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Updated: Sep 28, 2020

Artist: iyla


Genre: #Rap, #RandB

Sub Genre: #SingerSongwriter, #Pop

Label: 3T Entertainment

Non-Arable Tracks: “Cash Rules,” “Bad Side”


Iyla’s latest album “OTHER WAYS TO VENT” is a smooth blend of beats, ballads, and betrayal. Even though iyla is no newbie to the music scene, this Los Angeles based artist is making waves with her latest record featuring verses from Other Method and Y2. The central themes of the album are dishonesty and revival of self. Iyla narrates a journey in which she comes to realize her self worth and decides she is a self-proclaimed independent after being betrayed by her lover. The first track on the album entitled “Tattoo Tears” begins with incredibly crisp vocals and pronunciation by the singer that is tastefully backtracked by vocals that compliment the main voice as to not take away from what she is saying. The bridge of the song offers tranquil harmonies that slide in and out of the foreground with clear production value. The song as a whole is a great opener to the album since it sets the stage for the overall girl boss tone of the record.

The album as a whole dissects the actions of a previous relationship that clearly took her for granted and to combat this mistreatment she delivers soul-filled beats that do not overpower her overall message. The compilation of electronic beats with clearly distinguishable instruments such as the flute, piano, and horns offer a tasteful backtrack to each lyrical progression. The tracks “Naked Girl” and “Bad Side” offer a different tone to the album in which she delivers ballads instead of more traditional rap tracks. Each of these songs shows a more vulnerable side to the singer in which she exposes her insecurities surrounding the fall of her relationship. The tone of these songs is more reflective and forward-thinking in which she tries to reassure herself that despite her pain she will be able to learn from her experiences and attempt to build up her self confidence again by reminding herself who she is. “Naked Girl” has a tone that is executed tastefully since there can be reggae influences found in the instrumental breaks which adds depth to the track so it does not simply offer one dimension of a girl trying to rebuild her self confidence but can stand alone a quality song regardless of the emotion-filled theme.

Overall the entirety of the album is extremely well done with high production value and is executed with intent and purpose. Despite ilya’s central themes of the realization that she is being played by her ex-partner the record does not give her the benefit of the doubt but rather is a tool in which she reflects on her mistakes and learns from her experiences. Throughout each song, there can be found hints of a heavy base, classical instruments, and soulful lyrics. The album appeals to the feminity of any girl who feels like she is not good enough to be the protagonists in her lover’s life. With this relatable sentiment and worldly influences “OTHER WAYS TO VENT” is sure to be a staple in anybody’s breakup, get ready, or study playlist.

Sounds Like: Kehlani, SZA, Doja Cat

Recommended Tracks: “Naked Girl,” “Cash Rules”

Reviewer’s Name: Peyton Riegel

Date of Review: February 27, 2020

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