Ari Lennox - “age/sex/location” Album Review
Washington D.C. singer, Ari Lennox has dropped her long-awaited sophomore album, “age/sex/location,” once again demonstrating her uniqueness as an artist. Signing to J. Cole’s Dreamville label back in 2016, she has been making a name for herself despite her humble beginnings.
Dropping two singles before her September release, much anticipation was held from fans, seeing as she seemed to be approaching a new and more evolved sound. Now, with the full release, it is clear to see that it works, and it works well.
“age/sex/location” is a sensual experience full of romance that is hypnotizing and gorgeous.
The R&B record is packed with slow jams and lyrics that resemble pillow talk. What best stands out is Lennox’s vocal ability, and how she utilizes it. Her range is incredible, and on nearly every track she lets loose with beautiful harmonies and articulation letting her audience know that she is singing her heart out.
One can’t help but compare her to the legendary Lauryn Hill. With similar lyrical concepts, and blending genres between pop, soul, funk and hip hop, there is reminiscence, but also obvious to distinguish her as her own artist. Sometimes, there are also hints of Beyoncé thrown into the mix, as Lennox urges for the empowerment of women, and derives self-love and being comfortable in your own skin.
The opener is an incredible introduction to the world of Lennox. The very first line opens with, "’Destined for greatness’ is always what my mama said, young black woman approachin' thirty with no lover in my bed." She is smart, sexy, confident and wants the world to know. The instrumental has lofi aspects, but still retains an element of funk. It immediately just clicks.
The lead single, “Pressure,” is one of the best cuts on the record. It is arguably the most upbeat track and features one of Lennox’s best performances. The backing vocals and the tight drum kits used in the production add extra elements of vitality to the passionately sung lyrics.
The closer ties every piece together very well. The feature from Summer Walker also blends strikingly with Lennox, leaving with some of the catchiest bars and choruses on the entire record.
The rest of the tracklist also stands out in their own ways with impactful moments spread out through the album's 41-minute run time. There is nothing to dislike aside from a few of the instrumentals sounding similar.
The album is perfect for bedtime, or just something to relax in general. Lennox makes a soothing and comfortable environment for anyone who peers into her music. She speaks freely, leaving out no details, no matter how personal they are.
The title refers to her time attempting to seek love online, and how it usually failed. When asking for “A/S/L,” there is only so much that one can understand about the other person. From here on out, she is going more organic, staying more true to herself.
With this record and her recent features on major label products, it would be no surprise if Lennox received more recognition soon. This newest release, “age/sex/location,” is just yet another reason why she deserves it all.
Reviewers' Favorite Tracks: "Hoodie,” “Pressure,” “Queen Space”
Reviewers' Least Favorite Track: N/A
Caelan Chevrier is a third-year majoring in marketing. To contact him, email email@example.com.
About the Contributors
Third Year / Marketing & Journalism