The Anniversary we could have done without…

Written by on 09/10/2020

Bryson Tiller: Anniversary Review

Bryson Djuan Tiller as we all know is the amazing singer based in the USA, known for his soothing voice, and creating vibes for us to listen to. He is only 27 years old and has been continuously blessing our ears since 2014. Working on Omarion’s album at a young age is what inspired and motivated him to be an artist. His love for lyricism came from listening to The Dream.

Tiller’s style of music is the perfect marriage between R&B, Trap and Hip Hop – which combined makes the genre ‘Trap Soul’. It could be argued that this genre was created by Tiller, subsequent to his first album release in 2015 being called ‘Trap Soul’. On this album, Tiller brought a different sound to the table that we as listeners hadn’t heard before. This album charted at number 2 on the Billboards. His hit single ‘Don’t’ featured on this album, after gaining popularity from when he initially released it on Soundcloud. This album lead to him being nominated for his first Grammy in 2016 for the song ‘Exchange’ in the ‘Best R&B Song’ category. Two years after this groundbreaking album, he released another called ‘True to Self’. He’s worked with artists such as H.E.R, DJ Khaled, Tory Lanez and Jazmine Sullivan just to name a few.

It’s been three long years, and the Grammy nominated sensation has finally dropped a new album called ‘Anniversary’. New music from the star has been much anticipated by his fans but was it worth the wait?

After keeping such a low profile and allowing so much time to elapse between the three projects that Tiller has blessed us with since his introduction to the game in 2015 – this album is very much a bitter-sweet moment for me. I’m sure that most will agree that Tiller’s first album, Trap Soul, is an unforgettable piece of new-age R&B. Fusing the classic elements of R&B that we love so much with the hard-hitting elements of trap – Trap Soul was a genre of it’s own and gave us many hits that I still bump regularly to this day. Anniversary just doesn’t seem to match up and upon the first listen, it sounded as if all the songs were merging into one. Now, I’m no musical prude so correct me if I’m wrong, but I wouldn’t have expected the album to sound like this. A mixtape? Maybe, but to keep your fans waiting so long for an album, this project is way too mediocre.

With that being said, there are some standout songs for me: ‘Always Forever’, a song about unrequited love and one of the lead singles of the album. This is the Bryson that I love and have missed for so long – in his feelings and in his musical bag! ‘I’m Ready For You’ is another one that stuck in my mind long enough for me to remember the name. The lyrics detail Tiller’s readiness to be serious with his love interest with a hook reminiscent of 90’s R&B and an ‘answerphone love message’ feel. I wish he would have maybe slowed it down a bit more but I am understanding that as an artist, your style changes and what you did before may not be what you’re willing to do now – hard pill to swallow but rings true.

The only feature on the album is none other than Drake – the perfect accompaniment to Tiller’s toxic masculinity. I’m surprised it took so long for these two to get on a track together as they seem like the perfect pairing. The song itself still lacks that star power for me but maybe I am being too critical. I think when you have a debut project as powerful as Trap Soul, you put yourself between a rock and a hard place because people will always be comparing and seeking something as great as the first. That being said – this project is not necessarily bad, it just lacks anything spectacular. Who knows, maybe being back on the scene and taking in the response will bring back some of the fire that I’m missing from him? I know it’s there…

Bio by Ruqqayah, review by Niss


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