Bryson Tiller’s ‘A N N I V E R S A R Y’ Album Review


Bryson Tiller album cover for A N N I V E R S A R Y

Bryson Tiller recently released his third studio album, A N N I V E R S A R Y, on October 2. It was a ten track, half-rapping, half-singing, album that made me ask myself what has he been doing since he released his last album, “True to Self,” in 2017. 

The title of the lackluster album comes from the fact that Tiller’s first album, “Trapsoul,” was released exactly five years before. The cover is blue with Bryson looking to the left while the first album is red with Bryson looking to the right. When you put both albums next to each other, it looks like he is looking at himself. 

The first song, “Years Go By,” is the best song off of the whole album. In verse one, he mentions “WHATS POPPIN” rapper, Jack Harlow, by saying, City on fire, that’s ’cause of me and Jack, huh (Me and Jack).” Both artists represent their hometown of  Louisville, Kentucky proudly. However, verse two is the most memorable verse of the song You can hear the emotion in his voice while he sings which draws the listeners in.

“Always Forever” follows right after with him singing about a girl who doesn’t love him the way he wants her to.  Something about his voice in this song makes me uninterested. The autotune wasn’t working for him or something was going on that made him sound like an older Steve Urkel. This is a problem I had throughout most of the album. 

By the time I got to the third song, I realized that his songs on this album sound like the songs off of Trapsoul. It could’ve been because Trapsoul did really well so he wanted to give this album the same vibe, but  it ruined the album more than it helped.  It makes listeners feel like they’ve already heard the album before.

In “Things Change”, the last song worth listening to, he’s talking to a girl he really loved but left for someone temporary and now he’s regretting it. He takes off and begins rapping in the third verse. Tiller is not a bad rapper so I wasn’t shocked when this verse was listenable. What he was saying flowed perfectly together and kept me listening. 

Fast forward three songs and you end up on “Inhale,” which was released as a single on Sept. 3. This song samples SWV’s song, “All Night Long,” and Mary J. Blige’s song “Not Gon Cry.” Throughout the song, he’s talking to a girl that wants nothing to do with him and is most likely ignoring him which is why he says “maybe signal’s gone for you.” The only line that stuck out was, “**** bein’ on Forbes, I felt rich when I was yours.” In 2017, he made Forbes’ ‘30 Under 30’ list, but claims the woman he was with gave him a better feeling. 

“Outta Time” features Candian rapper Drake, who opens up the eighth song for Tiller. They’re both contemplating staying in the relationship they’re in, but the damage and hurt around both relationships are too bad to fix. Usually, Drake is one to carry an artist whether it be on his own song or the other person’s song, but he couldn’t do it this time. The song would’ve been bad with or without Drake. 

Bryson’s grandma opens up the ninth song, “Keep Doing What You’re Doing,” by wishing him a happy birthday. On Sept.30, he tweeted that this album is dedicated to his grandma who sadly passed away on April 19. This song was a wasteful two minutes and 59 seconds. The intro of his grandma was sweet, but that can’t be the only thing taken away from a song.  At this point, it felt like he was f just trying to fill time. 

The final song, “Next To You,” also felt like a filler. He did the same runs he’s been doing since 2015 and this final track had to be the most boring song off of the whole album. 

This definitely isn’t the last of Bryson Tiller we’ll hear. He has so much potential as a singer and rapper, but because this album only had two songs worth listening to out of ten, I’m going to have to rate it a two out of ten.