Artist: Teyana Taylor
Label: GOOD / Def Jam
The final instalment of G.O.O.D’s music weekly summer releases is here with Teyana Taylor’s K.T.S.E. From the start it’s hard to miss Kanye’s presence as an executive producer with the strings, a gospel choir on Never Would Have Made It and the sprinkling of old school samples reminiscent of ‘Old Kanye”s College Dropout. Oh, and just in case it wasn’t clear enough Yeezy even paid a visit for a much appreciated playful verse on Hurry.
K.T.S.E is ultimately an album of sexy slow burns where Teyana’s soulful voice ripples delicately throughout. Unlike Mary J Blidge, whose presence would be full focus, a steady balance is found allowing you to enjoy both the occasional vocal run and the sleek guitar simultaneously. It’s not until Rose In Harlem where the tempo picks up from 3Way (an sexual ode if you couldn’t tell by the name) and we finally begin to see Teyana push the boundaries a little with her vocals, toying with a grittier tone and a faster paced flow that one could rightly describe as pseudo-rapping.
Unfortunately this welcomed change in pace comes perhaps a little late as K.T.S.E is cut short at 8 tracks, with over half being under 3 minutes long. For a moment you’re getting lost in Teyana’s tranquillity, then the pace picks up on Never Would Have Made It, continuing to climb on WTP, before an undeserving abrupt end. The music stops. The record is over. You’re slightly thrown off and left thinking: ‘That’s all we get?’ One can’t help but feel that the record is a little unfinished.
All in all, with the ‘Old Kanye’ flairs K.T.S.E is something from the not so distant past yet still feels somewhat current, allowing it to stand out in an age where trap beats and 808’s steal the spotlight in today’s pop and Rnb soundscape. Shamefully the 22 minute duration means that we never do get a complete sense of Teyana’s capabilities and had K.T.S.E been another six tracks longer Teyana’s sophomore effort would’ve been perfect. Nonetheless K.T.S.E remains necessary and in need of more mainstream attention – maybe then we will receive an extended composition.
Our Top Tracks: Never Would Have Made It & Rose Harlem.