Less than two years later, Tiller has unleashed his sophomore album True To Self for awaiting audiences. Occasionally, he breaks out into a rapping style that remains straight-ahead and stylistically unadventurous, but never without a good sense of rhythm. Generally what works best about True to Self is that deviations in mood and tempo are built with expert anticipation. On wax, it's a bit of a jumble. Demonstrating a growing confidence as an artist who can occasionally challenge himself to escape his comforts but spends more and more time honing his strengths for the benefit of his records, True to Self not only fulfills the promise of T R A P S O U L , but manages to deliver beyond expectations. Especially after the first five or six tracks, this new album really starts to lose steam. I wish there had been more self-editing, both in the writing process and the song inclusion process, because the end result just feels bloated and overwrought.
Has lightning struck twice for the man known to his fans as Pen Griffey, or has he mired himself in the dreaded sophomore slump? The most frequent recurring contributor is Nes, a newcomer who Tiller has credited as a major influence on the writing process for True To Self. The album suffers from high highs and low lows, basically meaning that select bangers are absolute fire, but when a song falls flat, it's equally unmemorable. Employing an army of skilled producers including T-Minus, WondaGurl, , Frank Dukes and Illmind , Tiller shies away from the more woozy, synth-led sound of his debut in favor of a blend of trap drums and. Compared to peers such as , , Roy Woods, or Drake, he sticks to a conservative sonic palette, but has a penchant for taking simple gestures and making them seem like much more than they are. Bryson Tiller's new album is caught in a weird sort of limbo: it's probably not going to disappoint those already in his fan club, but I also don't think he'll be flooded with new registration applications for said club either. . As a vocalist, he has a nasal warble and a limited range.
The trick to his success is that he offers a scaled-back and intimate vibe. Coming through with a surprise 19-track album, on paper, sounds great. All in all, Bryson Tiller takes bold steps in the right direction on his sophomore album. Inviting for newcomers but more than a return on the investment for fans. It's the musical equivalent of going to an all-you-eat buffet but making the conscious decision to get five plates of that one pasta dish you liked two years ago. Rather than evolving, Tiller hedges his bets and coasts on the sounds and themes that made him a star.
He's still a very new artist, he isn't someone we've been able to see evolve through mixtapes, or over the course of several years-- so while his talent is undeniable, he's still honing in on it, and he's doing it on a very large platform. . . . .
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