ANYAE JOHNS- STAFF WRITER
For years, fans of Bryson Tiller were concerned if the Kentucky artist could revive his career and be the musician they first fell in love with. Three years since the R&B artist released his second album True to Self, his new album Anniversary is finally out.
The new project dropped on the fifth anniversary of his debut album, Trapsoul. Anniversary contains 10 songs and a feature with Drake on the “Outta Time” track.
The album received a lot of mixed reviews from fans and critics. Listeners are still stuck on his debut album, and it’s up to Tiller to get them hooked on something else.
“Old Bryson Tiller is still better than new Bryson; it just doesn’t give me the same feelings as the Trapsoul album did,” said Tayliour Martin, a senior journalism major. “I personally liked ‘Always Forever’ and ‘Keep Doing What You’re Doing.’”
If you’re expecting Bryson to be in his Trapsoul bag, you may be disappointed. He’s matured and is bringing new vibes.
If you’re familiar with Bryson Tiller’s work, you’ll be able to see his growth as an artist in this album.
“I feel like this album was really overdue. I personally expected more from him, but I still loved it,” said Aniyah Oberlton, a Hampton University strategic communication major.
Anniversary is a mood from the lyrics to the album cover. The cover
is an eccentric blue with him looking to his left. It is similar to the Trapsoul cover, which is in red and he is looking to the right.
The album starts with the track “Years Go By.” Another man is talking to Bryson, saying, “With what the young generation’s doing and I’m like, yo, man, you really just got to do this, worrying about or trying to figure out what they need to think or like it or not. Aw, man, you going to have about five years go by…next thing you know, you ain’t going to want to do this no more.”
The lead single, “Always Forever,” sets the mood for the album. The beat is hard, and the lyrics are relatable. Ready for You and Things Change paint pictures of relationships that many listeners may have been in before. The lyrics speak to real-life situations in today’s social climate.
The track “Timeless Interlude” slows the mood down. It speaks on growing and becoming wiser. It also speaks on how life is flashing by and reminds listeners to be mindful of that.
The chorus of “Inhale” contains a sample of SWV’s “All Night Long.” The sample, in conjunction with the reverb vocals and spacy drums, creates a sound incredibly reminiscent of the late ’90s R&B sound that still asserts its influence today.
“Outta Time,” featuring Drake, drives the album home. Hearing Drake and Bryson Tiller on a track is something soothing and something our generation needed. Their voices together blend well and make the song dynamic.
“Keep doing what you’re doing” opens with a voicemail from Tiller’s grandmother, who passed away early in 2020. Dedicating the song to her, the sentimental aspects of this record become apparent. This track really inspires the listeners to believe in your- self and to keep going no matter what.
Anniversary concludes with Next to You, which includes a sample from the Flight Facilities’ “Heart Attack” record on the chorus. Bryson really showcases his vibrato and style throughout the song.
The album will put you in your feelings and is perfect to listen to on a late-night drive. This album was personal and spoke to the highs and lows of relationships. Tiller did what needed to be done for R&B.
In a recent interview with Genius, Bryson Tiller confirmed that he has another album coming out called Serenity, a three-part series. Volume 1 will consist of R&B, Volume 2 will consist of hip-hop, and Volume 3 will consist of pop.
Fans are hoping that Serenity is just the project they need to restore their initial feelings of Bryson as an artist.