Kali Uchis – Isolation (2018)

Recalling the best of early-aughts hip-hop and radio pop, this debut record by the Colombian-American performer is a sleek, sexy affair. There are some down-tempo, candy colored grooves like “Miami” and “Flight 22,” with Uchis gliding over each song as though she’s an organic part of it instead of a performer interpreting the music, and she’s an absolute delight to listen to. On other tracks like “Your Teeth in My Neck” and “Dead to Me,” she recalls the best of Kelis, managing to tap into the same playful blend of hip hop and 1960s girl-group sing-song structure that Kelis herself specializes in. And yet, songs like “Tyrant” and “Nuestro Planeta” manage to delve into the more thunderous tendencies of its genre without ever becoming bombastic. Uchis has delivered a full-length debut that arrives fully formed, and she’s nothing but impressive from beginning to end.

Rating: ★★★★ (out of 5)

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