Teyana Taylor “the Harlem tomboy” that is the image Ms. Taylor slowly sheds with this sonically mature album. Teyana Taylor as an artist first came to my attention with the bubbly, but catchy “Google me” single, back in 2008. She dropped a pre-mixape “Star Trak Presents…From A Planet Called Harlem” which prepped listeners for her album that unfortunately never materialized. I along with other fans, wondered “Whatever happened to Teyana?” she did a few standout features, Kanye’s “Christmas in Harlem” for example. One thing is for certain, Teyana has her own lane, there’s a thin line she crosses with her music. It’s a line where it’s sexual, but at the same time you get the feeling it’s an “Exclusive” sexy like your audio girlfriend, if you will.
I personally adore the track-listing on the album “The Misunderstanding of Teyana Taylor“, it tells a complex short story of love. (What story of love isn’t complex though) First, the album opens with cutesy “I like you, you like me” theme, with tracks like “Make your move” and the infectious “Valentine”. It takes a turn with the Fabolous, and Jadakiss assisted “DUI” which is a metaphor for being intoxicated, and blinded in love. The playful “Lauryns Interlude” shows off Teyana’s vocal range, in Teayana’s own facetious, playful way.
Some of the album’s standout tracks “Complicated” which tells the story of a girl who likes a boy, but isn’t in a good place to become emotionally attached with witty lyrics such as “I can’t say I’m not the girl for you, I just might not be her YET!” She’s vocally letting this guy down, but reassuring him while doing so that “If it was anyone, ANYONE, anyone, boy it would be YOU!” It’s this kind of song that let’s you feel that Teyana is a very layered artist. On the surface it’s a simple chapter of her life, but woven in with this story, shows a different side of her personality. I know after being let down by her, this guy is definitely let down, but with a face like Teyana’s she might be well worth the wait.
Another standout is “You know” an ode from a hurt Teyana explaining to her significant other, not to take her for granted and to remember “My love’s got a limit.” It’s this emotionally vulnerable Teyana that we’re not used to hearing, that makes it a standout. This is not to say the album doesn’t have a fumble or two, mainly “Choosin” which sounds like it half brained attempt at an club hit. Overall though for an album given away for free, you’ll break your repeat button on at least one of these songs. After listening to the project, the misunderstanding of Teyana was gone, and understanding of who she is as an artist was all that stood.
You can stream the album for yourself, before downloading.