Best of 2016(imo): Reflections In Real Time

Last Thursday I introduced some of you to the musical stylings of Kilo Kish with my Throwback Thursday post. I did that because I think more people need to hear her amazing voice (seriously it’s one of the most distinctive voices in music today), and also because I wanted to start talking about my favorite albums from 2016 and I couldn’t think of a better album to start with than Kilo Kish’s Reflections In Real Time.

(pssst check out this “music video”)

Reflections In Real Time is a pretty heavy album thematically speaking. We’re hit with songs covering self identity, the need for social media personas, sexual temptations, questioning the existence of God, and existential crises among other topics. While a great number of areas are touched upon, this wide spread of subject matter actually allows the listener to focus in on the artist as a person. We hear her doubts, fears, frustrations, hopes, musings, and the conclusions that she’s come to. Reflections In Real Time is an extremely apt title because with each track the listener is experiencing Kish’s most introspective thoughts and feelings. This is due, in part, to her honest writing style. One the most drawing aspects of Kilo Kish as an artist is her way with words. Not only do you get a clear sense of what she is trying to say, but she says in a way that you can’t help but be impressed by. For example, in The Fears of a Dilettante she says, “At times I only notice the death in things/ The brown spots on bananas/and my fears are only ripening”.

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While the writing is a strong and important factor in what make KK an open book, it is not the only thing that allows the listener to step into her head. The beatwork on this album is phenomenal. The sounds perfectly sync up with the words to create the colors that Kish could have been seeing when she was creating this work of art for us. For a great deal of the album, the tone of the music is very somber and weighty feeling, which is reflective of the lyrical content. On The Mend, an instrumental track in the middle of the album, seems to hold the listener’s hand and guide them through an introspective trip to their inner self, and perfectly bleeds into the next track. RIRT isn’t a sonic downer however, as songs such as (the intro track)Thank You! and Collected Views From Dinner sound fun and even jovial despite being about struggling with identity and classism (okay to be honest that’s a bit of a reach, but that’s the closest one word meaning I could give you. you’re really gonna have to listen and draw your own conclusion).

Another thing I love about Kilo Kish is that she does things her own way. This has been evident across both of her EPs and her mixtape (which are all completely different stylistically speaking), and that trend is definitely continued on her debut album (…which is the album I’m reviewing…if you didn’t get that…). The biggest testament to this, is the way she structures the words that she sings. Many times she sings part of a word or pushes many words together and sings them at once as if they were all one. The way that she dances with syllables is definitely something that I haven’t heard many others do (and of those that have, not many can make it sound as good or intriguing).

Overall I think that this is a solid effort by Kilo Kish. While I don’t think it’s her best, I do think it’s one of the better albums to come out in 2016, and I really encourage you guys to go check it out.

Overall Rating: 7.5/10 ( It’s sonically soothing, but the subject matter is heavy and isn’t something you should play if you’re having a bad mental health day

Standout Tracks: Distractions II: The Dilemma of Cool, Collected Views From Dinner, Existential Crisis Hour!, Obsessing, Humans + Ants in Proportion (Unfinished)

Favorite Line: what if we are all,
just another lost colony
yet to live under a boot?
i don’t know if that’s true
I’m just thinking and writing
and thinking and typing it through

So there you have it. There’s the first album that I’d consider one of the best to come out this year. I’ll continue to make these points until either the year is over or I run out of albums from 2016 to talk about (whatever comes first). Thanks for reading, and remember to comment with albums you think I should review. Or for the purposes of the rest of the year, what album(or mixtape/EP) that came out in 2016  do you expect to be on my list? Comment and let me know!

There’s Some Flava For Your Ear

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