Music

On Debut Album ‘It Was Divine,’ Alina Baraz Provides An Intimate Look at Love

The release features a delicate, reflective sound throughout.

Alina Baraz finally serves up her debut album It Was Divine an extensive release packed with fresh production. 

The pop-infused R&B project is authoritative and has a clear sound that shouldn’t be ignored. It also allows Baraz an opportunity to continue making a compelling case for her thriving artistry. It Was Divine has been in the works for nearly four years, she shared this detail in a recent interview with DJ Booth

Born in Cleveland, Ohio, the singer-songwriter moved to Los Angeles at 19 with her family to chase her dreams. In 2015, she unleashed her debut project Urban Flora which was a reflective release. It told the story of a past relationship and was created with Danish producer Galimatias. Fast forward to 2017, Alina kept building upon her craft and dropped the acclaimed single “Electric” with Khalid

Up next was The Color Of You, her EP which arrived in 2018 is expressive and it set a precedent for everything that followed it. Most of the cuts feature bouncy drums throughout and her vocals seem to float seamlessly. 

On It Was Divine, Baraz has clearly sorted out what she would like to be known for. The release is picturesque in the way that she tells stories about love. It’s almost as if a diary was on standby as she recorded each track. Below we’re sharing a few of our favorite tracks that we’ve been listening to over and over again after receiving the album nearly a month ago. 

“Frank” is an intimate, emotional listen. It could have been the intro track on the project. It touches on getting lost in the affection of a lover. The line “love me in the dark” is honestly quite beautiful. “Endlessly” is a song that delves into a remarkable love that almost feels timeless. Baraz manages to also capture how definitive and endless a close partnership with someone can feel. 

“Gimme The Wheel” featuring Smino is a delicate love song. It’s all about the airy feelings that come with infatuation that turns into wanting to take full control of a partnership. It’s a strong track, and honestly one of the most enjoyable listens on the album. Smino’s wordplay doesn’t sound forced as some features with singers often do. Honorable mention: “Until I Met You” featuring Nas. 

On the album, via email, Baraz shared, “This is my first full-length album. I’ve lost [the] concept of time in this process but I think that’s the best thing about it.” She also added, “There’s no hidden agenda that comes with it. I just wanted to understand myself better. I wanted to heal and grow. I think people will too. It’s more than a collection of songs, every song is woven together. Every sound has intention. It’s meant to be consumed in its entirety.”

As a whole, It Was Divine is a detailed, ethereal experience. Baraz has an innate ability to write about all the shiny and also the not so beautiful parts of relationships. That combined with the subtle and exploratory production she constantly enlists is what keeps fans coming back for more (that includes me). 

Stream Alina Baraz’s debut album It Was Divine below.

Robyn Mowatt

Robyn Mowatt is a Staff Writer at Okayplayer where she covers culture, music, and fashion. You can see what's on her mind on Twitter at @robyn_mowatt.

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