Ari Lennox’s crisp, velvety soprano evokes each the lavender incense at a profitable women’ evening in and the sensual intimacy after a pleasant date evening out. The amorous aptitude of her music channels a wealthy lineage of Black girls neo-soul artists of the Nineteen Nineties and early ’00s, who prioritized their sexual wishes alongside the journey to self-acceptance. Drawing on Jill Scott’s jazz-inflected pressure and Erykah Badu’s philosophical ruminations, Lennox’s personal model of neo-soul finds freedom within the flesh. The DC native’s 2016 EP Pho employed the retro aptitude of ’70s R&B to seize the bliss of getting her carnal wants met; her 2019 full-length debut Shea Butter Child exuded the aroma of ardour whereas embracing the autonomy of a younger single girl attempting to grasp her value past intercourse. On her second album, age/intercourse/location, Lennox ditches the formulaic takes on lust and romantic uncertainty for a steamier, sexier assortment of songs that push her additional alongside in her quest for self-acceptance.
Lennox has described the brand new album as “the transitional house earlier than my present eat, pray, love journey”—a clichéd but correct evaluation of her most assured-sounding challenge but. If Shea Butter Child highlighted her frustration at not receiving the love she wishes, Lennox is now extra inquisitive about giving that very same like to herself. Located within the transit house between the eager for exterior validation and the arrogance required to not want it, age/intercourse/location presents a bountiful exploration of what it really means to be grown and horny. On the groovy, upbeat “Waste My Time,” co-written by British singer and producer MNEK, Lennox exams the boundaries of her higher vary as she affirmatively decides to enter a relationship that can present solely momentary satisfaction: “Waste my time/Get on my line/’Trigger I obtained the time to waste,” she instructs.
It’s the one time we see her take pleasure in an unsustainable encounter just because she needs to: Lennox devotes a lot of the report to asserting her energy in understanding what she doesn’t need. “Younger Black girl approachin’ 30 with no lover in my mattress/Can not settle, I obtained requirements,” she sings on the bluesy opener “POF,” that includes backing vocals by J. Cole. The humorous duet-skit “Boy Bye,” which casts Fortunate Daye within the function of an earnest suitor failing to court docket a skeptical Lennox, seems like a recent replace of the interlude in Erykah Badu’s 1997 basic “Subsequent Lifetime.” On “Blocking You,” Lennox’s voice floats over funky guitar chords and dreamy synths as she calls for privateness to revive her internal peace: “Blocking you on the whole lot.” On earlier tasks, Lennox sang about intercourse positivity and the self-doubt related to relationships as if a romantic reference to a companion had been required to outlive (see “Whipped Cream”). Now she’s beginning to perceive that it’s not.
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