Tamia’s Steamy ‘Love Life’ is Timeless [ALBUM REVIEW]

Tamia-Love-Life-2015-1200x1200-300x300It has been a long three years since Tamia’s last project Beautiful Surprise. The public has missed Tamia’s voice, one that has continued to shine over her decade-long career. And her performance on her new album Love Life, is no exception. On her new LP, Tamia wields her mighty range to spin a set of seductive and sensual tunes. I must admit, I’ve been looking forward to this album review.

The album opens with “Love Falls Over Me” a sparse production that is mostly percussion. The breezy track, held together by an infectious chorus is indicative of album’s tone. “Chaise Lounge” finds Tamia belting over bass-driven melody in about grown folk love in a way only those married or with children could understand. The Dream produced “Like You Do,” and his fingerprints are unmistakable on this lightweight, summery jam. And the album’s lead single “Sandwich and a Soda” carries that same flirtatious feel.

But the real magic of the album is in it’s creamy center. “Nowhere” pairs a marching beat with ethereal vocals for an experimental venture, at least when thumbing through Tamia’s catalogue. “Special” infuses production elements from the 80’s for a sound that is highly listenable. Tamia uncharacteristically holds the majority of the song within her lower register, relying more on her softer tones to punctuate the song’s emotion.

Diving further into the album’s theme of “deep in the soul love,” Tamia is helpless without her lover on “Stuck With Me.” The song’s pulsing bass line is the perfect counterpoint to her entrancing falsetto trills, and  its haunting desire will stick with you long after the track fades out.

“Lipstick,” a clear standout on the album, encapsulates the passion of being turned on by your partner. Even with its laid back vibe, all elements are at their pinnacle. Tamia exhibits masterful vocal control, the production is sensual, and the writing is perfection.

My couture is on the floor

French kisses for my amore

You whisper to me, I need some more

Then you started losing control

Album closers “Day One” and “Black Butterfly” are both throwbacks in differing ways. “Day One” harkens back to the 90’s when albums were closed out with more personla or religious songs. In this case, Tamia sings to the long-standing marriage to Grant Hill (much like in her prior fan favorite Still). Backed by a sweet and simple piano-led track, Tamia melodically celebrates the ever-strengthening bond they share. “Black Butterfly” is a faithful rendition of Deniece Williams’ classic that showcases Tamia’s stunning range. A last minute addition, the song is the breakout vocal of the album that certifies the timelessness of Tamia’s voice.

Tamia’s Love Life is an exercise in displaying a voice that is like none other. Lyrically she expresses the beautiful intimacies of a love life (in all its forms), while vocally she is on par with great vocalists like Whitney Houston and Deborah Cox.  The set is mostly mid-tempo songs with sparse productions, so there is not a variation in levels throughout, but this arrangement is perfect as to not detract from her delivery and deliver an incredibly listenable and cohesive set. Keep it on repeat.

Stream the album on Spotify below and buy the album here!

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Daren W. Jackson

Daren is one half of the Water Cooler Convos team. He's a writer, music connoisseur, and comic book geek who spends his free time working on his novel and other short stories.