Tyrese (RCA Records)
By: Sylvia White
When I first saw and heard this young man he was on a bus humming his little heart out. That was about three years and a record deal ago from where he currently stands. Tyrese, the young man from the now famous "Sprite" commercials, has come into his own and I must say, he is doing a nice job. His first release as a signed artist is a self-titled album enveloped with original and nicely constructed material. Initially I thought him to have gone down that obligatory road that most teen R&B singers follow, in which there is a rap on almost every song within the work, but Tyrese and his creative team decided to let his vocal abilities speak for themselves on this twelve track album.
Most of the tracks on the album are up-tempo to mid-tempo which should reach a wide audience of dancers and some hip-hoppers as well. His voice throughout is an almost gruff sensual moan and wail. He flexes his chords well and his background beats are almost never overdone, they fall in line with being simply good music.
On his first release from the album, "Nobody Else," a favorite of mine, we hear Tyrese in an almost sexy vocal state, his personal rapping skills are great for someone who is a singer. He wears two hats on this contribution and both fit to a tee. "Promises" is an up-tempo song that has him coming with strong harmonies, good background and nice beats. "Sweet Lady", his second and current release have him in serenade mode and he can sing to me anytime. Strong writing help to make this song original and uncompromised. "Lately" an easy flow track that swells and falls within string chords, it is bathed with sensuality on the part of Tyrese. Great song with wonderful harmonies, this should strike the charts in a big way! The lyrics are a nice blend of originality and the norm. "Give Love A Try" is mid-tempo with beats, vocals and instrumentation that doesn't settle for being a standard song. Simple and well-done!
On, "I Can't Go On", another favorite, Tyrese gives us a taste of his ballad form, and what a form it is indeed. This young man has a vocal talent that should be noted and is now thankfully heard. "I Can't Go On" is a sweeping, sentimental track that gives Tyrese room to give his all vocally. On the final track, "Stay In Touch", we find him as a tender and plaintive son asking that his mother keep in touch with him. This seems to be a truly personal track that certainly causes one to wonder about it's meaning and creation. It pulls at your mind and your heart.
The album as a whole gets a strong 4 from me. With more ballad type material, this album could be considered a perfect contribution, but with all those great up-tempo tracks, it certainly does force the listener to crave more of Tyrese's ability to croon a soft, supple song. As a newcomer, Tyrese has much to offer musically. His writing team, as well as his vocal coaches should be proud of this young man. I am proud to have somewhat witnessed his evolution from boy with the golden "bus" voice to the signed R&B artist. His smile is enough to warm your heart and his voice enough to melt your soul. He has what it takes to go far in music, as long as he never settles for less than what his talent affords him. Continue on Tyrese!