Jhene Aiko takes a spiritual route on ‘Chilombo’

Isabelle Rayburn

Jhene Aiko is bringing audiences on her chakra healing spiritual journey with her third studio album, “Chilombo,” titled after her last name.

Aiko has been in the music industry for a long time. After her first self-released album in 2011 titled “Sailing Souls,” her career really started taking off. Nearly a decade later, “Chilombo” shows her slow but steady growth as an R&B staple. 

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Featuring well-known artists like John Legend and H.E.R., the 20-track album has mostly free-flowing songs. In a unique new direction, Aiko also uses singing bowl therapy in every song and in different keys. The claimed therapeutic benefit of singing bowl therapy is that each note played correlates with a different chakra that activates different parts of the body while listening. Whether or not this is true, “Chilombo” is certainly an ethereal, out-of-body listening experience. 

A 20-track album is a lot to take in, and if you aren’t feeling up to the hour run time, here are some of the best tracks on “Chilombo.” 

“Triggered (freestyle)”

“Triggered,” the first single on the album, is an emotional rollercoaster. Aiko explains that her failed relationship has left her “triggered” whenever she thinks of her previous partner. She goes back and forth between her emotions and wants revenge, but she also wants that type of love back. Aiko shows, through stream-of-consciousness style lyrics, what many women in struggling relationships feel and go through.

“B.S.” ft. H.E.R.

“B.S.” serves as the perfect anthem for bouncing back from a toxic ex. The mood here is self-love and manifesting abundance. Aiko ever so gracefully flexes on her ex with the confidence she gained from cutting them out of her life. H.E.R. echoes Aiko’s sentiments and reminds listeners why you should be getting underneath other people once you’re over your ex. 

“P*$$Y Fairy (OTW)”

On this track, Aiko lures listeners into a world of enchantment. Your time is her time as she lays it all on the line, letting listeners know that they “can’t get enough” of her. For the album version of the single, Aiko extended the intro of the song, which metaphorically alludes to the thought process behind the song. Aiko is in charge, and she does not disappoint. 

“Happiness Over Everything (H.O.E.)” ft. Miguel & Future 

Aiko takes us on a journey to the past on this track, which is a remix of her song “Hoe” from her 2012 album “Sailing Souls.” This song is all about sex positivity and no judgment, reminding men not to be afraid of women who are straightforward romantics. She ends the song by reminding us to choose happiness over everything. 

“One Way St.” ft. Ab-Soul 

This track features Ab-Soul, who is a member of Top Dawg Entertainment. Aiko and Ab-Soul have had a strong past together when it comes to music, and this is their sixth collaboration. This track is all about life and questioning sanity within it. She opens the song by saying she is going the wrong way on a one-way street, but in the end, they both come to terms that it is okay to be lost. 

“Surrender” ft. Dr. Chill 

Aiko always shows her confidence in her songs, and this is only one of many. In this track, featuring her father, she explains how she wants her partner to “surrender” themself to her. She also explains how they would “be sorry” if they ever ignored her. Aiko is known for being transparent through her lyrics, and this track shows that. This track gives the same vibe as “P*$$Y Fairy,” just in a softer tone.

“LOVE”

“LOVE” is all about opening up your heart to giving and receiving love. Aiko said on Twitter that this is one of her favorite songs on the album, and she specifically recorded the song in the F key, which correlates with the heart chakra. Creatively, the first letter of each line in each verse spells the word “love.” This song teaches us to heal through finding happiness in acceptance. Love is abundant when we can accept and grow from hardship. 

“Party for Me” ft. Ty Dolla $ign

Aiko sets the tone for what she wants her legacy to be when she is gone. In this upbeat single, Aiko and Ty Dolla $ign turn death into a celebration of life. Death is nothing to be afraid of, and just being dead doesn’t mean your legacy doesn’t live on. This song reminds listeners to be grateful for the life we have now.

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Isabella Rayburn and Jorge Espinoza can be reached at entertainment@collegian.com.