Alina Baraz’s proper album debut (finally!) is quite divine. It Was Divine contains 52 minutes of ethereal goodness. Baraz sings through all the stages of a relationship from being madly in love to ultimately drifting apart. The album definitely has a similar romantic mood to her first EP Urban Flora, a collaborative project with producer Galimatias. However, in It Was Divine, Baraz reclaims her own sound which is characterized by serene, sentimental ballads. This album shows how she utilizes her own emotion, making her songs much rawer than her prior ventures.
Baraz’s voice is smooth like butter; it lulls you into a sense of security. It makes me feel like I’m being wrapped in vanilla-scented satin sheets.
My favorite song in the album is “Frank.” I don’t really have a particular reason for loving it as much as I do, but if I close my eyes at night with this song playing, I feel like I’m floating.
All of the featured artists add a nice edge, especially Khalid in “Off the Grid.” Baraz and Khalid form a natural pair that just works in every collaboration of theirs I’ve listened to. Khalid’s deep coffee-toned voice naturally contrasts with Baraz’s silky voice. I first became a fan of Baraz through her collaboration with Khalid on “Electric.” In this song, their strong musical chemistry is proven once again.
My only criticism of the album is that all the songs sound very similar. There is nothing drastically dynamic about the tracklist. Maybe there’s a charm to that? It certainly works great as study music. I would recommend listening to this album if you want to feel contemplative and reflective during quarantine when everything feels all too uncertain and broken at times. Baraz stated that she “wanted to heal with this album” in an interview with Apple Music. I can confidently vouch for her: It Was Divine truly does have healing properties.
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