On his first album, Bryson Tiller's mashing up of trap, rap and R&B was what made him stand out, but on True to Self, it's his downfall.

Well that, and the fact that the album is just so long.

No one needs a 19-track album full of skits, interludes and more samples than anyone knows what to do with. It's too much, and all it does is drag to the point where even Tiller starts to sound bored.

The production's pretty good and Tiller's rap offerings are as strong as ever - Self Made and Money Problems are easily two of the best songs on the album, offering a much-needed burst of energy.


But Tiller's slower, R&B tracks - of which there are many - are neither good nor bad, they're just okay. His vocals are fairly unremarkable, his lyrics are standard and all the swagger from Trapsoul seems to be missing.

The R&B tracks tend to drag and feel like a massive step backward, often saved onlyby Tiller's trap beats and an apparent reliance on samples. But then there are songs like Before you Judge, the production on which is a struggle to listen to but the bars on which are arguably the best on the record.

Most of these songs would be totally fine as singles, but as a full, 19-track album, True to Self is simply too much of a chore to get through to enjoy fully.

Bryson Tiller, True to Self


Bryson Tiller


True to Self


Sony Music NZ


Some great pieces that never quite fit together.