Review: “Butterfly” — Kehlani

In a more subdued affair than the Ty Dolla $ign-assisted “Nights Like This,” “Butterfly,” the second release from Kehlani’s While We Wait mixtape, equates a crumbling relationship to the evasive titular insect. The singer continues to prove her original take on relationships above a moody, neo soul bed of pitched-down vocal loops and what sounds like an organ. It’s a brilliant evolution from her SweetSexySavage sound, one I hope we hear more of in the upcoming release.

Opening the track with the gloomy lyric “know we’re scared of us, what this might become,” it doesn’t immediately look like our protagonists are gonna make it when paired with its production; by the chorus, however, Kehlani’s promising her partner that she’s “no longer lookin’ for somethin’” from anyone else, tacking on the sentiment that they make her “feel brand new” on the first pre-chorus. The song features an extended, spoken-word outro where the singer pleads that “love shouldn’t be contraband,” making her case for why they should continue putting in effort on their relationship. It’s this beautifully hopeful end to an originally tragic tale — one most listeners can sympathize with — that makes Kehlani such an exciting player in the R&B machine.

Rating: 4.5/5

A music business student with a passion for writing about music almost as intense as his desire to curate it.

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