Wednesday, October 9th, 2019

Arin Ray with Kehlani – Change

2012 X Factor alum makes probably better music than he would made seven years ago…


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Alfred Soto: Young love articulated as prettily as anything by Hi-Five, Aaliyah, or Kehlani herself, with canny production: The echo-fade before her appearance suggests how we think we merge with our objects of desire during moments of self-deception. Young love, then.
[7]

Kylo Nocom: Immediately familiar in the way that would communicate unoriginality on a lesser song, but “Change” benefits from production prowess (the way the beat cuts near the end… [chef’s kiss]) and the charm of its two leads. Their half-rapping in the bridge bewilders for a moment, but the delivery of “look at God, look at love, look at how it overflow” is beautiful enough to justify this and the whole song.
[7]

Michael Hong: Arin Ray and Kehlani’s voices complement one another well, but the spoken word interlude in lieu of an actual bridge feels gratuitous, and the sampled drums are unnecessarily harsh.
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Katherine St Asaph: A [6], probably, but I’m overrating this because of how rare it is to find this particular sort of duet, even in 2019, when everything is a feature even when it doesn’t need to be. It’s the kind of track that comes off deeply felt (by both parties, woman and man: even rarer) yet nostalgic, breezy, ephemeral in the best way.
[7]

Josh Love: Even when she only sounds halfway engaged, Kehlani is still capable of elevating her material, in this case a pleasantly nondescript R&B duet that sounds like it could have nestled into the charts at any point in the past 25 years.
[5]

Hazel Southwell: I like this, which is probably because you can buy my love at a staggering discount of “put literally any beat TLC might have used on the track.” But it’s also legitimately sweet in its own right, a proper boy/girl song about bittersweet fondness full of lines that’d make good fanfic titles.
[7]

Stephen Eisermann: A romantic nostalgia-fest that shows how effective a well-used sample can be, “Change” showcases both Arin Ray and Kehlani’s versatility as they shift from singing to rapping seamlessly. These two make breaking up and reconciling sound worth it. 
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