THE ALBUM (TEYANA TAYLOR)

RELEASED 19TH JUNE 2020

Favourite track: We Got Love

If you like RnB full of hard beats, relatable lyrics and liquid gold vocals you’ll like this

I was first introduced to Teyana Taylor with her song ‘Rose In Harlem’ which I had on repeat for ages. I loved the old school Hip-Hop sound partnered with strong feminine rap – the whole combination was beautiful. I was very curious to hear a whole 23- track album entitled rather simply The Album featuring some incredible artists. I was READY to review. The cover art shows a woman posed almost for an editorial in a ‘Grace Jones’ style with African jewellery in gold against dark skin and black leather trousers. It’s edgy and powerful and if this represents what is to come musically from her, this is going to be a great album.

Image credit: Pitchfork

‘Intro’ opens with some audio of people cheering as a man speaks. Then a soft RnB style beat fades in with a heartbeat bassline and then a call asking for an ambulance as a child is born. The man asks him to stay on the line and answer questions about the baby and mother and gives the father instructions on what to do. Junie and Rick Ross feature on ‘Come Back To Me’ which opens with a lot of energy and then a slow, romantic RnB piano and vocal harmony. It gives me old Alicia Keys vibes – ‘You Don’t Know My Name’ type of sound – but slower. We finally get to hear Teyana sing and it’s everything. Her voice has this raspy quality which works so well against the male vocals. ‘Wake Up Love’ (ft. IMAN) opens with slow, muted guitar and then a hard but slow RnB beat. The vocals are dreamy as she talks about how she needs his attention in the morning leading into a catchy and sweet chorus. Erykah Badu features on ‘Lowkey’ which opens with some synth keys and effects on a slow RnB beat as she is confused about what to do as she really wants him but it’s “not the right time”. ‘Let’s Build’ (ft. Quavo) opens with some strummed acoustic guitar on repeat which grounds the song and then a HARD RnB beat with a nice combination of vocals. We have more of a futuristic/video-game opening in ‘1800-One-Night’ which then is thrown back into the 80s with synths and magical sounds.

Kehlani features on ‘Morning’ which is both sexy and ethereal in its opening and then sharp synths come in followed by video game sounds and a crashing bass/synth sound here and there as they sing about making love “until the morning”. Missy Elliot and Future both feature on ‘Boomin’ which opens with sirens, vocal FX and slow hard RnB beat as Future repeats “do you know what you mean to me?” and she tells him what she can do to him in bed. ‘69’ opens with a quirky collaboration of instrumentals and stop-start beats. The only fluid thing would be her vocals as she sings again about…sex (I mean why not?). I really love the beat, vocals and atmospheric backing in ‘Killa’ (ft. DaVido) – this might be my favourite one. ‘Bad’ has a Reggae rhythm partnered with brass instruments and Hip-Hop beats. It’s a vibe. We’re back to slow, RnB feels in ‘Wrong Bitch’ as she warns him “I ain’t sticking around” if he keeps acting up. Big Sean features on ‘Shoot It Up’ which opens with a synth melody and then that slow RnB atmospheric beat and instrumental. The vocals are really smooth and contrast completely with the more monotonous low tones of Big Sean. ‘Bare Wit Me’ was another decent RnB song with slightly more attack this time, contrasting with the more ballad-like ‘Lose Each Other’ which is very open and heartfelt as she tells him “I meant it when I said I loved you and love don’t go away”.

‘Concrete’ opens with 80s-inspired synth keys and atmospheric instrumentals in the background. It’s another emotional track about relationships and conflict as she “tries to get through” to him but it’s “like talking to concrete”. ‘Still’ has a heavy opening with more of a Hip-Hop beat and bass that will have you moving. I love the vocal work here as she explains how she keeps crying tears but doesn’t want to fight back. I love the RnB beat and guitar in ‘Ever Ever’ with smooth vocals and a dual male voice in the background. ‘Try Again’ is a catchy AF song with synth keys and a more active RnB beat. We’ve got a harder beat and little melody going in ‘Friends’ along with vocals in the background adding that extra layer. The beat is one you can dance to (like many in this album) as she adopts more of a rap style here about “trust” and how she wishes she “never let you in”. King Combs features on ‘How You Want It?’ and I could have sworn I’ve heard that strummed guitar before but it’s got a real 90s RnB feel and I’m living for the old school vibes. ‘Made It’ opens with a Jazz piano and brass and then a Hip-Hop beat which will again have you moving as it’s more of an upbeat, celebratory song. We’ve got some gospel style opening in ‘We Got Love’ (ft. Ms. Lauryn Hill). I grew up listening to Lauryn Hill and Kelis and this song is just perfect. I LOVE this song.

If you just want to have something on to vibe to this album is it but can’t lie…there are some songs perfect for the bedroom.