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Download It Was Good Until It Wasn't

by Kehlani
  • Release type: Album
  • Year: 2020
  • Tracks: 15
  • Duration: 39:30
  • Size, Mb: 91.33
  • Bitrate: MP3 320

Review

A twisting route to Kehlani's second proper album reached the final stretch on Valentine's Day 2020 with YG's "Konclusions," the most personal in a string of intermediary tracks on which the singer was featured. It was a fairly typical (if highly detailed) question of commitment from the headliner, answered in the affirmative by Kehlani's hook. Only a few days later, Kehlani responded to the contrary with her own "Valentine's Day (Shameful)," a two-part ballad in which she accosted a cheating, unappreciative ex. While the song didn't appear on May arrival It Was Good Until It Wasn't, its considered verses, linked by a chorus that only probed deeper into Kehlani's soul -- without sugar-coated sentiments for mainstream appeal -- most certainly indicated the LP's direction. It Was Good Until It Wasn't is similarly less pop than SweetSexySavage, her full-length debut, and considerably more intense than the commercial 2019 mixtape While We Wait. Rarely does it deviate from hot-blooded vexation and sensuality, inwardly and outwardly basking in and critiquing the intoxicating and ultimately poisonous aspects of relationships. Although there are some clumsy similes and metaphors, and a surplus of astrological references, its lyricism is undeniable, abundant in pithy rebukes and come-ons. And while the predominantly crawling tempos can have a tranquilizing effect, there's nuance to nearly every cut with high-level songwriting to match. Take the Boi-1da-led "Serial Lover," like a smoothed-out late-'90s meeting between Timbaland and Babyface, if with an explicit chorus and a boast -- "I got bodies I'm-a take to the grave/I got girls I wanna give my last name" -- that would have been instantly rejected by urban-format radio programmers decades ago. "Hate the Club," a cleverly tiptoeing, discreetly funky slow jam from Jahaan Sweet and Yussef Dayes, catches Kehlani on the reluctant prowl. She also links up with Jhené Aiko and previous collaborators Pop & Oak for the gently booming "Change Your Life," a rare moment of pure sweetness amid the surrounding expressions of anguish, lust, regret, and resignation.

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