Bryson Tiller dropped his album Beyonce style a month ahead of his real release date for his fans via streaming sites Friday. He dropped three songs not even two weeks ago so the fact we all are getting new music just added to the want/need for this album. I’ll be honest I was extra hype about this album after the highly successful Trapsoul released in 2015. Two years in this new era of releasing music is a long time for fickle fans but we’re also in an era where the internet keeps a lot of careers afloat as long as you have a strong social media presence. Shoutout to Tiller for the MTV True Life inspired album cover.
The first thing anyone with ears realizes is that True to Self is very much influenced by 90s R&B just off the samples Tiller incorporates. The samples are rooted in female R&B from Mary J, Faith, Changing Faces, Marsha Ambrosius to SWV and Tweet (those are the major ones I immediately noticed). The eagerness to love this album off the strength of where Tiller’s head space due to these samples and beloved artists was THERE, however that quickly became interchangeable once I began to actually listen to the songs. Make no mistake, I am a young Tiller fan. I think he’s created a lane that is his own and he does it well when he’s on 100. I feel like in some regard this album was rushed or Tiller was struggling with where he wanted to go musically this time around because out the gate it’s not a wow factor going on here like it was on his debut. The production still has some of the vibes we expect from but lyrically where Tiller once shined he kind of got more than comfortable and became repetitious in content. I feel like his heart is in the 90s and he absorbed how important lyrics are but I also feel like he clearly is trying to cater to his generation of music listeners. His music on this album is literally a simple drum beat and a sample with a piano thrown in for good measure. There are nineteen songs here, that’s very adventurous in an era with the attention span of streaming singles and not albums. It becomes clear that the songs on his debut album were crafted in a way that caught your attention but didn’t lose it because as a listener we were in awe of how he simply wove his lyrics with hard beats and pauses but we were hit with another banger shortly afterwards. I think the album is a tad bit too long because there isn’t much depth going on lyrically. I’m not saying the shit doesn’t knock or that I won’t be giving this album attention in the coming weeks I’m just simply saying I expected more from Tiller. I’m hoping he continues to grow as a man and that his music will do the same.
This is a solid effort but more production wise than lyrically for me. With this album it’s either he’s talking about niggas that are jealous of him and his new-found fame, money as a downfall/power, dealing with his baby mama drama/family or a chick he’s pursuing or reminiscing over and the love has run its course. It makes me want to revisit Trapsoul and appreciate it even more but this album can play in the background and I more than likely will catch a vibe or two. He initially dropped three songs “Somethin Tells Me”, “Get Mine” and “Honey” but only “Somethin Tells Me” made the album and listening to the album it makes sense why they didn’t, I didn’t care for them to begin with. The songs that will keep this album in rotation are “No Longer Friends”, “In Check”, “Run Me Dry”, “Set It Off” (that Faith sample!) and “You Got It”. There could be more songs down the road but these are more choices now for the ones that stand out. You can stream the album on the major outlets.