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The Tongva Times

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Bryson Tiller transforms R&B genre with release of self-titled album

Courtesy of Rated R&B.

   Released on April 5, Bryson Tiller’s self-titled album is a sensual, raw, and innovative experience for all R&B fans. Self-described as his “most developed album”, the record theme is futuristic and technological, representing the culmination of Tiller’s advancement as an R&B rapper. The album comes four years after his first full-length album, “Anniversary”, and includes fresh mixes of hip-hop, R&B, and pop.

   “My main goal with this album is for the masses to hear everything I’m capable of doing,” Tiller explained in an interview with Billboard Magazine. “My main goal is that everybody hears it and my guarantee is that you’ll love at least one song from this album. I can guarantee that.”

   The album begins with “http://”, an elegant, space-like interlude that captivates listeners for thirty-six seconds. The soft sound of the interlude keeps listeners entranced as they transition to the first song of the album, “Attention”. In “Attention”, Tiller uses light melodies to describe love at first sight, using lyrics such as “Yeah you know I see you over there,” and “Girl, you caught my eye”. Tiller’s smooth, soulful vocals entranced listeners, making them recall their first experiences with love. 

   The album retains its nostalgic feeling of love as it enters the third track, “Stay Gold”. “Stay Gold” begins with a boombox going in and out of earshot as Tiller’s sing-songy rapping merges with the tune. The song is easily relatable for listeners who have struggled with unrequited love. Tiller vents about the difficulties of a one-sided relationship, with lyrics such as “Don’t you know? Girl, you’re cold” and “I’m about to lose control.” The blend of rap and R&B, in combination with Tiller’s crisp vocal style, create harmony. 

   Before the release of his album, Tiller stated in an interview with Complex that he did not want to have many features on the album, though did make an exception for R&B Grammy winner Victoria Monét. 

   “I’m a little impatient sometimes when it comes to features,” Tiller explained. “I’ll want maybe two different artists on it and I’m just like, ‘I can rap too, I’m probably better than that person, so I’m going to just do it myself.’”

   Despite Tiller’s disinterest in having a feature, the fourth song on the album, “Persuasion”, features R&B Grammy winner Victoria Monét. Although fans did not expect the feature, the song quickly became a fan favorite. In the song, Monét represents the female point of view in a struggling relationship, opening with “He’s starin’ at me like he want this persuasion, And I’m lookin’ right back at him”. 

   The track transitions to Tiller’s voice afterward, and he raps lyrics such as “Gave her the disclaimer, don’t fall in love” and “Right on the nose she tryna fuss”. When Tiller is the main singer, Monét’s soft voice lingers in the background. Tiller’s voice harmonizes with Monét’s, and the two vocal ranges’ fusion creates a satisfying blues sound. 

   The whole album has unique mixtures of vocals and sounds that I never expected from Tiller. In both the tenth track, “Find My Way”, and the sixteenth track, “Undertow”, Tiller utilizes ballads, making both songs feel slow and romantic. In both tracks, Tiller’s upbeat, harmonic sounds combine with the jazz-like instrumental to create a powerful display of emotion about how taxing a powerful love can be. I connected very deeply with the track, as the type of love Tiller sings about in these tracks is romantic and includes the kind felt for friends and family. 

   After the release of this album, many fans were desperate for more. Tiller’s last full album drop, “Anniversary”, released four years ago. “I just want to take a hiatus because my No. 1 passion is video games,” he told Complex in an interview “I’m a designer in my spare time. I’ve been designing a game for the past three years.”

   Though it is disappointing that Tiller will not be producing a new album for the foreseeable future, ”Bryson Tiller” is revolutionary for the R&B genre and Tiller’s career. The album infuses pop, blues, and R&B sounds to create a unique journey through love and doubt. 

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About the Contributor
Mark Chammas
Mark Chammas, Staff Writer
Mark Chammas is a Staff Writer for the school newspaper. This is his first year on the team. Outside of his journalistic pursuits, Mark enjoys reading celebrity memoirs, listening to music, and playing video games. He joined the newspaper out of his love for writing and his appreciation for the school paper. Mark aims to cover topics of personal interest and address school-related issues he believes need more attention.
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