Bryson Tiller - True to Self
True to Self
While a great deal of R&B today seems to be fuzzing the line between Hip Hop, Bryson Tiller on this his sophomore release tends to embrace R&B almost fully. "Don't Get Too High" seems to embrace the straight edge vibe that a lot of early 90s R&B had questioning whether your girl is out there partying to much. Tiller for the most part keeps are pretty clean image never allowing the sexual to completely take over. Even when Tiller tries to go hard like on "Blowing Smoke" it comes across as really basic, missing any kind of real element. The beats are really deep and inviting, but the lyrics often take you right out of the song. It is like Bryson Tiller is using R&B slash Trappy music but then singing songs like He is early Bobby Brown before we knew what was really going on in his life. With The Weeknd going electronic on his last album and groups like DVSN from Toronto focused on the hyper sexual deep R&B it leaves room for this "nicer" R&B but it just doesn't connect like other things do. "You Got It" features a sample of Kendrick Lamar's "FEEL." which is so odd seeing that Kendrick's album just came out recently. The record really does feel like it is chasing Frank Ocean real hard especially on a song like "In Check" but it's nothing more than an imitation from start to finish.
I guess "Run Me Dry" is supposed to be the dancehall-ish breakdown track, but it is just silly missing any real depth both musically and lyrically. Bryson Tiller can sing, but jesus the things He sings about sound so stupid and one note. On "High Stakes" he sings about being so broke that he had to sleep in his '04 Audi, but does that actually sound that bad, or like you have really come from somewhere? It are those kinds of choices that just seem so odd, and really miss the mark. The vocal effects that Tiller uses also are just slightly off from being the top of their game and that really effects how the album lands. At just under an hour this album is also way to long, going back to the same well over and over again. Bryson Tiller would make sense if we didn't have Frank Ocean, or the Weeknd, or DVSN or countless others who are doing R&B at a higher level. Call it a sophomore slump or whatever you may but, True to Self misses the mark and misses it really hard.
4.0 out of 10