Wednesday, 5 September 2018

Teyana Taylor "K.T.S.E" (2018)

This year we've been spoiled, Kanye has brought us five hyper curated projects. The introspective and of the moment Ye, a brilliant psychedelic collaboration with Kid Cudi on Kids See Ghosts, an introduction to the highly articulate Pusha T and at bottom of the pile a disappointing production with Hip Hop legend Nas, the pairs styles just struggled to meet. The last of the five is again a highly curated seven track twenty two minute record, correction, eight tracks, an exception to the Wyoming sessions. Its actress and model Teyana Taylor second release and that's about all I know of her!

K.T.S.E is a record of two half, two tones that have moments of overlap. Its better half comprises of soft, smooth and luscious R&B licks lined with subtle, inspired hip hop beats and percussive grooves. Kanye lines up beautiful, soulful samples to let Teyana's singing swoon and sway with the warm and soulful, emotional music. Its use of instrumentation instead of synthetics adds a matured warmth and class that reminds me fondly of Black Messiah. When in these songs the record is classy, full of good moods and uplifting aura. Teyana sounds like she seeking the heights of the classics as her vocals soft inflections stir up a delicious, appetizing smoothness.

We are blessed with four or so songs that firmly move within that blueprint however hyper sexual themes of 3Way and WTP indifferently highlight and align with shifts in her singing and Kanye's production. Teyana also shifts gears with her voice, pushing the power of her voice towards the sterile and over inflected modern style Id associate with Beyonce, out of ignorance of course as R&B isn't music I delve into that often. It doesn't charm like her softer side and with indifferent lyrics and topics It can become quite the bore when before shes inches away from greatness.

 The production of WTP stands in contrast to all that came before it, an obnoxious, retro Dance tune with god awful 80s stabs and strikes repeated to insanity, a real turn off. It also plays up to some really odd laser zap sounds heard on Issues. Its such a bizarre sound given the instrumentals tone but somehow works as an interesting and unusual oddity. This is mostly a brilliant record mixed with some obnoxious production and unfavorable singing that strongly turns me off from what I was enjoying moments ago. I'm a bit fussy but every listen has been peaks, mostly peaks and valleys.

Favorite Tracks: No Manners, Gonna Love Me, Issues / Hold On
Rating: 6/10

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