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Ari Lennox Releases Second Studio Album “age/sex/location”

2022 has been the year of music releases. With Beyoncé and Britney back, it feels like we’ve been transported back to the better times of 2003. What better way to get into that very late “Virgo Groove” than to explore one of September’s most critically-acclaimed and anticipated album releases?

Grammy-nominated R&B singer Ari Lennox has released her second studio album, age/sex/location. Lennox has opted for a more soulful and mellow R&B sound throughout her career, with beats often resembling those of Jhene Aiko’s smooth-sailing binaural beat-influenced songs. Having listened to this album as both an objective reviewer and a subjective Ari Lennox stan, it proves to be no different, though more ambient than her first record, Shea Butter Baby.

The rollout for this album has been a long one, spanning over the length of a year. The lead single “Pressure,” a hip-hop and neo-soul influenced track, was released in September 2021 and became Lennox’s highest-peaking solo song on the Billboard Hot 100 at 66. The second single, “Hoodie,” and the third single, “Queen Space,” a neo-soul jam with fellow R&B powerhouse Summer Walker, were both released in August.

The 12-track album features three R&B collaborations and aesthetically pleasing cover art. Lennox enlisted R&B crooner Lucky Daye on “Boy Bye,” solo newcomer and Beyoncé-student Chlöe of sisterly duo Chloe x Halle and R&B princess Summer Walker on “Queen Space.” On the cover art, Lennox sits in a pool clothed in a diamond-encrusted swimsuit and surrounded by beautiful clouds.

J. Cole shared a text message on Instagram from Lennox explaining what this album means to her. “Transitional space. Very vulnerable codependent and validation-seeking part of my life… I spent so much time seeing the god and good in some abusive people. Neglecting my needs and self-worth. Romanticizing terrible people. Ignoring red flags. Ignoring my opinions and those knots in my stomach when interacting with people I’m dating…”

Moving with a healthier mindset, Lennox continues, “Communicating my concerns immediately. No more tiptoeing. No more docile. Providing grace and compassion to myself. Blocking those that no longer serve me or just literally not responding. Blocking the resistance to heal. Allowing accountability and maturing. Allowing growth to happen. Allowing self-worth and self-love and inner work to happen. Allowing therapy. Allowing dating me to happen. Doing things I like to do whenever I want. Learning new things. Allowing that desperation and neediness to fade. What’s for me is for me and I’m complete on my own. This is my eat pray love journey. And it’s my honest goodbye to searching for love. I got it right here inside of me. The end of searching for anything other than self-love and family. Pouring into me and giving the greatest love to me.”

Ari Lennox’s second studio album, age/sex/location, is out now on all streaming services and platforms.

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Political Science major, African American Studies/Women’s Studies Minor. Can be found drowning in Pink Drinks, CDs, and Britney Spears merch.
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