmonies that hit as hard as its booming bass. Biggest of all was the Suicide Squad soundtrack's "Gangsta" -- a melodramatic trap-pop ballad that, like many a Skylar Grey co-composition, went down a storm at teen-oriented mall outlets offering counterculture apparel. That song ends this album's deluxe edition. The two preceding singles are on the standard version and more accurately forecast the album's lustrous pop-R&B framing of Kehlani's "I contain multitudes" character. The lows and highs, grief and pleasure, and insecurity and pride are all put on vivid display, and Kehlani pours herself into all of it without overselling a thought. What she and some of her collaborators put forth most strikingly is an aptitude for evoking 1994-1998 contemporary R&B -- not just TLC, whose second album also inspired the album's title, but Brandy and Aaliyah as well -- without sounding like a nostalgia act. Highlights like "Undercover," "Personal," and the "More Than a Woman"-interpolating "Too Much" build on their inspirations with as much style, substance, and singularity as the debuts by Erykah Badu and Maxwell. All the cuts with the revamped '90s touches -- the twitchy drums and fully energized hooks that recall a time when R&B and pop were just about synonymous -- come out sounding fresher than the ones that utilize the trap tricks. The hour-long album is a bit excessive with some nondescript or merely passable second-half pop ballads, but it nonetheless makes good on all the promise of the mixtapes. It's destined to become a 2010s classic.

Product Details

Release Date: 01/27/2017
Label: Atlantic
UPC: 0075678663796
catalogNumber: 556580
Rank: 33788

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Kehlani   Primary Artist
Blue Jeans   Vocals
Ricky Tillo   Guitar
Skylar Grey   Background Vocals
Brittany Coney   Vocals
Jake Troth   Guitar
Dan August Rigo   Vocals
Ms. Menzies   Vocals
Oak Felder   Vocals

Technical Credits

Bob Marley   Composer
Phalon Alexander   Composer
Terry Lewis   Composer
Anthony Kelly   Composer
James Harris   Composer
Jeff Vaughn   Engineer
William Featherstone   Composer
Tim Mosley   Composer
Kevin Hicks   Composer
Johnta Austin   Composer
Jacob Luttrell   Composer
Bryan-Michael Cox   Composer
Aliaune "Akon" Thiam   Composer
Rhian Sheehan   Composer
Bryan Nelson   Composer
Ernest Brown   Composer
Warren "Oak" Felder   Composer
Ester Dean   Composer
Jeremy Coleman   Composer
Andrew Oliver   Engineer
Ricky Tillo   Composer
Jason Evigan   Composer
Anthony Lawson   Composer
Nick Seeley   Composer,Additional Production
Joe Gallagher   Engineer
Andrew Swanson   Composer
Joseph McQueen   Engineer
Matthew Samuels   Composer
Andrew "Pop" Wansel   Composer
Jahaan Sweet   Composer,Producer
Christian Mochizuki   Engineer
Skylar Grey   Composer
Brittany Coney   Composer,Producer
Jake Troth   Composer
Dan August Rigo   Composer,Producer
Autoro Whitfield   Composer,Producer
Karen Chin   Composer
Matthew Featherstone   Composer
Christopher Featherstone   Composer
Daniel Klein   Composer,Producer,Additional Production
Denisia Andrews   Composer
Picard Brothers   Producer
Paulo Rodriguez   Composer
Charlie Heat   Producer
Clement Picard   Composer
Maxime Picard   Composer
Rex Kudo   Composer
Ryan Gladieux   Engineer
Brittany Hazzard   Composer
Kehlani Parrish   Composer
Joshra Collins   Engineer
Reyna Biddy   Composer
Zaire Koalo   Composer,Producer
Anthony Beale   Composer
Trevor Brown   Composer,Producer
Sven Thomas   Producer
Matthew Campfield   Composer,Producer
Lotus Hartley   Composer
Rupert Thomas   Composer
Stephen Garrett   Composer

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