T-Roy – Storyteller

 T-Roy – Storyteller

T-Roy – Storyteller – Album Review

I have such respect for the artists out there that really do things differently than the rest – and after a solid listening to the album Storyteller over this past week or so, T-Roy is definitely included in all that.  Dude’s busting out of New York with a creative spin on the Neoclassic Soul sound, bringing his own versatility & talents to a set-list of fifteen cuts on his debut album Storyteller, which came out back in 2011 – and he’s got massive plans in the works to release three new records to come over the following eight months from here as well.  To say that T-Roy’s an ambitious guy wouldn’t even cover half of it – but when you hear the uniqueness he brings to his music, you immediately recognize that he’s given himself every chance, possibility, and opportunity to be heard as he should be.

I’d be the last person to ever say it’s all been done…and it’s artists like T-Roy that really prove it’s true.

First of all…if you’re willing to combine art & music, believe me, you’ve got my full attention.  When I heard “Laura B” on my initial spin through Storyteller, it was like T-Roy had me at hello – this is the kind of style & sound I love to discover when I push play & so rarely often find.  I’ll concede that those first notes & tones you’ll hear pop up can be pretty jarring to say the least – but from the moment the piano, percussion, and vocals take over, T-Roy is on completely solid ground, gliding through a jazzy setting with spoken word on top.  Fantastic spoken word at that – “Laura B” is quite the explicit & detailed story, but outright fascinating when you listen to the performance that T-Roy puts into this first cut.  Is there inherent risk that comes along with putting an eight-plus minute-long cut as the initial experience?  Yep.  You bet.  There would be with any record.  You wouldn’t do it without making a statement though – and hey, this album is called Storyteller ain’t it?  So relax, chill out, and listen to what really is a remarkable mix of poetry, emotion, and radiantly colorful vocals that have T-Roy sounding locked right into the moment with confidence, focus, and tremendous commitment.  Much of it personal and much of it pointedly looking directly at society under the microscope as T-Roy tackles everything from racial issues of perspective, to his openly-gay lifestyle, to more removed observations that aren’t quite as close to the vest that fill in the details with wonderfully written imagery adorning his every word.  When it comes to songs like “Laura B” – consider me 100% all about it – I think it’s a magnificent introduction to the man behind the music, what’s important to him personally, and also what he’s looking to create with the songs he’s writing – which is ultimately, art.  Any spoken-word cut requires a narrator that can bring us all into the experience, and that’s exactly what you’ll get with T-Roy on “Laura B” – I could listen to this cut all day long & never get bored…and believe me, I’ve tried; it’s road-tested – I’ve spun through this first track multiple times over on its own, because his performance is as top-shelf as any you’ll find.

“Beauty Is…” starts to reveal the hybrid nature of T-Roy’s sound in full as he transitions between the spoken-word beginning into the hooks & starts to sing for us.  Definitely a strong vibe that works wonders, and the versatility he puts on display shows the balance he’s got as an entertainer.  I’m obviously a massive fan of the way he approaches spoken-word – I’ve already made that clear and I’m positive I’ll make more comments on that down the road in this review – but suffice it to say, the first dose of T-Roy in the thick of the mix and singing, was equally innovative and impressive as well.  There is a TON here to love on “Beauty Is…” – everything from T-Roy’s poetic words & imagery, straight on through to the positive & tributary sentiment he’s expressing in his lyricism, all the way to the heart of the performance itself, which is once again, revealing he’s fully engaged and invested in every moment.  Considering that Storyteller is a debut record, you’ve gotta admire how much personality & character that T-Roy’s put in the spotlight early on.  Key moments like where he’ll break it down and strip the music back around the 1:45 mark…the stunning writing in the verse that follows…and the ambitious part he’s created for the hooks & chorus of “Beauty Is…” – he’s really hitting the mark here early on his career and giving you every reason as to why the people out there are still loving what he creates now years afterwards.  This is where it all began – and with performances & ideas like these, it’s completely clear as to why T-Roy continued on strong throughout the years to follow, releasing several records.

It was somewhere around “Not Going Out Like That” where I found myself really appreciating how T-Roy expresses himself as a singer/artist/entertainer.  I mean, of course I was already enjoying myself in those first couple cuts and their artistic design – but I felt like this next tune continued to reveal even more about the way he approaches his words, thoughts, and music.  I often criticize artists & bands out there for selecting a whole bunch of words that get the point across, but don’t really say what they REALLY want to say – and in just about every way I can think of, T-Roy is exactly the opposite.  Maybe there’s a fancier word here or there that could have been used – but would that have really communicated what he was looking to say?  That’s not to say he can’t be eloquent – he more than often is – but the point I’m making is that T-Roy isn’t sacrificing his authentic sentiment by searching for a particular word all the time…a lot of the songs on this record will reveal he simply says exactly what’s on his mind, unfiltered.  When it comes to the case of “Not Going Out Like That,” he also finds a bouncy vibe that’s sure to grab its share of the attention when it comes to this set-list, arguably being the most accessible cut of the first three you’ll find on Storyteller.  As IF he had even more to prove, T-Roy further reveals his diverse approach to music by infusing this cut with a combination of R&B/Soul/Pop, even hitting the bars towards the middle for a Hip-Hop breakdown.  Like just about every debut I can think of, he’ll also show you a few spots that have no doubt been smoothed out over time & experience since, where towards the end of “Not Going Out Like That” the harmonies will clash a lil’ as it heads to the finish.  Overall though, there’s no denying the memorable spark & brightened-up bounce that “Not Going Out Like That” brings to the earliest moments of this fifteen-track album & serves it strongly to transition the songs in the lineup to being sung as opposed to spoken.  You’ll still find both in the tracks to come, but with the smart way T-Roy plans the flow of this album, you stay right there with him as he progresses through this versatile hybrid lineup of songs more than willingly; there’s no doubt he keeps ya engaged.

“De Classe” is one hell of an ambitious song…and I’ve got my moments where I find myself appreciating everything T-Roy brings to this cut & the remarkable level of drama & theatrical style it sends out of the speakers surrounding me.  At other times, I can’t help but recognize the sheer amount of how much is going on here…and in knowing how the average everyday listener hears music, I know beyond the shadow of a doubt that T-Roy’s also reached well beyond the means of their ears for the vast majority of “De Classe.”  He admittedly doesn’t speak French and neither do I…which makes for an interesting way to begin a tune, but hey, they all gotta start somewhere right?  There’s no doubt that the added culture he brings to this song gives “De Classe” a completely different vibe than any other song you’ll find on the album…which may or may-not work in favor of the listeners out there.  On one side of the coin you’ve got a track that’s so defined by its theatrical inclinations & sound that anyone that loves it will REALLY love it, know what I mean?  For others outside accepting such a variable style…which even goes as far as to include the accordion in the mix…this could be a much tougher cut to make their way into, and I’d understand that.  There is zero doubt about the demands such a multi-directional cut makes on the everyday listener out there – but just because that’s the case is no reason to cater to it – make the music YOU wanna make – that’s what T-Roy is doing.  You want in on his bandwagon, there’s plenty of room and you’re as welcome to sit down and find a seat as anyone else – and if not, keep on moving, no harm, no foul.  He’ll ride the slight-edge of the melody of “I’m A Slave 4 U” without fully crossing into it, but you can hear the influence on the flow of the song at points; and every time you think you’ve got T-Roy pinned down & have an idea of where he’s going next, he switches it up to keep you guessing.  For me, I think sometimes a song can be completely successful based on clever choices and performances – and using a unique word like “De Classe” & the way it gets sung/shout at us, was a memorable masterstroke.

“Mr. Bill” is a cut where you can really hear the personality of T-Roy come out in a fantastic variety of ways.  Similar to “De Classe” in the sense that, there sure is a whole lot of dimension & depth involved when it comes to the layers of the music & the song’s structure – but it felt like “Mr. Bill” had just a bit more space to give it the potential to connect to a wider audience.  Listen to the amount of character & commitment in T-Roy’s performance here though will ya?  Never mind the fact that there’s not nearly enough uniqueness like this out there in the world to begin with – but LISTEN to how T-Roy attacks the energy & vocals in this song like he could do this all day, every day, and has been for years.  He puts in a fearless performance on “Mr. Bill” that’s more than enticing enough to pull in listeners.  Uniqueness can so often be found in tandem with being timid…almost like you can hear the acknowledge of the risk in creating something new in behind the scenes; and once again, you’ll find T-Roy has the opposite effect – he commits with everything he’s got and plunges right in headfirst towards his wildest ideas without questioning himself.  Confidence like he’s got absolutely has an allure all of its own, and it opens the doors of acceptance to a whole bunch of spectacular new ideas, sounds, and songs for us in the process.  The sublimely chilled-out & jazzy combination of sound at the start of this cut is spectacular – listen to how the layers of instrumentation interact & respond to each other – and what about the jaw-dropping performance T-Roy puts through the microphone for the main hooks of the “I gots money/I gets paid” parts – genius!  Just about everything on “Mr. Bill” decidedly bucks typical convention and reaches for more outta music – this is a perfect example of what we mean when we say something is an experience.  You may or may-not be able to sing along with every moment of a song like “Mr. Bill” – but I guarantee you’ll remember it – that’s an experience y’all.  I love the way the keys, guitars, drums, vocals, and bass all interact at the beginning as we try to discern who “Mr. Bill” actually is on the initial spin – and it’s only because there is so much radiantly colorful sound & vocals coming at you at all times that you might not even realize this cut is calling out the almighty dollar with T-Roy’s each & every word.  Once you catch on, there’s no going back in my opinion – “Mr. Bill” is absolutely one of his lyrical best and massively insightful.  Listening to the snarl, edge, growl, and rasp that T-Roy brings to his vocals is every bit of the clue you need to know where he really stands on this whole economic issue – it’s a response to what he’s laying down in the verses for sure, adding in a wicked dose of contrast through what seems almost like two perspectives on the one subject colliding together, finding a bizarre harmony & set of truths they can somehow share…or at the very least, both exist & thrive at the same time, in tandem.

Heading towards a sound that you’d likely more expect from the Tony Rich Project back in the day, “Find A New Way” would be a really tough cut to resist.  Of all the tracks on this record, to me & my ears, “Find A New Way” is likely the most accessible cut in the entire bunch – this is a pretty, solid, universal vibe and a love-based theme that people out there can certainly relate with & connect to.  When it comes to great songwriting – which, let’s be clear, this song displays at all times – I’m willing to overlook a few things when an idea is as immaculate as this is.  I wouldn’t say this is my favorite performance by T-Roy when it comes right down to it – but once more, with all things considered, this being his debut, the massive leap in style/sound, and how close he is to right w�ere he’d wanna be…”Find A New Way” still earns its place in this lineup big-time.  The vast majority is stellar…maybe a couple notes here & there that, looking back on’em now, chances are the artist that T-Roy is today would hit right on target – but hearing the humble sound of an artist in their early material also gives you a special glimpse of what makes them as great as they become over time.  I felt like the subtle charm of “Find A New Way” was beautifully enticing…the songwriting is spectacular…and the longer it went on, the more sure, confident, and controlled T-Roy becomes from start to finish.  I’d be more than willing to bet that if T-Roy recorded this song now where he’s at in his career, he’d knock every second of this song right outta the park – but even as it stands now, those few organic flaws actually draw us in and contain character to be admired.

Not 100% sure what it was about “Oh Girl” for me…I had moments where I felt like this needed a bit more, and moments where I felt like it put in a bit too much.  Sometimes the more threadbare space in the verses with just the bass-lines to keep the groove goin’ alongside the vocals seemed like it could use a bit more support…later on when things get more intense, I was looking for less – so what do I know?  I’ll say this…on a fundamental level, “Oh Girl” displays the wild range of ideas & style that T-Roy is clearly going for…which even in a multi-directional structure, still ends up providing a bizarre cohesion that’s unexpected, but works.  I think if anything, “Oh Girl” has one of the tougher spots in the lineup to fill, coming in between the middle of two cuts in “Find A New Way” and “I’ll Be There,” which are both noticeably slanted more towards a priority of mellow space & chilled-out clarity on the surface.  Definitely not opposed to the lyricism – that’s a strength – the idea overall is solid, there’s just something a bit uneven about the energy of this cut that didn’t quite seem to maintain its full grip on us from beginning to end as an entire song, as opposed to feeling like certain parts rose to the occasion.  Really dig the backing vocals in this tune…and at its most involved & energetic, I felt like “Oh Girl” found its best gear – when T-Roy & company are in party-mode, you can’t help but catch onto the groove.  Plus I mean, c’mon…that bass-line at the very beginning?  That’s the definition of a gateway in if you ask me.

Look – there ain’t nothing wrong with T-Roy’s penchant for incorporating the kitchen sink when he wants to stuff a track full – he’s had proven success with that here on this very record already, let alone the others that he’s already released in the past.  Having said that…when the dude slows it all down and puts his focus on the melody & heart at the core of a slow-jam like he does on “Find A New Way” or “I’ll Be There” – you can really appreciate just how well these low-key moments are suited to him too.  I felt like the piano you’ll find in the instrumentation on “I’ll Be There” was one of the most sincere highlights on this whole record…and arguably, it’s still not the star of the show when it comes to this song when it comes to the mix.  Nor should it be for the most part – you want your ears on T-Roy for this cut too – it’s definitely one of the more demanding parts he’s written, and he puts a ton of heart & soul into it.  Much like “Oh Girl” – I’m making observations, not necessarily complaints – “I’ll Be There” draws on a more classic approach to R&B, despite the avant-garde & jazzy nature of the music in behind the microphone.  The call/answer style in the vocals works well & stays true to the roots – and when it comes to the lead, he puts in one of his best performances that you’ll find on Storyteller.  The backing vocals come out intact for the most part…I love them in the verses, in the chorus I had my moments here & there, but to be fair, so does he…sometimes those harmonies hit the mark spot on, at others, just slightly wide of it.  To his credit, between the fantastic way he sings the lead and the brilliance in the music surrounding him, we don’t even hear those spots in the background that could be 10% smoother, because T-Roy keeps you mesmerized & locked onto what’s happening on the surface.  It’s those moments where the backing vocals are left alone in the space that reveals they could have been tightened up a degree or two more perhaps…but again, if we’re talking about the main elements of the song & the writing – the pieces that catch our attention the most without question – there’s no doubt he’s got a strong cut here.

“Reality” is probably one of my favorite cuts on this record…though it’s another highlight example of the differences in the way we all tend to listen to music.  If you’re looking for the safety & comfort of what you know and what you’ve already heard from a million other artists out there, only repackaged and shined up for you to buy all over again under a new name – KEEP ON WALKING PLEASE.  That’s not who T-Roy is, that’s not what a record like Storyteller is all about – he’s here to do something decisively new and different – that’s the real “Reality” for ya – so pay attention to the blueprint y’all!  There is more than enough swagger & style in this one cut to fill several albums – the energy & soul T-Roy puts into his performance is perfection, and his lyrics once again stand out in all the right ways.  I dig extremely dynamic & versatile cuts like this where I don’t feel like I can pick out one particular piece of the song as the highlight – everything stands out here.  If anything, I’ll concede it’s mainly what comes from the microphone in the case of “Reality” and the words he’s written – BUT…I wouldn’t take any points away from the music either…I just felt like there would be little to nothing anyone could do to take their ears off of the wild performance T-Roy puts into his vocals on this track!  This is where you can’t help but really admire the way he’s able to combine meaningful messages in his lyricism alongside spectacularly unique ideas in the music & design that pull us right into every single second.  The personality that T-Roy puts across through a microphone on “Reality” not only speaks strongly on behalf of the character of the man behind the music, but shows another incredible dimension of the skillset he has.  You’d never be able to predict the twists & turns of a record like Storyteller – and to a large degree, that’s a huge part of the reason it keeps us all so thoroughly entertained from start to finish…the element & allure of curiosity & surprise always has merit.  No lyin’ though – T-Roy is making the magic happen on the m-i-c as he rolls & flows through this cut – and hearing him go off completely towards the end was a serious highlight & the mark of an artist that is so locked right into the vibe you’d have to literally shake him loose from its grip…but after hearing what he’s come up with here, there’s no way you’d wanna do that.

For those out there willing to be honest & tell it to this openly gay artist straight, T-Roy is going to run into the argument between what makes something organically special versus taking that extra time to smooth out all the spots where the harmonies or vocals drift slightly wide of the mark – and of course, I’m always willing to be that guy.  Would I consider the performance on “Brothers” to be full-on 100% note-perfect?  Nope.  But as I’ve indicated here, that very well might be more than OK – in fact, YOU might hear a song like “Brothers” and decide that stylistically, he’s nailing this on all fronts.  You wouldn’t hear any argument from me in return – that’s what art is all about – perspective.  A lot of making music is about being locked into the moment and going where the music takes you…T-Roy is definitely the kind of artist that goes that route, which more often than not leads him to success.  What I would argue is that he shows you both of these things inside of one experience like you’ll hear on “Brothers” – which at times, will lead you to wanting more of one side of his style than the other, know what I mean?  It’s the sheer fact that T-Roy shows us directly how capable he is of nailing the tone, energy, and melody spot-on in a song like “Brothers” that we notice those tiny moments where he’ll drift away from consistency.  That’s bound to happen in the pursuit of real art & creativity – there are ups & downs in that endeavor and it’s something we learn to accept & live with as artists – but if the passion is there, the ideas are present, and the core of it all still makes a connection, take solace in the fact that there’s still something that breaks through to us as listeners, which in turn might very well be the gateway into the rest of it all over time & repeated spins.  If perfection was beyond him to achieve, I probably wouldn’t even call him out – but he’s proven to be more than capable, so that’s where we as listeners want to hear him reach to at all times.  Once again, with this being a debut & all…we kinda have to assume a lot of these types of issues would have been thoroughly resolved over time & experience afterwards, so I ain’t sweatin’ it & nor should he.  As I’ve said a million times on these pages of ours – I can’t imagine a worse tragedy than hearing sheer perfection on a debut record…what would be the point of continuing on?  You want those opportunities to grow & evolve, and “Brothers” reveals a few of those spots of opportunity that exist in T-Roy’s early material more-so than others on Storyteller.  That’s not to say it doesn’t contain a MASSIVE amount of positives that should be notes as well…the piano & opening verse to start with, are magnificent…and when it comes to the lyricism, sincerity, and sentiment – it’s some of the best you’ll find on the album as well without question.  Songs like “Brothers” reveal a ton about the heart of the man making the music & singing to us on this record…you can’t help but appreciate & admire his words.

There are similar issues when it comes to “When Angels Go Home,” and perhaps a few more of’em here.  Songs are trickier to sing than people realize sometimes…and as a songwriter, there is a very fine-line between a part that’s written perfectly, and a performance that can live up to the ambitions in the demands of the writing.  Sometimes you can out-write yourself…that actually happens all the time – in fact, what the industry regards as some of the very best of the best can’t even hold a proper tune at all – so take that to heart…sometimes our intentions exceed our capabilities, or at the very least, at the time.  There’s no doubt that “When Angels Go Home” gets the better of T-Roy for the majority of its melody; to his credit, it’s really the only song on this album that I felt tipped the scales further in that direction than onto the right side of things.  At its core, like all of his tunes, there’s an idea that works still inside there – but whether this was a track that revealed the cracks in his armor early on in his career, or if it’s the last song in the set-list that was contributed to the record…the reasons for the slip in focus could be many & multiple…deep down, T-Roy knows what the differences would have been, and I have no doubt whatsoever that he hears every slight slip in tone & energy that we hear as well.  It becomes even tougher in the case of “When Angels Go Home,” because he’s got a guest-star laying down the backing vocals that is shining at every moment…and when it all gets fused together in the results at the end, it’s the most memorable aspect of what we hear in this track.  Again, this HAPPENS from time to time, and especially early on in a career…I’m not holding it against the man, I’m just calling it like I hear it – if I wasn’t honest with you all in these reviews I write, I can’t imagine there’d even be a point to writing’em.  What I hear is bound to be what the majority of us hear…I’m not claiming to be any kind of prophet, just a guy that digs music of all kinds…and when I hear potential like I hear in T-Roy, I want it realized all the time if at all possible.  Sometimes we get rushed, sometimes we get caught up in the moment, sometimes we don’t have another set of ears at the right time to help reign us in when we need it the most – no artist or band out there is gonna get it 100% right 100% of the time, you feel me?  The key is to really sit back & listen as objectively as possible, and remember that if you hear 5% of your song doesn’t quite fit the melody or contains some sort of strange flaw…that I can promise ya, that’ll be the 5% you’ll hear for the rest of time.  And if you know that you had the extra time to fix it up to that full 100%…it becomes tough to forgive & forget, even though YOU made it…so take all the time you need.

LOVE the way T-Roy starts singing “I Get Lonely” with scattered avant-garde vocalizations before launching into the first verse.  Don’t get me wrong – I think he’s done a solid job on the verse/chorus of this tune too – words are GREAT, yes – BUT…all I’m saying is that he proves he doesn’t actually need a single word to captivate us & grab our attention at the outset of “I Get Lonely” – I’d listen to a whole album of him singing like he does at the beginning of this cut!  I also really love the combination of keys & bass-lines in the mix here…I’m slightly tempted to say bring it up just a tad in the volume to surround the main star of the show just a little bit more here, but that’s simply just to make sure it all gets noticed as it should.  Between what you’ll find in those elements and the stunningly subtle percussion & space that enter into this vibe, “I Get Lonely” might deal with one of the harder sets of emotionally complex situations in life, but it sure makes for a fantastic listen.  T-Roy does a great job of describing the push/pull of life & love and what it feels like when we’re apart from the ones we’re missing.  “I Get Lonely” myself, sure, I’ve been there – and obviously, T-Roy has been too based on everything he’s singing about.  I loved how one of the main hooks of this cut in the chorus actually encourages us to look at things from the other side of the story…it’s an aspect of “I Get Lonely” that likely won’t get its due credit as much as it should, but it’s every bit as much of a reminder to consider how our actions affect the people we love and to make sure we’re putting our attention to where it’s most needed, or who.

Taking a moment to shout-out some folks by name on “Yesterday” in tribute – T-Roy digs deep into nostalgia & the family tree as he starts to wind down the final stretch of songs on Storyteller.  I’ll say this – I can’t think of a single moment where T-Roy has brought in a spoken-word aspect to his songs that didn’t work for me on this record.  Any time he seemed to communicate directly with us like we’re right there in the room talking to him, has been straight-up magical and entirely enticing to experience – the man should be given a ton of credit for just how personal he’s made this whole record and how much of T-Roy there truly is to be found in T-Roy’s music – the man’s authentic, no doubt about it.  He’s gonna keep singing his song, as he’ll tell ya direct inside the lyrics of “Yesterday” and the sentiment that runs through this whole record – and I wouldn’t have it any other way.  Proudly celebrating the strong female role models that run throughout his family and have contributed positively to the man T-Roy is today, on sentiment alone, I’m in love with this track.  I’m not gonna lie, I’m not a massive fan of the “I-I-I” hook, but apart from that, “Yesterday” is about as perfect as perfect gets.  This world doesn’t need another song about chicks & cars…but despite my many, MANY objections throughout the years, they keep on coming.  Songs like “Yesterday” confirm that there are still artists out there like T-Roy that are more than willing to create music that has additional importance to it – and in doing so, displays the courage it takes to make the difference & a lasting impact on us.  Songs like “Yesterday” allow us as listener to connect to what’s important to T-Roy – and as a result, that sincerity connects to us in reciprocal return.

By the time I reached “P.S. I Love You,” I felt like I became almost of two minds about it.  On the one hand, I think T-Roy’s probably got one of the more easily accessible cuts on this record when it comes to the mellow sound & melody you’ll find in this tune from the late-stages of Storyteller.  On the other hand, I felt like “P.S. I Love You” was…hmm…maybe almost harder to convince me that T-Roy himself was fully engaged in this moment.  I wouldn’t go as far as to say it’s almost too easy for him, but I will say you can hear that spark of interest show up without question on just about every cut I can think of beforehand & the final track afterwards – “P.S. I Love You” calls for a more low-key moment, sure – but in similar intimate vibes earlier on in the record, you can hear that connection between that artist & the material thriving.  What makes it hard to really complain about is the fact that, even though it doesn’t seem like T-Roy’s particularly inspired to sing this song…really when it comes right down to it, he’s on the mark with his tone throughout the bulk of this melody & its many twists & turns.  If anything, if you’re really listening – you realize that T-Roy might be much more ‘in the moment’ here than any other song on this album…but the sadness that inherently creeps into his words also ravages his performance.  It’s hard to explain…but if you’ve ever sung a song yourself and been overwhelmed by the emotion behind the words, you know it becomes more than a challenge to keep on going…I suppose that’s kind of how I felt about “P.S. I Love You” – it’s like a performance that’s struggling to find the will to carry on.  So…six or one-half dozen of the other, he might very well be a perfect match for the words he’s written, but the results might still be more draining to experience emotionally for us all listening because of that.

A bit dramatic, a bit soulful, a bit like the solo of a musical or spotlight in the center of a cabaret, T-Roy brings his debut album home with “You’ve Got To Believe” at the end to wrap it up.  Comforting & chilled out in its relaxed demeanor, and fired-up with positive messages – T-Roy brings back the spoken-word aspect to bookend this set-list and remind you of what’s important before this album is finished.  I highly recommend taking his advice and following along with his words…he’s got a mantra included into this song that he’ll invite you to sing along with…and it’s probably the pinnacle of all the messages he’s looking to express & communicate to us all, so pay attention, don’t miss it, don’t get caught sleepin!’  It’s been quite the journey through this record, I gotta say…such a tremendous pleasure to experience such relentless creativity and artistic integrity.  Any roughness on Storyteller is the kind of thing you can tell will sort itself out over time & experience…it takes a minute or two before we as artists fully believe we’re right where we belong…but the more you “believe in yourself,” the quicker you’ll find your way.  After everything I’ve heard from T-Roy throughout this album, I’m more than convinced that this dude has continued to thrive throughout the years for plenty of good reasons, and I have every bit of faith that an artist like this will keep on getting better & better as time marches on.  At the very least, T-Roy is ALWAYS going to keep us guessing, ALWAYS going to spring a new surprise (or several!) on his latest records, and ALWAYS going to be on the side of speaking up on behalf of what’s right, what’s important, and what needs to be said to those that need to hear it most.  Full respect from me – T-Roy’s all-aces when it comes to sentiment & intentions – and the man writes exceptionally expressive tunes, no doubt.

Find out more about T-Roy from his official page at:  https://t-roymusic.com

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