[ALBUM REVIEW] Jhene Aiko’s “Trip” Album is Honest & Brilliant
Jhene Aiko’s Trip album is one of the most brilliant pieces of work I’ve heard in a very long time. I actually listened to the album before watching the twenty-minute movie, therefore, didn’t get the full background story of what the album meant. Trip is a 3-part project: a movie, an album, and a poetry book. So far, Aiko released the short movie and the album. The most important element to take away from the entire project is that it is a collection of Aiko’s healing journey. She documents her feelings and experiences to cope with her brother’s passing whose life was taken from cancer.
Aiko illustrates her emotions through writing and the project compilation makes this her second solo album after three years. Before the release of Trip, Aiko collaborated [with now boyfriend], Big Sean called Twenty88. Personally, I was always a fan of her music, but this project has by far surpassed all her other work and wins in all categories within its sincerity, honesty, writing, and production.
The introduction on her website was enough to make me tear up as she opens up the conversation about what this project truly meant. It was her testimony of healing so that she can find her own peace of mind within herself. It’s a common battle that many fight within themselves to learn how to overcome overwhelming feelings and situations that she hopes to shed light on to others and to uplift people during the most chaotic of times. Through her journey she dabbles in drugs to either numb the pain and delves in psychedelics to “find a way to get closer” to her brother. The movie takes you on that journey with her as she presumably closely reenacts her experiences in a ‘dream.’
It’s not hard to have your heart tugged through her lyrics, especially the track featuring her daughter, Sing to Me, or Jukai. Jukai is popularly known as a “suicide forest” in Japan and Aiko mentioned in Genius that she used to fantasize about going there. These tracks are only scratching the surface of what type of emotions you will feel listening to this album front to back.
Aiko’s hypnotic and trance-like-addicting voice locks you in as you get the feels for her as you learn about her journey, whether or not you relate to it. The thing that personally relates to me most is that she worked on this project to find a peace of mind for herself and if it inspires another to continue strong, then her purpose has been fulfilled. I’d like to think my writing or projects do that too. *Cue her track Mystic Journey Freestyle here.*
The realism in her artistic expression by showing us her vulnerability through her experiences – from the lowest of lows to love and light – make her art that much more valuable to the music industry. Her honesty is what we need to hear. As she lowers her guard, maybe the world can feel more safe in doing so as well and be inspired to share their honest art.
Thank you Jhene Aiko for sharing your story. Trip speaks volumes and only proves to me that you are unlike any other being in this lifetime.
Tour Dates: Here
Let me know how you like the album in the comments below.