I don’t know much about Bryson Tiller, or heard much of his solo content. I’ve heard him pop up on a track with Future, appear as a featured artist with on Gucci Mane’s December-single, “Drove U Crazy” (WHICH BANGS). So, without knowing very much, and much hype surrounding his impending album, here goes nothing.
After listening to the first five songs; I’m thoroughly impressed. Each instrumental, filled with dark keys, sinister hi-hats and Tiller’s romantic but pain-stricken vocals accompany each other as much DCs’ The Joker & Harley Quinn.
While I don’t dislike any of the first five, the three songs that stand out the most is “Intro (Difference)”, “For However Long” and “Don’t”. On “For However Long”, my favourite so far, the instrumental is laced heavily inspired by ‘Trap’ genre drums, yet there’s a looped vocal sample in the background that contradicts the aggressive cymbals and snares. Yet, it’s Tiller’s voice and emotional honesty on the track exploring the limited time he has with this girl. Although I’m a fan of “Don’t”, my favourite part of the song is the Chopped & Screwed vocals around the two minute mark. Not only does it contradict his soothful voice, it shows that he’s one of many modern artists who can channel various inspirations into certain parts of songs or project in general.
Throughout the album, Tiller explores a lot of themes similar to other R&B acts. Usher, Jeremiah and Chris Brown sound like major influences on Tiller’s delivery as well as songwriting. However, he also gives props to 2000s Hip-Hop legends like Lil Wayne on “Ten Nine Fourteen”, which is one of the strongest songs on the album. Wayne’s influence is also evident on the Sylvester Stallone character-titled “Rambo”. It’s clear that Tiller is more known for his sing-a-long songs, however, his melodic raps are as strong than them.
Other songs that stand out for Tiller’s immersive creativity on the album are “502 Come Up” and “Been That Way”. In all, it’s a very pleasing debut project. Although there are a couple tracks that lose my interest, Tiller’s personality, songwriting, ear for production and delivery of vocals does vie against his competition.