Reviews: Tiffany Tatum
Where in the world is Tiffany Tatum? I just listened to her EP, “A Tainted Love” and discovered a talented songwriter/singer. A native of Dallas, Texas and member of a musical family, Ms. Tatum wrote all of her own songs, and delivers them in her own inimitable style—a mix of R&B, Jazz and Neo-Soul. What did you think of “A Tainted Love” you ask?
Well, it’s an eclectic mix of ballads ranging from the sublime to the sophomoric. “I Can’t” opens with dramatic synthesized keyboarding and Ms. Tatum’s desolate moaning. The angry lyrics are the true, incoherent ranting of a woman putting her man on notice. Magically, Tiffany’s woefully weak “Woo Woos” and “Yay Yays” evoke emotion and, coupled with the strong hook, actually redeem the song. “I Can’t” builds lyrically to a strong ending as the layered tracks of Tiffany’s voice create a lush backup trio that replaces her stressed solo. “Money” opens with old timey radio static and a line from “When Day is Done,” a lil ditty recorded by the late Mildred Bailey in 1935. The intro built interest and suspense only to have the downbeat, in the form of a blast of lame, looped horns, obliterate the magic of the intro. Clever use of snare drums and repetitive chord progression lent “Money” the air of a march. The middle school brass section is a spoiler, but originality and the cheeky concept keep “Money” from tanking. “Dark Skin” is an ode to gorgeous men. This cut is “the one” that you can’t get out of your head! Tight lyrics and a jazzy sing-along melody leave you wanting more and wondering what the real Tiffany Tatum sounds like when she sings from her own soul. Ms. Tatum’s voice oozes sensuality and though she depletes her breath and drops the ends of her words, when she hits the closing note of the song, its aural sex!
Most of what I heard from her was a contrived attempt to sing safe rather than be herself. Tiffany has obvious talent. However, if she learns to better control her breathing, she would have enough air to sing those demanding high notes and long, slow phrases. Her use of vintage sound elements is testament to her creativity and originality. She’s an imaginative and talented song writer; her strong story telling lyrics evoke deep emotion. When she decides to be Tiffany, to work on her breathing, scale back the backup vocals and find a Jazz/R&B band worthy of her talents, she will be a musical tsunami. Check her out at http://www.reverbnation.com/tiffanytatum.