Teyana Taylor has built her empire from the ground up, by she simply taking one epic moment from MTV`s Sweet 16 and running with it and she managed to carve a career that saw her expressing her creativity and her talents beyond measure. In 2014 she finally dropped her debut album “VII” which topped the R&B charts and peaked at 19 on the Billboard 200, the album was a perfect introduction to the artist that she was becoming as the project featured so many layers that are heavily influenced by the 90`s yet still had a modern touch to it and her vocals have a rich texture to them that are very similar to the likes of Jazmine Sullivan and Brandy.
In 2015 her life took another great shift as she gave birth to her daughter Junie with husband NBA player Iman Shumpert, motherhood didn`t stop her, she kept her name out there with starring in Kanye West`s Fade video that opened more and more doors for her and allowed people to get to her and check her music. Earlier this year she premiered her reality show Teyana & Iman that also did the same as people got see what a great business woman she is and see how their relationship works and it also got people excited for more music from her, than West announced a new album on the way.
Her sophomore album “K.T.S.E.” dropped a few weeks ago (peaked at number 17 on the US Billboard 200) and Kanye West executive produced the album from start to finish and honestly leaves so much to be desired. Vocally she sounded good throughout but the production needed to be tighten up from the vocal arrangement as I honestly think she needed someone like Brandy or Jazmine to sing background vocals and most of the song are not impactful enough to showcase her talents, it was one note through out and the biggest flaws come from the man heading the production as these 8 songs are not defining of her as artist, half of them are throw away records and the others are seeds planted in the ground but needed to be watered down with some rich production. It sounds more like a mixtape that still fails to do anything for her. Her debut album was a great introduction to the artist we knew she was destined to be this project is weak on so many levels.
The opening track “No Manners” needed to be longer and had more verses less repetitive hooks with a sample in the middle that didn`t add much to the song. And talking about samples for some reason it feels she made these songs around this samples and not build on them and create a solid project, it worked amazingly well on”Gonna Love Me” and “Issues/Hold On” though, her vocal arrangement was tight, I love the old skool vibes and “Issues” has a production that reminds me of Amy Winehouse and I fucking love the vocal arrangement so much layers and richness. “Rose In Harlem” is the stand out track as it`s one of the strongest track on the whole project, I wish she called her album that and built it around this sound.
The album seems rushed and kinda empty at some parts that you wish she dropped 4 out of the 8 songs (“Hurry”, “3way”, “Never Would Have Made It” and “WTP”.) and start on a new direction and work with different producers that would offer her a new and edgy sound while still building on the sound people heard from her from her debut album. And she seriously needed someone to master/mix her vocal arrangement that makes everything polished and not sound like its unfinished. She honestly deserve better than this.