Kelela’s “Raven” Is the Music Rebirth 2023 Needed. (Review)

Kelela’s “Raven” Is the Music Rebirth 2023 Needed. (Review)

Raw vocals, the exploration of different moods through sound, and the ability to seamlessly give us her truth and her passion through her lyrics. Kelela’s “Raven” is simply musically refreshing.

I would like to call Kelela’s sound “alternative R&B”. She’s not afraid to take charge or let her lovers know what she wants, even when it seems that she’s still getting to know the inner most emotional parts of herself. She is completely in a league of her own.

There’s remnants of early 2000’s R&B production on the stripped down “Let It Go”. She gives us a 90s lo-fi R&B hit with “Contact”. She even stands to choose herself on the also stripped down “Holier” which leads to her rebirth on “Raven”.

One thing that I’ve always enjoyed about Kelela is that she believes in giving us bodies of work, not just an album. A consistent theme in her music is the journey of healing, which includes choosing yourself, reflection of your decisions, and stepping back into yourself after pain.

She puts the ball in her own court when it comes to relationships like “Missed Call” and“Waitin”, off of her sophomore album Take Me Apart.

She’s not afraid to be flirtatious on “Closure” just like she gave us this energy on Take Me Apart’s “Truth or Dare”. Through Raven, Kelela shows that she has mastered how to give soulful R&B that knows how to awaken you.

Screencap from On The Run music video

If you are looking for a non-traditional R&B/pop sound, I recommend this masterpiece from Kelela. You can check out the music video for one of favorites “On The Run” below and listen to Raven available on all streaming platforms.

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