At 32 years old Tyrese has grown a lot over the years and humbled himself a bit. He walked in the room extremely hype to share his new music. Smiling from ear to ear and yet still professed being nervous about sharing the album that he recorded in his garage in four weeks with media for the first time. Before he got into his music he deejayed from his macbook playing all the jams from the 60s and 70s that we know and love. From Marvin Gaye to Stevie Wonder we all 2-stepped while waiting to hear his new project.
He started off the session giving a background of his musical journey. Disappointed that he had never had a club record of his own because A&R’s at his previous label always put his sound in a box. He reflected on being in his twenties and not in love yet being forced to sings songs that he felt were much older than he was at the time. Now independent he vows to really show the real him.
He didn’t play the songs in the order they will appear on the album so on first listen all I could think is that it wasn’t cohesive. A lot of different types of sounds that didn’t explain at all why his album was titled Open Invitation. Despite there are some gems outside of the single “Stay” (that I love because it’s so old school R&B with a new twist), that made me remember why I originally fell in love with his voice. “Best of Me” a track whose melody and lyrics would make the most cynical of people want to fall in love. Tyrese is crooning about his lady being his entire world.
He said that he always wanted to do a wedding song. “I wanted a record that would be played for a couple’s first dance.” He accomplished his mission with “The Rest Of Our Lives.” Beautiful duet with Brandy! The melody just makes you feel warm all over and wanting to be in love. Brandy’s vocals are beyond on point and the two sound amazing together.
“I Got A Chick” is the best uptempo track on the album. It features R. Kelly and Rick Ross. The epitome of riding music and the type of young, fresh, and feel good record that makes sense for Tyrese without him having to dumb down his vocals for a radio hit. One thing that really stuck out to me when he was speaking to us about the state of R&B was “R&B is insecure right now. Artists feel like they can’t have a song unless a rapper is on it.” I agree but when done right it’s that perfect combination of Hip Hop Soul that we’ll be listening to for years to come. This is that type of record.
“Take Over” is the power ballad on the album. Literally every note was perfection and overall just a beautiful record. Tyrese was influenced by R. Kelly a lot on this album and Kels even wrote one of the tracks “Angel.” The track features Candace (of whom last name Tyrese could not remember) who is one of R. Kelly’s new artists and the girl can blow. There were points in the record that she was even out singing Tyrese on his own song.
Like R. Kelly, Tyrese is known for putting out a few baby making records. Although “Make Love” isn’t the best bedroom song he’s done, he is singing the chocolate off of his skin so it deserves an honorable mention. You see how chocolaty he is, so just imagine what he would have to belt out to sing it off. That is written all over this record.
After he played all the songs I left feeling he would be killing the game if he knew how to make a club record without dumbing down his vocal ability. Every song he considered “club” he used too much auto-tune, the track was over produced, and/or he just wasn’t singing like we know that he can. For a track by track breakdown and to see more pics go here.
He also showed us his new video “Stay” starring Taraji P. Henson. It hasn’t been released online yet but will be soon. Until then you can watch the trailer below.
Open Invitation hits stores November 1, 2011.