TWENTY88 Album Review


When you really think about, this project makes so much sense. Detroit rapper Big Sean and LA singer Jhene Aiko have showed listeners their amazing musical chemistry over and over with a considerable number of songs in each other's albums. Combining Aiko’s heaven-made vocals with Sean’s fast flows seem like the perfect idea. And while the high points of TWENTY88 show a lot of potential, there's much polishing to be done.

1. Déjà Vu
Nice intro! First off, love the beat. Producers Cam O'bi and Key Wane killed it! Atmosphere is there, and the sample is super soulful. Very Kanye-esque. The song itself is pretty enjoyable. Even if I'm not a big fan of the monotonous flow Big Sean uses in a lot of his songs (including this one), he has some notable moments flow-wise. Jhene Aiko brings a lot of melody, and a pretty unique verse that I enjoyed a lot. The hook is laid back and melodic. Content wise, Sean and Jhene talk about their experiences and issues with previous relationships. Nothing crazy, but a solid foundation to a delightful track.
The Song is: Great! I love it!


2. Selfish
Not mad at this one. Let's start with the instrumental. It's pretty good, but it could have been better. The melody and some of the instruments that pop in and out are excellent. However, I wasn't a big fan of the drumline, and at times the beat felt a bit convoluted. Big Sean didn't sound too good in this one. His voice and style didn't really fit, and he had some corny lines. As soon as Jhene's verses kicked in, everything felt more natural. The beat was perfectly suited for her. You can already tell content will be pretty limited. Selfish is about the tension and stresses of a relationship from the male perspective (Sean) and the female (Jhene).
The Song is: Good. I like it.

3. On The Way
The thing about this song, it's not bad. The problem is that everything about it screams: AVERAGE. Production is too laid back and soft to really change the song. Big Sean and Jhene both stay in their comfortable zone, and the result is a stale track. The hook is catchy enough, but nothing stands out.
The Song is: Alright. Probably won't be listening in a week.

4. Push It
I'm a man, and this song managed to get me pregnant. Seriously, I adore the vibes in this one. Da Internz cooked some fire up. The beat is perfect for the project. It has R&B and Hip-Hop influence, alongside a melody that makes you feel like you're in space. Jhene absolutely murdered this. Her style and vocals are hella sexy, adding a ton of flavor to the song. Sean's verse is acceptable, but I almost wish this was a smaller, solo Jhene song. Still, pretty good stuff.
The Song is; Good. I like it.

5. 2 Minute Warning
I'll be honest here. I don't like this song. I think it's a mess. The song attempts to depict the lustful side of any relationship. However, it just feels like it didn't come together. Sean actually did good. Lyrics aren't anything to brag about, but the flow is stellar. Production wasn't too good. It does some weird transitions that I just didn't enjoy. Lastly, the hook is not interesting at all (saying "It's a 2 minute warning, and I know that you're horny" 35 times is not that special.
The Song is: Not For Me. Last time listening.

6. Talk Show
This track is pretty clever. Sean and Jhene play a couple "in love". They're guests on a talk show, and they begin talking politely about each other; it eventually turns into a heated argument televised live to the nation. I'm not a big fan of the sample (the flute was annoying me). Outside of that, I dig everything else. Jhene plays the part perfectly, even if she doesn't sing or rap. Sean spits two solid verses, the last one probably being his best verse in the entire project.
The Song is: Good. I Like it.

7. Memories Faded
Decent banger. Production feels a bit generic, but you know what they say: all fire is orange. It's still fire. This had my speakers blowing up. Sean and Jhene talk about the memories you can't quite erase after ending things with a significant other. Jhene and Sean both fit the production, delivering tasteful verses. Nothing out of this world, just a chill song to enjoy late at night.
The Song is: Good. I dig it.

8. London Bridge
Overwhelming outro. Considering the song is about the relationship being saved, I was expecting something a lot more melodic and celebratory. But this one is vanilla. Too vanilla. The beat is slow, and almost depressive. Both members of TWENTY 88 do their thing (Sean has another good verse), but the song itself had me daydreaming.
The Song is: Alright. Probably won't be listening in a week.

Verdict: If anything, TWENTY88 shows us that its members have a successful formula on their hands. As a body of work, their debut project didn't fully satisfy me;providing me with some excellent tracks alongside some dull, lackluster songs. Excited to see where they go from here.

Favorite Songs
- Déjà Vu
- Push It
- Talk Host

Least Favorite Songs
- 2 Minute Warning
- London Bridge
-  On The Way


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