Track Review: Jhene Aiko, ‘Maniac’
Jhene Aiko is unafraid to get ‘down and dirty’ on risqué new single, “Maniac.” Innuendo runs rampant here.
Jhene Aiko is known for the subtle approach, at least in regards to vocal performance. Even so, her restraint packs a punch, albeit a cool, calm, and collected punch. Oxymoronic much? Anyways, Aiko returns and her subtlety has been transformed into utter profaneness. Indeed, on “Maniac,” she’s just that – a sex-obsessed maniac. “Maniac” ends up being naughty to the nth degree.
To reiterate, “Maniac” is a different sound for Jhene Aiko. This is a clear departure from the jump. Once it settles in, the performance and overall approach are familiar enough. Still, there are moments where Aiko pop-raps and clearly steps out of her box. The production is urban contemporary through and through, clearly in line with hip-hop.
Ultimately, the concept is shallow. She’s a horny maniac, period. On the first verse, she plays on the word head, hence also referencing fellatio… (eye rolls welcome). On the second verse, she honestly sings:
“Must admit I’m in love with your sex…”
Sigh. On the Pre-chorus, she expresses:
“Oh why, oh why I wait too long? / Oh his **** is way too long / I think I can take it all / on why, oh why you actin’ scared…”
Then on the Chorus, she sings:
“Have you ever f*cked with a maniac, maniac? / You just made love to a maniac, maniac.”
So much for subtlety their Jhene.
Steamy. “Maniac” is hella steamy. Honestly, who doesn’t feel the heat after listening to “Maniac.” This isn’t the most refined or most revered moment from Jhene Aiko by any means, but she accomplishes her goal of being sexy AF. Sex doesn’t supersede substance, but arguably it comes close here.
Jhene Aiko • “Maniac” • Def Jam • Release: 11.18.16
Photo Credits: Def Jam