Kali Uchis - Isolation (LP)
With her debut LP, Isolation, Kali Uchis stakes a very convincing claim at being the hot new crossover act of 2018. Hop scotching effortlessly between myriad genres, her mellifluous vocals shifting from sassy to angry, sultry to stinging, it's the sound of a musician coming fully, and gloriously, into her own. Shaped with a perfectionist's touch over two years, Isolation is an "open journal" of an album, one that maps moments of self-discovery in song. It builds on the classic pop and doo-wop blueprint of her Por Vida EP, to fully realize Uchis's sound, aided by an impressive cast of guests. Bookended by the airy, flute-laced "Body Language," and the immaculately orchestrated soul of "Killer," it turns through R&B, on the stuttering beats and skanking guitar of "Miami," and the "post-apocalyptic love song" "Tyrant," by way of popping funk on "Just A Stranger." Taken as a whole, the record doubles as both sleek, immaculate soul and Uchis' battlecry against the small-town cynicism she encountered growing up in Virginia.