I’ll admit that I’ve never understood the appeal of Teyana Taylor, apart from the obvious physical aspects, the little amount of music she’s put out has never seemed to match the level of fame and fandom she’s obtained. Nonetheless, I was still intrigued by the prospects of her own all Kanye produced project, joining the likes of Nas, Pusha T, and Kid Cudi, as this would be her first true introduction to the music world after all of these years. I was surprised, mostly pleasantly, by what I heard on the project. I was fully expecting a more upbeat, bouncier, pop record aimed at shooting her into true stardom, but what we got couldn’t have been further from that. K.T.S.E. (Keep The Same Energy) was much more soulful, chilled out, and low key than I would have ever imagined. Her vocals were strong and she showed me a level of true artistry I never knew she had. Kanye’s production was also particularly strong – more subdued than we normally get from Ye, but it really pulled the emotion of the songs to the surface. But, aside from those strong aspects of the project, I still did not find Taylor to be all that interesting of an artist or songwriter. I went through all 8 tracks still without getting a clear picture of who she was as an artist or a person (with the exception of “Rose In Harlem”), and it just didn’t make that strong of a statement. And for such a subdued project without any smash hits, that’s a problem – despite it still being a pleasant listen.
If it ain’t ’bout blessings
I can’t even address it
I just bought my third house
No album out and I got ’em asking
‘What do she do?’ I do everything
I move everything
Put that on my wedding ring
Put that on my baby name
– “Rose In Harlem”
Have you heard K.T.S.E.? What’d you think about it? Do you think it made a strong statement for her as an artist? Let me know in the comments below and be sure to leave your own ratings and reactions for the album.