‘The Album’ explores integral facets of Teyana Taylor’s life, intermingling the multifaceted experiences of love and motherhood combined with broader themes of ‘becoming’ and evolution.
This is Taylor’s third studio album, coinciding with the Juneteenth holiday, featuring the likes of Lauren Hill, Future, Missy Elliot, Big Sean, Erykah Badu plus surprise features of Taylor’s husband, Iman Shumpert and daughter, Junie.
“When I first started on the album, I wasn’t pregnant but I that I was in a different space than what I was with ‘VII’  and all the other music I had put out – just being a mother, being a wife and being a public figure,” she said.
You may even notice that Taylor purposefully crafted the album in a playlist format.
“Depending on our emotion, we’ll choose certain songs to kind of create a playlist.
“What I wanted to do was pre-do that on the album where everything is broken up into sections, so the album kind of already comes playlisted.”
Although the album delves into some more nuanced personal experiences, if you dive deeper it resonates something a lot more universal.
“It’s family, love, sex, heartbreak, dance – you can literally laugh, cry and scream out loud with this record,” Taylor said.
Let’s get into it, here is ya gal’s top five favourites from ‘The Album’ in no particular order.
‘Bare Wit Me’ was one of those tracks from first glance ya gal just instantly fell in love. As the key stylist and choreographer for the project, Taylor’s creative genius gives that ultimate refreshment that makes this track really something special. The accompanying music video may not be ‘high-tech’ but simply shows pure, raw talent never goes out of style, particularly when it comes to Taylor’s impeccable dance flair and elevated sense of style.
There’s also something about this neo-noir infused video that reminds you of Michael Jackson or even the swagger of Chris Brown’s memorable ‘Hope You Do’ video.
‘Made It’ is the ultimate celebratory tune, mostly dedicated to black excellence and all those out there graduating amid the calamity of the world right now. This is just the ultimate feel good tune adding some brightness into he darker shades we need to keep use sane. Interjecting Juvenile’s super catchy, ‘Back That Azz Up’ airs a sense of familiarity. I also sense this ‘Made It’ is the light at the end of the tunnel portrayed in ‘Bare Wit Me’ where Taylor sings about sticking to your guns through the highs and the lows.
‘How You Want It’ featuring King Combs is brimming with confidence. Produced by Boogz, Cardiak and Hitmaka this tune interpolates and samples Ma$e’s, ‘Tell Me What You Want’ featuring Total which rings a familiarity. Here, Taylor isn’t afraid to show her feminine sexuality and is proud to do so, in addition this song encourages other women to step into their fierce sexual power. Ultimately, this is a sensual sexy tune that is guaranteed to get you in the mood.
‘We Got Love’ featuring Lauryn Hill is another big favourite of mine and honestly I was pretty thrilled to see Lauryn Hill’s name crop up. Sampling the refrain from Younghearts 1974 catchy hit, ‘We’ve Got Love (You Better Believe It)’ which radiates those old-school, gospel vibes as Taylor expresses her inner beauty and strength as a mother.
“[Lauryn Hill] specifically did this for me. I wanted some inspirational words. I personally asked her for that and she gave me the words for ‘We Got Love’.
“She sent me a dope voice note and I used it for the album. That wasn’t anything I grabbed off the internet,” she said.
‘Wake Up Love’ featuring Iman Shumpert sone of Taylor’s more stripped back, gentle tunes. This marks one beautiful and deeply personal collaboration for Taylor as she teams up with her husband for the first time. The instrumental combined with Taylor’s soothing voice is just as calm as the title.
In her accompanying self-directed music video, Taylor surprises us all revealing her pregnancy with her husband and four year old daughter, Junie by her side. It’s clear, this tune is perfect to listen to just before you hit the pillow.
Get all of the goodness, ‘The Album’ can give HERE.