It’s been a couple of years since Kehlani proudly entered the pop world with her debut effort, 2017’s SweetSexySavage, and before she preps her full follow up, she’s shared a new mixtape to hold over fans for awhile longer. Kehlani returns with a sweet and savory (yet fittingly risqué) new mixtape While We Wait, delivering simple yet effective pop bops that capture her essence.
While We Wait sees Kehlani doing what she does best: croon above sweet pop-infused R&B beats with a relatable and contemporary lyricism. Kehlani sings about what she knows about and nothing else, which is why many of her tracks feel so personable. This is especially apparent in tracks like ‘Morning Glory,’ where Kehlani sassily chants “And if you don't want me at my goodnight / Then you can't have me at my morning glory” during the chorus as she explains her perspective of what a lover should do for her (at least in terms of going to bed). Without pause or question, Kehlani sticks to who she is throughout the album, which is really what makes her sound so effective: though simple, you can’t help but move along to the sweet drive of tracks like ‘Nunya‘ (featuring Dom Kennedy) and ‘Too Deep.’
While enjoyable, While We Wait never fully captures your attention. There’s this overlying sense of chill the album goes for, but at the same time it feels like it’s searching for some emotional answer that sort of needs some sort of change of pace. The entire record is filled with these mid-tempo R&B tracks that you can’t go wrong with, yet still wish things would change up with. Chill tracks like opener ‘Footsteps‘ with Musiq Soulchild and ‘RPG‘ with 6LACK are examples of this: solid tracks that don’t really have anything “special” about them. The only track that really falls short is ‘Feels,’ being that the track is a bit dull. Likewise, the only track that really captures the sound perfectly is ‘Night Like This,‘ where Kehlani and Ty Dolla $ign join forces for a fun track with a great atmosphere. ‘Butterfly‘ brings in another interesting dark vibe before ‘Love Language‘ closes the record on a gentle yet fun end.
Kehlani’s While We Wait is packed full of character, such that even though it’s filled to the brim with the same mid-tempo drive, you can’t help but enjoy it. At worst, it’s offensive; at best, While We Wait is a solid R&B mixtape that sees Kehlani’s personality shine through.
Favorite Track: Night Like This
Least Favorite Track: Feels
Rating: 70 / 100
Stream or buy While We Wait on Apple Music, and follow our 2019 Playlist on Spotify: