Song of the Day #4,532: ‘Born Tired’ – Jhené Aiko

The 2021 Grammy nominations were announced last week. I have little interest or investment in the Grammys, which are usually even more out of touch than the Emmys or Oscars. But that doesn’t mean I don’t root for my favorites to get some recognition.

Happily, three of my five favorite eligible albums showed up in the Album of the Year category: Haim’s Women in Music Part III, Dua Lipa’s Future Nostalgia, and Taylor Swift’s Folklore. Two others missed the cut: Miranda Lambert’s Wildcard and Fiona Apple’s Fetch the Bolt Cutters (which seemed like a shoo-in for this category right after its release).

This week I’ll give a listen to the other five Album of the Year nominees to see what, if anything, I’ve been missing.

First up is Jhené Aiko’s CHILOMBO, named after the Los Angeles singer-songwriter’s real last name. This album was written and recorded entirely on the “big island” of Hawaii, with Aiko freestyling most of her vocals and fleshing out the songs with traditional instruments.

At 20 songs and more than one hour, this record is an endurance test (and one I admittedly did not make it all the way through). It’s high on atmosphere but low on hooks, and exactly the kind of R&B/neo soul for which I have zero patience.

[Intro]
I’m sleepy
Aah, aah

[Verse 1]
Three deep breaths
Ten steps backwards
Going backwards
Now I’m switchin’ lanes
Tire marks
On my heart
It don’t beat the same, no

[Pre-Chorus]
Rest your weary heart
Dry your teary eyes
I know you are scarred
And torn apart inside, yeah
Darlin’, so am I
Okay

[Chorus]
‘Cause, baby, I was born tired
Getting more tired
As time passes me by, yeah
I’ma need more fire
Way, way more fire
So pass that thing my way

[Bridge]
La-da-da-ah
Ha-ha-ha
Ha-ha-ha, yeah

[Verse 2]
It’s been a long night
Long life, long time fighting
Let out a long sigh
Alright, why am I trying?
‘Cause look at how far you have come
And look at all that you have going
Look at who you have become
Baby, you gotta keep going

[Pre-Chorus]
Ooh, rest your weary heart
Dry your teary eyes
I know you are scarred
And torn apart inside
Inside, inside, inside
Darlin’, so am I, so am I

[Chorus]
Baby, I was born tired
Getting more tired
As time passes me by
I’ma need more fire
Way, way more fire
So pass that thing my way

[Outro]
Ayy, I’m tired, but I’m fired up
Tired, but I’m fired up
Tired, but I’m fired up
Tired, but I’m fired up
La-da-da-ah (Da-da-da)
Ha-ha-ha (Ha-ha-ha)
Ha-ha-ha (Ha-ha-ha-ha)

2 thoughts on “Song of the Day #4,532: ‘Born Tired’ – Jhené Aiko

  1. Dana Gallup says:

    I’m a bit surprised that Apple was not nominated, but my money is on Swift to have a good night. She put out the perfect album for the Covid times we have lived through this year.

  2. The Cool Guy (Daniel) says:

    I have no idea why this album was nominated. I don’t really know who the academy is or what they were thinking with a couple of these choices. Admittedly, I’d be fine with some oddballs if the album that clearly deserved a nomination “Fine Line” by Harry Styles was honored. However, with that huge overlook it’s difficult to take some of these nominations seriously. “Fine Line” was a commercial and critical success and achieved so much more diversity in sound and profound lyrics certainly than Jhene Aiko, Jacob Collier, and Coldplay.

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