CD REVIEW 
By Candace Ledbetter

Tamia
Between Friends

Fans no longer have to wonder what Pop/R&B sensation Tamia has been up to because her new release, Between Friends, says it all! Teaming up with longtime friend and master storyteller, Shep Crawford, and the production expertise of Rodney “Darkchild” Jerkins, Tamia boldly resurfaces with REAL songs that prove true, tasteful music still exists.

Between Friends is an open book of emotions chronicling the beauty and frustrations of relationships. Lyrically, it is a step by step transition from being hopeful to angry to empowered! Musically, it acknowledges everything from classic music styling to the influence of the “snap-finger” generation. Between Friends is fresh, witty, and maintains Tamia’s status as a vocal heavyweight.

The first attention grabber, “Happy,” proves that Mary J. Blige isn’t the only one who can “Reminisce” on a lost love! Musically, this cut defines itself as the “feel good” track of the album. Everything from the hard-hitting percussion to the moving baseline will keep listeners nodding their heads and constantly hitting the repeat button. Written and produced by the genius of Shep Crawford, “Happy” presents an ironic, joyful beat that contrasts the actual message of the song. Tamia sings, “What happened to the roses and the little phones calls we’d make throughout the day/and the silly little games we’d play/but somehow things have changed/how I miss the old/got my feelings thrown/we’re barely holding on.” Clearly, this is a song about a love gone wrong, but at least you’ll feel good when it’s over!

If you thought the Destiny’s Child hit, “Bugaboo,” got rid of pesty cornballs, wait until you hear “Too Grown.” An anthem for women who just want to enjoy a night out with the girls, this song wards off unwanted callers like bug repellant! “Too Grown” is, no doubt, a club hit with operatic tendencies making this a Darkchild masterpiece. Women everywhere will affirm each lyric in this song. In an exasperated chorus, Tamia chants, “You make me want to pull my hair out/you’re the reason I don’t like coming out/steady kicking that madness out your mouth/I’m too grown for that.” Ladies, blast this one in the car so the brothers can listen and learn!

Everyone knows that Tamia brings the DRAMA, and “Me” is one cut that may just cause a resurgence of the women’s liberation movement! A perfect follow up to “Stranger,” “Me” is the epic adventure of a woman’s journey to loving herself more than a man ever could. Written and produced by the “Shepmeister,” listeners need to have tissues and popcorn ready as this movie-like tale shifts emotions through clever lyrics and surprising twists. We would share some of the lyrics with you, but you’ll have to hear this one for yourself. Dare we say that even R. Kelly can’t tell a story like this one!

Overall, Between Friends stays true to Tamia’s reputation of being the “Drama Queen” of the industry - delivering grand ballads, surprising lyrics and a signature, classy style that transcends any audience. Though this is her fourth album, Tamia is the boss this time around, dropping Between Friends as her first project under her independent label, Plus One Media Group. She is simply free to be, and this unplanned album may turn out to be her best one yet!

 

~ Candace Ledbetter is a freelance writer, actress and singer. She is President/CEO of Rhema Word Consulting (ww.myrhemaword.org) and resides in Atlanta, GA.
 

 

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