Review Kali Uchis – Isolation

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5

After a sparkling debut album Por Vida, Colombian-born American-raised Kali Uchis seems to be a constant fixture in the limelight. She’s been teasing us for some time, releasing track after track on the global underground, though never enough to truly satisfy the thirst for her music. She has made recent guest appearances on songs by Snoop Dogg, Major Lazer and even Gorillaz, and all of this has made her own music even more desirable.

With Isolation she has truly opened up the doors to her world, and it has fulfilled a lot of our expectations, blending Erykah Badu style neo soul with the spirit of the late great Selena, especially when exploring her Latin roots through genres like reggaeton. It’s a mixture that Pitchfork has put in their “Best New Music” category and that seems to be very clear on Karly Loaiza’s mind (to give Kali’s birth name).

A dream team of musical connections is behind this fusion of styles, with people like Damon Albarn, Thundercat and Jorja Smith all orchestrating this declaration of musical principles. It’s an artistic manifesto saying that Kali Uchis is more than a beautiful voice, her musical message goes beyond, expanding what seems to have become an homogeneous mainstream with an expansive and colourful sonic palette.

First single “Tyrant”, alongside Jorja Smith, has become an instant classic, with a vintage dancehall sound and a variety of versions, one of which was in full Spanish and featuring none other than Dominican-American fireboy Fuego. The latest of the singles was “After The Storm”, with Bootsy Collins and Tyler, The Creator, catapulting her to the airwaves, including a performance on the famous North American late show, The Tonight Show.

The rest of the album is a surprise, moving into divergent future soul directions, experimenting and exploring, but always coming up with something we can all relate to. So, get ready to discover the world of Kali Uchis, because we don’t need to tell you anything else.


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