Featuring a coveted features from superstar Tyler, The Creator, and James Fauntleroy, Aalegra’s third outing captivates and enigmatically draws attention with simple production that is complemented perfectly with dazzling vocals. Normally a sought-out feature artist, Aalegra solidifies herself as a formidable solo artist with TEMPORARY HIGHS – an addicting 46-minute listen that grows 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”, traverses through the heart-breaking notion that the love, for 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 indeed upbeat, the lurking deeper meaning adeptly counters this.
Similar to the late ‘90s and early ‘00s Alicia Keys, Aalegra is comfortable with her vocals being the forefront 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. Sonically, it’s comparable to her 2019’s Ugh, those feels again. As a result, you could consider TEMPORARY HIGHS IN THE VIOLET SKIES a “safe” album, though safe isn’t meant as derogatory – just the opposite of exploratory and experimental.