Ari Lennox "age/sex/location" Album Review
It's been three years since Shea Butter Baby, a modern R&B classic and a tough act to follow, but age/sex/location is the sophmore album from Ari Lennox that we've all been waiting for and it's a very serious contender for R&B Album of the Year.
The production is the result of her previous sound maturing like a fine wine. It's seductive yet soulful and there's a layer of nostalgia laced through the production. On lead single 'Pressure', there's a Motown bounce and a rich feel to the production enhanced by the Shirley Brown sample. Opener 'POF' feels heavy on Neo-soul and blues, from the keys to the melodies. Both big examples of the evocative nature of age/sex/location. Even the name itself is a reference to the chatrooms Ari used to find herself in back in the day. She speaks more about this on the 'A/S/L Interlude', bringing back the chipmunk voice from Shea Butter Baby that helped give her debut more dimension.
The collaborations are to die for. 'Boy Bye' sees Ari and Lucky Daye in a skit-like intro, the chemistry between the two is undeniable. Their smooth voices intertwine as the dialogue continues. The entire duet is an experience that feels like a scene in a movie. On 'Leak It', Ari enlists Chlöe for a sensual song guaranteed to put you in an amorous mood. Chlöe was absolutely the perfect collaborator on this track as she's very in tune with her sexuality and it translates in her voice. Ari's vocals are exceptional on this track and her lyrics are vividly passionate about sex. 'Queen Space' with Summer Walker is about self respect and making sure anyone who you's feeling you is mirroring the effort you're putting in. It's firm in context and in it's chopped inflections during the chorus, while the harmonies and adlibs give it a tender softness.
Ari's latest is sure to resonate with a lot of women. It expresses the vulnerability when one is searching for love. Whether it's romanticisation or establishing boundaries, the desire of wanting to be loved right is evident and it's the relatability of Ari Lennox's music that allows listeners to tap into their emotions.
Written by Kat Friar