Album Review — 16 February 2010

By Fawn Renee

Her resume reads like a “who’s who” in the entertainment industry, having penned songs for everyone from Mary J. Blige to Raphael Saadiq, while playing wardrobe stylist to A-listers such as Will Smith, Kelis and R. Kelly. Still, Teedra Moses’ greatest accomplishment has been her uncompromising love of meaningful music and her ability to remain relevant in an ever-evolving industry. She makes it near impossible to categorize her, as she boldly straddles the line between traditional and contemporary R&B; never losing her edge, but never compromising her authenticity. Aspiring artists, take note.

Since creeping onto the scene in 2004 with her brutally underrated debut Complex Simplicity, Moses has staked her claim as the next best thing in R&B. Her voice is sweet and melodious; her lyrics transparent as she sings about love, loss, and heartache, while sassing the men in her life. While dedicated fans anxiously wait for her follow-up Young Lioness, Moses does more than satisfy their thirst with her acclaimed mixtapes. Her latest, Royal Patience: A Love Journey, mixes a few old tracks with many new tracks, in hopes of creating a buzz for her upcoming sophomore project. True Teedra fans probably won’t hold their breath, since the songbird has been teasing with this sophomore release for years now.

The mixtape opens with “R U 4Real,” a freestyle love song that easily overshadows every subsequent song on the album. From the very beginning, you immediately get sucked in by the delicate piano chords, which pleasantly lead you to Teedra’s light-hearted vocals; a beautiful intro about proceeding cautiously before she falls in love to be sure “you can handle me”- Royal patience at its best.

“Kisses Never Taste So Sweet” is a laidback track, with an old-school vibe, thanks in large part to the synthesized guitar and Rhodes keys. The vocal arrangement is even vaguely familiar as Teedra sings, “All I want to do is give you all of me, just promise you won’t change. Boy I swear, kisses never taste so sweet.” The song is a classic tale of playing hard to get, but is met with such sincerity when wrapped in Teedra’s warm soprano.

The album becomes a bit generic as it approaches “G-Tight.” The title alone decimates the song. Add to that, Teedra singing about keeping her “G-tight” to catch and keep the object of her affection. Sounds like something Rihanna would sing about, not necessarily a 33 year-old woman. Luckily, she redeems herself with the minute and a half long ‘Take It Away,” a beautiful ethereal song about living life inside of love, blocking out everything unpleasant.

Teedra closes out the mixtape with “The Last Song (the jam session).” The album finishes how it starts- amazing! Everything in between the beginning and the end is substantial, but not great. It’s what we’ve come to expect from the songstress. Yet, everything from the saxophone and the piano, to the ethnic drum arrangement and choral background vocals make this song exceptional. Add to that Teedra’s organic lyrical content as she sings, “Never had ambitions in the world of being a great big superstar. Still want to get money out the ass, ride around in them gangsta cars… I may splurge on diamonds and pearls but I’m still just a simple girl.”

Royal Patience: A Love Story is light years away from Complex Simplicity, but it is enough to keep fans and casual listeners satisfied while they await the real thing. With her sophomore album slated for release later this year, maybe Teedra can finally move beyond the next best thing in R&B and finally take the crown, because from this angle she’s more than capable.
black-thumbs-upblack-thumbs-upblack-thumbs-upblack-thumbshalf 3.75 out of 5

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