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The Album By Teyana Taylor

The Album By Teyana Taylor

The Album explores the multifaceted experiences romance and motherhood that plays a significant role in Teyana’s life. Intro sets the tone with an audio of her child birth/motherhood experience. 

The first song is very smooth and melodic, capturing the reality of the ups & downs of relationships. It all sounds very silky with Teyana proclaiming her loyalty, hoping it would earn her permanence with her love interest. She proclaims “if it’s real then he’s going to comeback”.

‘Wake up love’ is a stand out songs with a smooth flow. A theme begins to set in where Teyana is seeking attention and comfort from her love interest. The song is hitting, with a vibe of classic r&b and Neo soul reminiscent of India Arie and Erykah Badu. So far in the album you can imagine Teyana as a soulful, soul sister, in love with her brown skin as she invokes her Afrocentric spirit . The silky classy piano playing is creating a very rich vibe with a real tangible aura and ambience.

By the impression of the first 2 songs, you’re immersed into the feeling that this is a lovers album. Teyana is very assured in herself delivering intensity and passion in her lyrical portrayal of self. She’s flowing really well to the beats. Right on cue an Erykah Badu feature comes in on track 3 “Lowkey” endorsing the feeling, identity and tempo set in the early part of the album. They yearn in the pursuit of out of reach love. Quavo’s introduction in ‘Lets Build’ brings the soulful r&b/ Neo soul vibe created a 2020 input with the use of auto tune sounds. At this point you start to feel like this is a real r&b album. A fight for love and loyalty, the struggle against all odds to build something permanent.

Teyana’s freaky side kicks in on ‘1800-One-Night’ where she describes her sexual inclinations. She’s working with her sexual powers, identity and allure which have characterised her in recent years. She is what she is, an unapologetic sexual freak without compromise, yet unforced. The theme of sexuality rolls in nicely into her sexual duet with Kehlani ‘Morning’. We’ve entered into the sexual phase of the album. Teyana is very comfortable in her skin and sexual Identity! Her Dual sexuality is expressed in this song, making it very apparent that we are in a place where women are very comfortable in expressing their dual sexual identity! 

With the arrival of Future and the legendary Missy Elliot on ‘Boomin’ a deliberate intent and pattern starts to emerge. Teyana is merging 90’s r&b/hiphop with current 2020 trap music by using auto tune artist. It’s working seamlessly, she brings the two worlds together very well. ’69’ continues the sexual tone maintaining her freak identity. At this point it’s simple, Teyana is a sex freak! 

Killa introduces a dancehall and Afro beat vibe featuring Davido. She really owns this sound & commands authority. It’s very ‘Rihanna-esque’ and Davido affirms this by comparing her to ‘Riri’. This one is for the dance floors.

The vibe continues into ‘Bad’, where the Caribbean sound and aggressive delivery puts her straight into the Rihanna lane. She even utters the line “you turned a good girl into a bad bad bitch”, reminisce of Rihanna’s classic album ‘Good girl gone bad’.  Teyana continues to use the Caribbean patois flow and she really owns it, it doesn’t feel forced or mimic like. ‘Bad’ is short and sweet, it has replay value (it got a few replays from me). It does start to feel like she’s coming for Rihanna’s lane especially after their past minor twitter rivalry. The song has a Reggae beat, Teyana sings “The shot goes out to you” and it has undertones, an indirect message if you like, it sounds like ‘Man down’. Teyana had to get some ‘shit’ off her chest.

Her street attitude persists in ‘Wrong Bitch”. She’s being direct in her lyrical style It’s hitting very hard and half way through Teyana has delivered a very solid album . 

‘Shoot it up’ ups the aggressive street bitch vibe and it’s tailor made (no pun intended) for Teyana’s posture & identity. “You got me fucked up, I’ll shoot this shit up”. Big Sean was not required on this song because of Teyana’s dominance. The instrumental has a dope r&b sound with a hint of West Coast hiphop.

We start to see the other side of Teyana in “Bare with me” when she talks from the posture of a toxic ‘player chick’ with baggage. The listener can’t specifically tell if she’s embodying the character of her audience, speaking on a past situation or she’s speaking on her current relationship. Suggesting she might be in some sort of open relationship. It adds a nice balance to the narrative of the album. In ‘Concrete’ she wonders if her relationship failings can be compensated with great sex singing “I’ll weaponise the pussy”.

‘Friends’ has a Hiphop vibe which is continued into ‘How you want it?’ a remake of 2000’s hiphop song ‘Tell me what you want’ by Mase featuring Total. The album ends fittingly with a Lauryn Hill feature, Teyana even has a rap flow. On this song she has a message, Love is all that matters, ‘I’m mentally wealthy”. Lauryn Hill ends the album fittingly with an affirmation speech reminding the listener that ‘Your value is internal’.

With 23 songs the album does feel a bit too long, it could have ended at track 16. In trying to cover a large range of sounds and culture from different eras the identity of the album was watered down a little . The last 7 songs which had a hiphop feel were good but could have been left out of the album in order to maintain its potency and energy.

Written by Kwasi Addo

4.1

Content & Lyrics

3.5/5

Vibe & Energy

4.5/5

Flow & Delivery

4.5/5

Production & Instrumentation

4.0/5

Relatability & Relevance

4.0/5

Pros

  • Strong sense of Nubian identity, musical identity and sexual identity

Cons

  • Album length compromised and watered down some of the strong messages expressed in the album
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