The truest statement an artist can make is that they are nothing without their fans and dearest supporters. Include Teedra Moses on that ever-growing list of artists as it took a fan of her music, Hip-Hop’s current Southern sovereign Ricky Rozay, to rescue the Lioness from musical seclusion while offering her the opportunity to join his vision, the ever-expanding Maybach Music Empire. Three years after the collapse of former label home TVT Records and seven summers since her flawless debut Complex Simplicity’s release, Moses releases her first effort on MMG in Luxurious Undergrind, a tasty morsel of what’s to come once her full-length sophomore album hits shelves.
A short jazz solo re-establishes the sophisticated sound that has engulfed Teedra Moses’ growing body of work. The sultry songstress examines the ruins of a collapsed relationship and yearns for new love, a love worthy of hers on ‘Another Luvr.’ The smooth bassline of A Tribe Called Quest’s ‘Excrusions’ propels Moses’ lyrics without overpowering her supple coos, showing that time has not at all affected her vocal talent. Written during sessions for her long delayed sophomore effort The Young Lioness, ‘To Hell With It’ finds a sassy Moses belting out the tone of a mature and hurt lover, exhausted with the shenanigans, yet she never comes across spiteful. A bookend record to R. Kelly’s ‘When a Woman’s Fed Up’, the fallout of her relationship with rapper Ras Kass made for one amazing record from the sassy singer.
Teedra Moses’ forte does not merely revolve around heartache, of course. Trackademicks’ “Champagne Soul” sound permits the 1st Lady of MMG to extend a warm welcome to new love on ‘Invitation,’ advising potential suitors to come correct or not at all. The fittingly titled gems ‘Falling 4 U’ and ‘The One’ intricately detail the back and forth tugging between the heartstrings and one’s conscious mind. ‘Missing U’ ends Luxurious on a somber note, offering an audio note to her late mother Shirley, expressing gratitude her for her strength yet longing to speak with her once again.
‘Get Free’ is the sole misfire on the tape, an overproduced record that overshadows Ms. Moses’ cozy vocals. Records like ‘Missing U’ and ‘The One’ showcase why I first fell in love with the songstress initially and why I wish for her to have my first child: her sultry voice and beautiful songwriting (not to mention she’s GORGEOUS). Clocking in at a shade under 33 minutes, Luxurious Undergrind unearths the evocative enchantress in am improved label situation with more resources at her disposal than at TVT Records. Guided by Rick Ross’ savvy business acumen and MMG’s ridiculous work ethic, Teedra Moses’ star has only just begun to shine as the sky makes a place for Shirley’s daughter to excel.
4.5 spins (out of 5)