K.T.S.E. by Teyana Taylor
Written by Jeff Ramella on November 29, 2018
Reviewed by Annabel Reyes
Teyana Taylor’s latest album, K.T.S.E (Keep That Same Energy), was the finishing touch to Kanye West’s five-album drop through G.O.O.D. Music and Def Jam Records’ productions this past June. Teyana Taylor’s R&B style that is representative of the Harlem neighborhood she grew up in, is bringing Kanye West back to the R&B flavor that served as the backbone for his best-selling hip-hop albums. K.T.S.E is Taylor’s second album under West’s label after asking to be released by Pharrell Williams’ iconic Star Trek Entertainment, where she had been producing her music for six years. Taylor sought out to develop an original and fresh sound with the samplings of melodies from older hip-hop songs, which Kanye West’s label could easily provide. Since West was famous for adding R&B undertones to his hip-hop beats, Taylor added that same hip-hop flare to her soulful R&B tracks. Although Taylor has been stating on social media and other news outlets that she is not completely satisfied with the way her album turned out, I think it is one of the most innovative takes on R&B music of any female R&B artist today.
K.T.S.E offers songs like “Never Would Have Made it” and “Gonna Love Me” that provide the intimate yet edgy tone that contributes to the same uniqueness that made her last album, VII, so popular. I predict that K.T.S.E will grow even more popular than VII because her lyrics this time around are strictly about love and relationships, which many of her fans find relatable. Her lyrics speak to women by offering an inside-look on Taylor’s past relationships and the emotions she experienced when she was in them. Lyrics like “It’d be the ones who say they ride for you, it’d be the ones, the ones you love them, too,” from the song “Rose in Harlem,” describe what it’s like to lose a friend that said that they would always be there for you. She not only speaks to her Harlem roots but connects to her fans who have gone through a similar experience. Taylor’s album offers a female’s perspective on sex, falling in love, and going through a heartbreak yet remains relatable to all. She takes you on the comforting and sentimental journey that all R&B music should take you on. Although Taylor is said to release another version of K.T.S.E including the visuals and singles that were left out of the release in June, this version deserves a whole-hearted listen right now.
Rating: 4.1/5 stars
Highlights: “Never Would Have Made It,” “Hurry” feat. Kanye West, and “Issues/Hold On”