Album Review: Isolation by Kali Uchis

Columbian-American artist Kali Uchis finally released her debut full length album Isolation earlier this month after various features and collaborations with artists such as Tyler the Creator, Bootsy Collins and Vince Staples. The album is much longer than her debut EP Por Vida, featuring six more songs than Por Vida for a total of 15, each song adding onto each other to deliver a fantastic listening experience from beginning to end.

The album starts off with the intro song “Body Language,” featuring a bossa nova inspired groove, meshed with Kali’s signature “bedroom pop” sound. A winning combination, the song sets the tone for the rest of the album by lulling you into a dreamlike state that puts you in “isolation” from the real world. The album, then transitions into the tracks “Miami” and “Just a Stranger,” featuring Bia and Steve Lacy respectively. Kali then takes a crack at R&B and Neo-Soul with the tracks “Flight 22” and “Your Teeth in My Neck,” drawing slight inspiration from the Australian band Hiatus Kaiyote. The first single from the album,”Tyrant,” follows suit with vocals from UK artist Jorja Smith and showcases the beautiful chemistry Kali is able to create between herself and another upcoming artist.

Around the midpoint of the album, Kali sandwiches “Nuestro Planeta,” the reggaeton standout, in between the two ’80s pop influenced tracks, “Dead to Me” and “In My Dreams.” The latter, produced by the Gorillaz. She then follows this up with another sandwich. This time providing the meat with the track “Tomorrow” featuring Kevin Parker of Tame Impala,  and “Gotta Get Up” and “Coming Home” acting as the buns. The album then concludes with my favorite track “After the Storm,” featuring Tyler the Creator, Booty Collins and instrumentals by the group BadBadNotGood. The end result is a track that’s sure to have Kali win you over, if she hasn’t already. “Feel Like a Fool” and “Killer” round up the rest of the album on a strong note.

As a whole, the album is fantastic. There isn’t one weak track to the entire album. It’s a great showcasing of how Kali has evolved from an indie bedroom pop star to a well rounded singer tackling many music genres and styles. The tracks feature a wide variety of producers collaborating on each individual track, giving each one a distinct style while also remaining true to Kali’s own unique flair.

Fans of her collaborators, including Tyler, the Creator, Tame Impala, Gorillaz and Jorja Smith shouldn’t miss out on this album. If you weren’t already a fan, then Isolation is the best way to turn you into one.

Isolation is a solid 8.5/10, and is definitely worthy of picking up a physical copy.

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