A singer-songwriter in R&B these days seems quite rare. Of course many artists co-write, and have songs that are written solely by them now and then, but to write the entire album is quite a feat. And of course, she has written songs for other artists as well (she co-wrote “Dip it Low” for Christina Milian, among others for Teairra Marí, Trina, and Mary J. Blige).
She started working on music upon breaking her leg on a video set. Prior, she had been an assistant wardrobe stylist.
Really then, Teedra came out of nowhere to release Complex Simplicity on TVT Records.
The album title actually feels like a really good fit. It is smooth, soulful R&B. Makes for a great R&B record. A great listen. And since she wrote all the lyrics, and they all work very well, it would be worth following along with the lyrics to hear everything come into place. Simplicity, as it is very easy to listen to, and would work in just about all settings, from clubs to popular music radio stations, and complex to look deeper, and grasp all the elements working as one. Not unlike watching The Simpsons. Complex simplicity.
Paul Poli, Raphael Saadiq, Lil Jon are the producers. Raphael Saadiq is a featured guest on the moderately slow jam, “Take Me”. This track is a good example for the instrumental arrangements including a nice backing bass line. Following is a nice simple (yet again complex) track of Teedra being somewhat PO’d at another girl. It clocks in at 6:15, making it longer than one would expect from an R&B track.
The leadoff track, “Be Your Girl” would be a perfect example of what could easily be a single, a leadoff single as well for that matter. Actually, while looking around for her on the web I found the video for it on YouTube! (future MVOD I dare say!) So looks as though it was! That does not change the fact that easily numerous, if not all songs on the album could be singles.
Apparently Complex Simplicity is an underground classic, which is not a surprise, as it is just that good. Also, looks like a new album is in the works, but details seem scarce. According to her MySpace, she did put out a mix tape earlier this year (Royal Patience compilation …a love journey), so that is promising, but trying to get to her official website leads to a website not found page. Well, here’s hoping the album is released sooner or later instead of being shelved.
Edit (February 17, 2011): Looks like she has an album, The Lioness, ready to be released, but is in need of a record label. Read a little more over at The Allusic blog. Also her official website is up again, and check out her new video for “R U 4 Real” over at YouTube (available in HD!).