Tei Shi - Die 4 Ur Love EP Music Album Reviews

After a tumultuous label break-up, Valerie Teicher shakes off resentment and disappointment with an upbeat set of light, breezy dance pop.

Tei Shi’s Valerie Teicher was having a rough 2020 even before the pandemic hit. She began the year still smarting from the November release of her sophomore album La Linda, a beguiling but doomed effort that underperformed whatever expectations she might have once held for it, the casualty of delays and her crumbling relationship with her former label. The album’s release was so botched that, for unclear reasons, its best single disappeared from its track list within weeks of its release, a reminder of how impermanent albums can be in the streaming age. Her last best chance at finding a wide audience for the record might have been a tour with occasional collaborator Blood Orange planned for this spring, but it was canceled in the wake of COVID-19.
Tei Shi’s new self-released EP Die 4 Ur Love, which she wrote over six days this January, simmers in heartache, abandonment, and resentment at her former label. “I was feeling really sad and pessimistic, and the music all came from this place,” Teicher explained. “I was feeling a sort of impending doom, and out of that came an EP loosely based around apocalypse.” That she wrote these songs just months before that sense of impending doom became global was just an unhappy accident—Teicher had even initially titled the EP Apocalypse, but after the world went into lockdown that seemed “too on the nose.”

Those are dark origins for an EP that turns out to be a very light listen. In the spirit of Robyn, Tei Shi’s preferred prescription for pain and disappointment is to dance her way through it, and even when she’s idealizing death—on “Disappear” she longs for “a pill that could make me feel nothing”—Die 4 Ur Love is far and away the breeziest, most upbeat project she’s ever recorded, a gleaming disco ball compared to the darkly shadowed, R&B-steeped art-pop of her 2017 debut Crawl Space.

Unfortunately, that pop-forward makeover doesn’t play to her gifts for mystique building. Teicher always scanned as worldly and sophisticated, cut from cloth closer to that of an actual pop star than the indie auteurs with whom she shares playlists. But that star quality isn’t nearly so novel when she’s playing on Top 40’s turf, and on Die 4 Ur Love she’s boxed in by the predictable rhythms of pop in its most down-the-middle iterations.

These five songs never sound anything less than polished—if nothing else, they prove she can create a decent facsimile of big-budget pop with a DIY artist’s pocketbook—but they never excite, either. Even the standout title track succumbs to anonymity; it’s the kind of easy dance song that Lady Gaga retreats to whenever her last project underperforms, all bombast and no risk. Every song is too obvious, devoid of the surprises and reveals that made her previous albums such enticing labyrinths. The peppy synth-pop shuffle “OK Crazy” and the Ryan Tedder-style ballad “Goodbye” both cloy in their sweetness.
Maybe these songs were just too rushed. Teicher said she worked quickly on the EP, out of an understandable drive to begin her fresh start after splitting from her label (the most personable moment on the EP is a shot at Downtown Records: “Got my freedom/Also I’m making a hit,” she smirks on closer “Goodbye”). And there’s some recent precedent for artists regaining their footing after creative missteps and industry mismanagement. After years adrift, Tinashe reclaimed control of her career and rebounded last year with her best album yet, Songs for You, a showcase for what a natural talent can do when left to their own devices. Teicher could make a record that good. She’s got the voice and the presence to do it, and now she’s got her freedom, too. But it’s going to require material a lot more ambitious than this.
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About Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera

Hey, I'm Perera! I will try to give you technology reviews(mobile,gadgets,smart watch & other technology things), Automobiles, News and entertainment for built up your knowledge.
Tei Shi - Die 4 Ur Love EP Music Album Reviews Tei Shi - Die 4 Ur Love EP Music Album Reviews Reviewed by Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera on Thursday, July 30, 2020 Rating: 5

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