Let’s Go on a Trip: Jhene Aiko Album Review


Jhené Aiko has taken us on yet another journey with her new album Trip, which was released on Thursday, Sept. 20. In addition to the album, Aiko also dropped a short film entitled Trip, which uses the songs from the album as it explores the life of Penny, a young woman Aiko plays that is struggling to move on past her brother’s death. Penny looks for her brother in all the wrong places, including men and drugs.

The album itself has the sultry melodies Aiko has used in past work including Sail Out and Souled Out, but its focus varies greatly from the two. Aiko has begun to dabble with the drug known as acid, which is very clear from the first song “LSD” in which she states, “The other night I took a tiny piece of paper and put it under my tongue…” not only as a way to cope with the loss of her brother, but to bring herself closer to his spirit.

Jhene Aiko's Official YouTube Channel

The remainder of the album goes back and forth between coming from an existential, vulnerable and introspective place, to various bits about love and relationships. The single, “While We’re Young,” comes after an interlude at the end of “Jukai” where Aiko reveals to a mystery man that she thinks he’s saved her, which flows immediately into the love song about embracing one another while they still can. Aiko also features some noteworthy artists on the album including Big Sean, Brandy and her daughter Namiko Love.

Towards the end of Trip, Aiko begins to reveal the harmful effects of acid as she experiences a ‘bad trip.’ Listeners start to get the dark and sultry melodies from the song “Nobody,” then “Overstimulated,” followed by the “Bad Trip Interlude” and finally “Oblivion” where Aiko speaks on wanting to go back to a time where there were no people, places or things. The album ends on a lighter note with the last song being “Trip ft. Mali Music” where Aiko touches on not letting the darkness overcome.

Trip is a must-listen album for drives to the beach where you listen as the water crashes against the shoreline and there’s time to sit and reflect. Aiko, who was always been a personal artist, exposes yet another layer to her angst against the cruel world and the anxiety of life itself, but also shows a softer side that is still trying to spread love, eliminate egotistical desire and figure everything out as she learns to cope with the pain she feels.

Listen to Trip on Spotify.