Teyana Taylor
K.T.S.E.


3.5
great

Review

by neekafat CONTRIBUTOR (52 Reviews)
July 1st, 2018 | 60 replies


Release Date: 2018 | Tracklist

Review Summary: What Drake's dreams are made of.

A lot of the criticism for Teyana Taylor’s K.T.S.E. has been leveled against its mixed bag of sounds. Many seem prepared to select a track or two they enjoyed, lamenting that the rest of the album didn’t exploit that sound further. But in a world dominated by R&B artists like Drake that can churn 20 near-identical tracks out like clockwork, I view the variety to be found here as invigorating. It’s one of the more diverse R&B albums I’ve heard, and yet it still retains a strange cohesion thanks to its flow. There are rarely pauses between the tracks, yet for some reason the mashing of dissimilar sounds help them meld more than clash.

The album is not so much groundbreaking as it is extremely comfortable. Kanye’s soul samples fit this genre at times even better than his usual stomping grounds. He develops the warmth and familiarity (it’s familiar, not generic) of the record in nuanced ways, striking a lovely midpoint between aged strings and clattering beats. He falters only in the out of place inclusions of the rapped guest verse in “3Way” and the his own immersion-breaking entrance in “Hurry,” which cuts in and out so jarringly that it seems to have been carelessly slapped on at the last minute. The track is otherwise so smooth and inviting that it’s hard to believe the move was made for any other reason than the necessity of an obligatory Kanye verse to help round out his five-release series. However, when Teyana herself dabbles in more aggressive hip-hop influenced moments like in “Rose in Harlem” and “WTP,” she holds a commanding presence that surely proves a force to be reckoned with. Her vocals croon and sway as readily as they snarl and jab. This ability to channel more classic talents as well as dabble in newer trends lends an accessibility to the release that should land her a large audience if she plays her cards right.

As both her performance and Kanye’s production feature a blend of old and new, it’s only fitting that the cover should too. Teyana lies across a floral patterned bed (reminiscent of a grandmother’s) in a deliberately aged photograph. Yet she holds a very modern attractiveness with her. Not so many years ago people would’ve called her outfit scandalous or obscene—but now it’s beautiful. K.T.S.E. is at its best when Teyana is at the forefront, mixing styles and ideas into one cohesive package. It’s modern and rash at times, but it never forgets where it came from.



Recent reviews by this author
Solange When I Get HomeMykele Deville Maintain
Los Unidades Global Citizen EP 1Tierra Whack Whack World
Lucy Dacus HistorianBlood Orange Negro Swan
user ratings (99)
Chart.
3.2
good

Comments:Add a Comment 
neekafat
Contributing Reviewer
June 30th 2018


14694 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Woah that's short

Mega-thanks for Blush for the always immaculate proofing! But I might have messed it up again in re-writing haha

Drubbi
July 1st 2018


298 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Should probs get around to reviewing this.



Agree with everything you said, but I enjoy this just a tad more. Probably a 3.9.

Digging: Little Simz - GREY Area

neekafat
Contributing Reviewer
July 1st 2018


14694 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

This is literally right on the edge of a 4, switched this review a few times back and forth but those features are really disrupting to me haha

BlushfulHippocrene
Staff Reviewer
July 1st 2018


2802 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Lovely work as usual, my man. Wish I enjoyed this more, but what I do I love. I'd fight back against your characterisation of someone who finds this too much of a mixed bag since it has more to do with the songs themselves for me as opposed to their sound, but also, I would like the rest to resemble a few key highlights so it's kinda -- begrudgingly -- accurate.

Digging: Angel Du$t - Pretty Buff

neekafat
Contributing Reviewer
July 1st 2018


14694 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Thanks buddy! (:

This is so consistent to me aside form those couple I mention that it's weird to me that others would say a couple songs are excellent and the rest not so, since that seems to be the general consensus (even though the songs they like seem to be always different)

Evrimen
July 1st 2018


139 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

This is literally right on the edge of a 4



[2]



Was gonna give it the 4 because of the production and the flow of tracks but it feels like the album could have been a bit more diverse.

neekafat
Contributing Reviewer
July 1st 2018


14694 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

This was pretty diverse for an R&B album imo but more variety is never a bad thing

Divaman
July 1st 2018


3376 Comments


Nice job, as usual.

Digging: John Boswell - Night Magic

AsleepInTheBack
July 1st 2018


5931 Comments


Neat review neek, tight and concise.

luci
July 1st 2018


10560 Comments


The description concerning aggressive hip-hop moments is misleading. "WTP" is a ballroom anthem (queer house music with an MC). That track is a throwback to the late '80s vogue scene, so the next sentence about mixing in new trends is inaccurate. Rest of the review is pretty good, an easy read.

Papa Universe
July 1st 2018


20106 Comments


k.t.POS.e.

Digging: Pedigree - New Freak

neekafat
Contributing Reviewer
July 1st 2018


14694 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Thanks all!

@Lucid, that's fair, I suppose it's just my unfamiliarity with the subgenres showing

Papa Universe
July 1st 2018


20106 Comments


not gonna listen to it, though.

neekafat
Contributing Reviewer
July 1st 2018


14694 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Would never expect anything less Papi < 3

Papa Universe
July 1st 2018


20106 Comments


any less would be ignoring even the review.
album's existence is acknowledged, but not approved.

neekafat
Contributing Reviewer
July 1st 2018


14694 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

You jam any of the Wyoming Sessions? Can't remember if you dabble into hip-hop at all

Papa Universe
July 1st 2018


20106 Comments


I dabble, but only surface level. Tried ye and hated it. Wanted to listen to Pusha T, but didn't get on it yet. Nas' album I heard like a half of (can't remember anything from it or why I stopped listening).

neekafat
Contributing Reviewer
July 1st 2018


14694 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Ye is pretty bad so I can't blame you. KSG is lovely though, and I liked Pusha T's too

Storm In A Teacup
July 1st 2018


26387 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Excellent review. 6 amazing songs. Two awful songs.

Gyromania
July 1st 2018


26603 Comments


2 superb tracks, 1 good one, 4 boring = 3/5. Good review. I mean, I don't believe relating this to current r&b trends from people like drake gives this a pass for being homogeneous, but I get where you're coming from



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2017 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy