In the wake of T-Pain and The-Dream's halcyon days of the mid-2000s, pitch correction technology has become inextricably linked to rap and R&B, especially the more pop-minded strains of each genre. While we love our robotic warblers like Ty Dolla $ign, Future and lord Yeezus, it gets a bit tiring to hear the effect deployed every time someone starts being melodic. Clearly skilled enough to not need it, and confident enough to go against the prevailing current, Kehlani rarely (if ever) seems to doctor her voice in her music, which is a breath of fresh air.
On tracks like the recently-released "How That Taste," her vocals are obviously pretty enough to sit on their own, but the lack of digitized correction humanizes her somewhat raspy, raw voice. It's these quirks, also apparent when she speaks, that ground Kehlani into sounding like the girl next door rather than an unattainable superstar. We're with it.