After three years since her last album release “Por Vida”, Kali Uchis released “Isolation” on April 6. While maintaining the heart of “Por Vida”, “Isolation” explores different sounds and does not disappoint.
Uchis is a 24-year-old Colombian-American singer mostly known for her collaboration with Tyler the Creator on his song “See You Again.” She also did a duet with Grammy-nominated Daniel Caesar on “Get You.”
Though she is known for her collaborations, it is her unique style and confidence that has brought her success. “She is a good artist. I slept on her for so long, I feel like she has her own style,” second-year student, Jazmine Smith said. “You can just tell how she is through her music, by her choice of song beats and the people she chooses to include in her music.”
“Isolation” has 15 songs and is 46 minutes long. In this album, Uchis explores doo-wop and funk genres, making the listener pick up a groovy and colorful vibe.
Uchis shows vocal talent in this album. Although the lyrics hold powerful meaning, it is her voice that brings that meaning to light. With her alluring riffs and ability to hit lower notes, I felt the urge to keep listening.
Uchis also speaks Spanish in some of her songs. This ties her back to her Colombian roots, which is another factor of telling her story. Some students believe that is what makes her stand out.
“I do like her a lot, especially because she is a Latina and she is not really afraid of singing in Spanish and really showing her culture in her music,” second-year student Giovanna DeSouza said.
The first song, “Body Language,” soothes listeners with a sweet hum and Brazilian-jazz.
In “Flight 22” and “Feel Like a Fool,” Uchis’ vocals reminded me of Amy Winehouse. Both of these songs end with a saxophone riff in the background. In the beginning of “Flight 22,” Uchis mimics in-plane announcements and makes the listener feel as if they were getting ready to take off.
While some songs sound similar in tone and instruments, others are experimental at points. To start, in “Dead To Me,” Uchis sings about moving on from a past relationship. It is a catchy and relatable song. “Dead to Me” seems more upbeat than her slow jams in the album.
The album also includes previously-released songs, one being “Tyrant” featuring British-singer Jorja Smith, and another being “After the Storm” with Tyler the Creator.
However in “See you again” Kali is only heard during the chorus, and in “After the Storm,” she takes lead. The last previously-released song is “Nuestro Planeta” with Reykon, where she explores reggaeton.
Uchis also collaborated with artist like Tame Impala and Gorillaz. The collaboration with Gorillaz, “In My Dreams,” has a different tone to it. The background music reminded me of a Nintendo Wii song or a 1980s arcade game.
The last song of the album, “Killer,” was written when Uchis was 17 years-old. At the time she was kicked out of her home and was living out of her car. She also left a toxic relationship. This has to be my favorite song of the album because the lyrics seem so dark yet her sweet voice sings about overcoming this difficult time.
Not every song on the album leaves an impression or calls out to me. However, the tone of the album kept my attention.
Overall, this album is perfect for the long drives on your way to school or during a gap between classes.
You can listen to “Isolation” on Spotify, Apple Music or YouTube.