Flawless adj. Without any imperfections or defects.
The last time I remember listening to an album that accurately fit this description and hooked me like this album has was Kelly Rowland’s Talk A Good Game LP. And I think I like this one better. I think this album might be better. (I hesitate only to take novelty into account — and the fact that I’ve been parched in the music department lately.)
Teyana Taylor’s debut album, VII is flawless.
Janet’s The Velvet Rope, Rowland’s Talk A Good Game, and Destiny Fulfilled — but with more soulful runs reminiscent of Brandy.
From beginning to end VII is a perfect composite of deft lyrics — both arrogant and vulnerable (in delivery and message), mood-setting production, and Taylor’s vocals — full, textured, fluid — a talent that no doubt comes easy, though it’s evident she’s gotten to know it and control it all the same.
She’s mastered the craft enough to switch, easily, between full, velvet melodies and light, airy whispers underscored by textured vocals, complete with carefully-run riffs used to convey the emotion and set the tone of each song. Whether the production and lyrics were tailored to the artist or Taylor did the heavy lifting on her end, they compliment each other perfectly on every single track.
I’m convinced Taylor could have carried this album without help from the names featured on VII. What Taylor gets right that most R&B artists get wrong is the features. There aren’t too many; they don’t overshadow, interrupt or digress into topics not covered by the respective song — they enhance the track and project overall.
“Business” and “Request” are two other standouts but there’s no way I’m playing favorites with this album. This is the type of long play that you can start and never stop and it’s nearly impossible to skip a track, though you might replay “Put Your Love On” a few times if the two aforementioned tracks don’t get you first.
The bottom line is Teyana Taylor’s debut, VII is impressive. I hadn’t thought of her much prior to this release, especially not as a music artist. Taylor over-delivered and pleasantly surprised me.
This isn’t 14 tracks of hard-hitting amazing production masking flimsy lyrics and weaker vocals. This is Teyana Taylor cashing a check years in the making, claiming her space in music and earning her Top 10 spot on Billboard’s Top 200. By the time I finished the powerful and perfectly executed ballad, “Sorry,” I was sold. And I was only a little more than half-way through the album.
Teyana Taylor is an R&B artist. VII is an incredible R&B album with a best-of-the-90s vibe, modern wordplay, and just the right amount of precisely featured mainstream Hip Hop to combat the guilt for music elitists. A few listens warranted a quick search for the album credits to find out who mixed this album; it’s flawless on any system, though in-ear monitors allow for a better appreciation of how intentional and specific the mixing and production is.
If you still buy music this album is worth your money. If you don’t, I’m officially recommending you buy this album. There’s a deluxe version, which includes the full versions of the two interludes included on the standard version. I can’t imagine you’ll be disappointed. You need those full versions in your life.
Also. This album is sexy as hell. So. There’s that.