Bryson Tiller/True To Self/RCA
As the saying goes, let’s keep it 100. Bryson Tiller has made his way playing in the middle of musical traffic and straddling the fence.
On his last effort Trap Soul, Tiller broke out the bedroom soul without emasculating male listeners.
In turn, he did big box-office numbers on the tour trail as his gigs threaded sugar and vinegar together to create the consummate date scenario.
Not since Maxwell’s glory run had the formula worked so well with both the critics and the cash registers.
Did he strike gold again on True To Self?
Tiller is at his best on this collection when he leans on his reckless side to get things done.
For whatever reason, these are the moments that feel the most genuine.
“Blowing Smoke” is an exercise is tattletale hedonism. “Don’t Get Too High” is a trip through the mindset of a dude that’s fed up with trying to love a party girl.
Both are classic examples of why Bryson Tiller is currently holding soul music hostage. He flips unique perspectives into flows and vocals that are his own thing.
There are also moments when the show grinds to a standstill.
Tiller drags his feet a bit on slices like “In Check” where he literally croons that his woman should well…put him in check.
Even on a third listen, there are points within this song and others that adopt the same mindset where the proverbial shoe is waiting to be dropped.
The problem is the words ‘I’m just fucking with you,’ never come forth and that is when it becomes apparent that the disconnection could be real.
That’s not to say that a male can’t genuinely feel the emotions that Tiller is putting forth on the songs that fall flat.
It’s to say that with a resume of home run vocals behind him, it’s able to be identified when he feels a vulnerable sentiment and when he most likely does not.
So that if anything is what needs to be put in check.
True To Self is not a horrible album and for his younger fans, it will certainly do.
But he’s capable of so much more and if his current state is organically more on the aggressive side, this album should have been 100-percent bangers.
That would have been true to self.
Rating: 3 out of 5