Trouble in Paradise
What if the snake and the fruit poisoned so much more than a kingdom? Do you ever think about how the rot could have invaded the bond between two lovers? Sometimes, I wonder what that did to Adam and Eve and their love for each other. What trouble did it bring to paradise? And if it did, would they have fought to keep what remained from the ruins? Do you think Eve would have wrote to Adam? How many letters do you think she would have sent? Did they, if it did?
Shekhinah’s new album titled Trouble in Paradise feels like Eve reading her letters to Adam. It sounds like someone reading handwritten letters sent to a silent lover. A lover, who I imagine, never writes back. It feels like twelve handwritten letters were laid out one-by-one on a bedroom floor for someone to understand, more than anything. Each letter carries a little of heartbreak, residual feelings, a sigh, a cry and some bits of healing.
And from the title of the album, we know what led to this lover writing is trouble in paradise. However, we are never told if it was a crawling serpent or the juices of an apple that poisoned this Garden of Eden.
We cannot reduce the album, every letter, all twelve songs, to someone writing about their heartbreak. In addition, the reading of each letter is of different harmonies. Her voice and articulation drift from what sounds like women who sing RnB to the sound of a Pop songstress. Like her message to her lover, what she reads is not repeated in every letter addressed to her lover. There are melodies that could bring you to tears because the words sound like something you have longed to write to someone with whom you long for a paradise. And there are beats that you could dance to while you think of your own healing.
In addition, there is a letter that reads like the PS of the entire album. Do not mistake it for an afterthought though. It just would not be read first. The letter serves as a reminder. It feels like a deposit of memories before the trouble. In other words, what she writes to her lover is a letter that comes from a place that will forever love. And this promise of eternal love, even with the darkness, is read in the other letters.
No fairytale confusion
And after her reading of all twelve letters, one outpouring is deposited into our minds. Shekhinah wants us to continue to think of love as the act of becoming. It sounds like she wants us to know that there is no fairytale ending to any letter. No one ends it with happily ever after although love could exceed the end. We are here to love, not to die because of love. Our trouble in paradise should not make us hate living in our beauty and wonder. It sounds like she is saying ‘find something in the ruins that builds you’.