Teejay – Love Lines
Teejay – Love Lines – EP Review
Alright…I’m in that situation again where I’m reviewing some tracks…potentially pre-release, not totally sure…I don’t have the official track-listing for the new Love Lines EP from Teejay – but you know that’s not about to stop me from telling you about the music I’m listening to. Especially not when there’s a beautiful backstory like there is to this one…this album is ‘dedicated to my fiancé, who inspired every verse’ – you’ve gotta love that right? You might be rolling your eyes…maybe you’re one of those hardened-hearts out there…or maybe you figure that the world just doesn’t need another love-song. And hey…I hear ya…I’m not immune to the fact that much of our music-history has been spent on the subject – I get that. But what makes Teejay’s music exceptional…is the reality that this is based on REAL love. That’s right – REAL. Not theoretical…not just written to appeal to the masses…written from the heart with genuine passion that really expresses the love she feels from every possible angle & emotion.
And that’s a beautiful thing isn’t it? I think so…and I wouldn’t steer you wrong…so it’s gotta be real right? I’m pretty confident anyone listening would agree with me – this sounds like love on-the-record, recorded on the record – how’s THAT for a Pulitizer-worthy sentence?
What I liked aside from the sentiment of the music itself, was the sheer amount of versatility these songs have. There’s elements of soul, pop, R&B, electro, funk…there’s a lot going on here but each song seems to bring out a different part of Teejay’s personality. Whoever the lucky-lady that Teejay’s got her eye on – she’s a lucky one for certain; half of this material is as steamy & sexy as it gets, and the other half comes out sounding genuinely sincere.
Bottom line is lady-friend, whomever you are…you’ve become Teejay’s muse…and not only would that be an incredibly beautiful thing – it seems to inspire blissful creativity from the Teejay…and that to me, that ability to inspire someone else’s ART…that’s breathtaking. Truly. That’s the kind of love where you take a time out in an entire paragraph to point out…take a breath…and really just sit back to appreciate the beauty in a profession like Teejay’s.
So…okay…you’ll have to forgive me…because this adventure into her music started turning me into a pile of bearded-mush instantly. I’m normally a little more resistant to the sentimental…or at least I like to think MAYBE I am…but knowing the backstory to Teejay’s EP, I couldn’t help but have the tears of joy well-up a little for me when I listened to “Rainbows.” It got a little misty in here…not gonna lie to ya. As I listened to the rest of the Love Lines EP – I realize I really did start on the track that was the most different from the others by my eventual comparison. To be truthful…I think it might have even remained my favorite of the bunch by the end of my repeated listens through this record…the production is as big and beautiful as the intentions and heart behind the song, and you can hear it. Teejay does an extraordinary job here in a wonderfully expressive song that highlights the best about her singing voice. Starting in subdued piano-tones and strings…”Rainbows” expands and builds in every gorgeous way you can imagine; Teejay sings the melody with real honesty and intent – and I really do believe you can hear the authenticity of the love she’s found all over a song as powerful as this. Teejay’s opening-up hearts with music like this…”Rainbows” is stunning and sweet in all the right ways.
Comparisons of course, come in all kinds of different forms. So…again…I might have not got the order right on this record, which might have made my jump from the comparisons of “Rainbows” jar a little with the new-comparison to “Cocaine.” It didn’t take more than one spin through this cut for me to realize that chances were, we were listening to something that reflected the true style & sound of Teejay – you can hear it in the confidence of her hip-hop flow. To be truthful…it made things a little stranger for me in a sense…because I really loved what I heard from Teejay on “Rainbows” – I really think that’s an exceptional showcase of real love; and I’m not saying that’s NOT what I’m hearing on “Cocaine” – I get the allegory, I get that the music is really strong once again, and the performance is theoretically unmatched. I GET it. Teejay tears into the microphone on-point and on-time at every pivot & shift throughout this beat…there’s not a single step out of place…
…all I am saying, I suppose…is that I would hope this artist continues to explore the kind of ideas in “Rainbows” just as much as those on “Cocaine.” Throughout the songs to follow, “Come Through” and “Tame Me” – you’ll discover I was right in my assumption and that Teejay’s natural tendencies lean closer to “Cocaine” than they do towards the special moment that happens in “Rainbows.” So right now…it’s 3-to-1…you see what I’m saying? I’m not saying she’s sounding rough on a single corner of this EP, because that’s purely not the case…I suppose I’m just making my case for more tender moments like “Rainbows” in the future, because I think Teejay is truly demonstrating exceptional-skill in both these arenas/styles of music. With the chorus of “Cocaine” being sung-out, you get a little bit of that part of Teejay in this tune…but as impressive as it was, I often felt like I was looking for that sincerity and more gentle approach she had on “Rainbows.”
Perhaps the best combination of both these sounds happens on “Come Through” – which is really a solid blend of the first-two sounds I experienced from Teejay. There’s smoothness here, there’s also more excellent rap from the emcee herself once again. And it’s sexy as all hell! Teejay does a fantastic job of really creating an inviting mood here on “Come Through” – she sings with real sultry-passion and beautiful expression in the energy. You can tell that she was concentrating on the imagery in the words while recording this one and right into the moment…and as a result, she takes us all between the sheets with her. Hopefully she doesn’t mind us all crowding in there for a moment! You can’t help but get the imagery in your own mind to follow along with the words on “Come Through” – I think again, Teejay’s done an exceptional job of creating a song with powerful hooks to listen to and an atmosphere that completely brings the core-concepts of the idea to life. Panties be droppin’ on a song like this, no doubt.
“Tame Me” sounds like a one-woman version of En Vogue brought into today’s world…maybe a little bit of their homies from Salt-N-Pepa thrown in for good measure. If there were any lingering doubts as to Teejay’s intentions…”Tame Me” would be the end of those I’m sure. Listing off the reasons why it’s time to trade-in being single for the ol’ monogamy-card…and the perfect way she’s described the moment where it goes from love to wanting to spend the rest of a lifetime with someone – I think she’s nailed it here. The music itself is quite unique…like a sitar-melody of sorts…still got the low-end bumpin’ loud & proud though – and the reliable build and burst into the chorus is well-executed once again. Teejay’s got skills as a singer, as a rapper and certainly as a writer as well…she really shines beautifully throughout this entire EP.
On a personal-note…I just kept thinking about how extraordinarily cool it could be to hear this record from the fiancée’s point of view. What a gorgeous present to get in a person’s lifetime! That my friends…that’s real love right there on this EP…sure sounds like it to me.