Teyana Taylor // K.T.S.E.
Hold on for a wild ride through G.O.O.D. Music's most recent release
G.O.O.D. Music's Wyoming Sessions come to a close with one of the label's strongest releases of the year. K.T.S.E. (short for "Keep That Same Energy") serves both as a diverse endnote following a month of highly publicized albums from producer Kanye West and a public re-introduction to Teyana Taylor, a multi-faceted artist finally receiving the kind of high-end production she deserves. A largely R&B-centric offering, K.T.S.E. features some of West's most organic arrangements since Common's Be. Clean guitar samples and jazz-like percussion lend structure to the loose flourishes of "Gonna Love Me" and "Issues / Hold On." Like much of West's recent output, K.T.S.E. is kaleidoscopic, full of sonic twists and turns sure to intrigue some and distract others. But between the radio-ready pop of "Hurry," the blissful sampling of "Rose in Harlem" and the aggressive house-mash of "WTP" (a cousin to West's hit "Fade"), the one thing K.T.S.E. won't do is bore. Taylor's ability to sing, rap, and generally blend into any composition handed to her is downright fascinating, and equally fascinating are the rumors that an updated version of the album with new samples and an additional track is slated for release later this week. — Aaron Mook