The Gaucho Gazette

Review: “While We Wait” is a Beautiful Projection of Human Experience

An established artist native to the Bay Area, Kehlani recently released a mixtape that embodies the beauty found in personal growth and painful truths. While We Wait is a soulful soundtrack doused in lyrical ingenuity.

Kayla Alcorcha, Reporter

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Photo Illustration by Kayla Alcorcha

While We Wait, in its exquisite entirety, commemorates the metamorphosis associated with new milestones. ”

— Kayla Alcorcha

Kehlani’s newest musical project, a mixtape titled “While We Wait,” is beautiful both lyrically and in terms of production quality. The soothing sounds of waves and soft guitar strumming start the first track, a catchy collaboration with Musiq Soulchild that slowly submerges the listener in waters colorful with emotion. The vocals present in “Footsteps” are like honey, and the thematic inspiration — the departure from a relationship one is not entirely willing to let go of — is sticky with honesty. The mixtape changes pace after this soulful introduction; the transitions are not seamless, but the stylistic diversity is worthy of appreciation. There are prominent differences between this project and Kehlani’s last album, “SweetSexySavage”; the artist explained on social media that she has changed, and thus her music has changed as well.

Fittingly named after her days as a joyful mother-to-be, “While We Wait” is Kehlani’s strongest release. Though the mixtape is much shorter than her past projects, all nine tracks are uniquely stunning. It is a refreshing collection of pop, rap, and R&B that is reflective of one of the most substantial periods of personal growth for the artist. She artfully addresses the issues of communication, unrequited infatuation and inhibitive conceptions of masculinity, as well as the emotionally freeing topics of independence and self-love. The latter is highlighted in the alluring fourth track, “Morning Glory” — a gorgeous, lively anthem of inner beauty and strength that many fans feel is a fitting addition to their morning routine soundtrack. The song is playfully assertive and utterly addictive.

Moving away from the concepts of individuality and self-confidence, this ballad bleeds into musical interpretations of interpersonal relationships. The priorly released and popular single “Nights Like This” featuring Ty Dolla $ign channels the energy of neon signs and lonely nights, seemingly dedicated to an ex-lover that was inconsistent with their desires and inconsiderate of their partner’s feelings; the song strongly resonates with listeners that have been mislead by a deceptive significant other. This break-up track gives way to a slower, subtly strong expression of romantic reciprocity. “RPJ” featuring 6LACK is built upon a simplistic piano medley that communicates the subject’s seriousness and maturity. The chorus is a repetition of resolute requests, attempts to achieve the security and support necessary within a committed relationship. It is evident that the multifaceted nature of relationships, and therefore of human beings, is a core component of this mixtape.

“Love Language” is a charming conclusion to this recent musical masterpiece. The underlying instrumentals are fun, and the lyrics capture the curiosity that accompanies a budding romance yet simultaneously allude to a potentially preventative language barrier between lovers. Kehlani is entering a new chapter of her life in which she will have both a partner and a daughter; While We Wait, in its exquisite entirety, commemorates the metamorphosis associated with new milestones. Holistically, the mixtape is a phenomenal projection of human experiences that devout fans and new listeners can equally appreciate.

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Review: “While We Wait” is a Beautiful Projection of Human Experience