A review of Snoh Aalegra's third studio album
With TEMPORARY HIGHS IN THE VIOLET SKIES, Snoh Aalegra creates a new-wave funk pop/R&B vibe that is certain to catch the ear of the unfamiliar listener (think lo-fi with actual lyrics). With a coveted feature from superstar Tyler, The Creator and James Fauntleroy, the album captivates our attention with simple production that is complemented perfectly with the dazzling vocals from Aalegra. Normally a sought-out feature artist, Snoh Aalegra solidifies herself as a beyond capable solo R&B artist with this album. This is an addicting 46-minute listen and can grow on you with consecutive approaches.
The addiction of this album draws from the intoxicating themes: the confusion of the loss of love and the resulting emotions, the temporary high that love leaves you with, and the disillusionment of a breakup and the resulting clarity. “IN YOUR EYES”, produced by Pharrell and his signature 4 count intro, we traverse through the heart-breaking notion that the love Aalegra could be nothing more than a disguise in search of something more from her faulty lover: “If you seek, you will find/What was there, the whole time/Was love in disguise in your eyes?”
The accusations quickly escalate in “NEON PEACHES” with Tyler, The Creator – perhaps, the best song of the bunch. Speaking of a relationship that has gone far beyond its expiration date, the song is strengthened by two verses from the explosive feature artist. The expiration is quickly recognized in the first chorus: “It's the things that you do/ I know we've gone too far/ When I think about the things that we do” While the song is upbeat, the true meaning is almost depressing in the grand scheme. However, this is only a small sample of the overall themes and delectable confrontation present in this album.
Similar to the late 90’s and early 00’s Alicia Keys, the artist is comfortable with her singing voice being the forefront attention while the production is meant as a complimentary facet. Aalegra sticks to her signature sound throughout the entire journey – and while that’s not bad – it can become repetitive unless you consciously and actively listen. Phonetically, it is comparable to her 2019 LP, -Ugh, those feels again. As a result, you could consider this a “safe” album, though safe isn’t meant as derogatory – just the opposite of exploratory and experimental.