Album Review: TEEN – The Way and the Color

CovermocksTEEN’s second full-length LP, The Way and Color, strays far from the work of other all-girl bands. The eccentric and psychedelic tunes make TEEN’s music difficult to classify into a single genre. From pop songs such as “Toi Toi Toi” and “Rose 4 U” to R&B melodies like “More Than I Ask For,” The Way and Color displays a rainbow of musical styles that culminate into a successful and distinctive album.

Comprised of four girls, three of which are sisters, Brooklyn-based TEEN starts their new LP with “Rose 4 U,” a track composed of upbeat lyrical repetition set against a vibrant mix of instruments including the keyboard, bass, and drums. The vocal harmonization balances perfectly with the fast-paced instrumentation, giving the album an energetic opening. The Way and Color continues with songs such as “Tied Up Tied Down” that perfectly mesh the electronic-sounding voices of the girls with the mix of instruments, fusing each track into a melodic masterpiece.

“Voices” provides the album with an unusual twist: the two-minute track ironically features less traditional vocals than any other tune, with only the indecipherable sounds of vocals set against an eerie and psychedelic composition.  The song proves the large extent to which TEEN differentiates themselves from the norm by placing their main emphasis on the instrumental sounds of each track rather than showcasing the lyrics. Many bands tend to rely on words to convey the purpose of their music, while TEEN often utilizes them to bolster sonic texture.

Album track “More Than What I Ask For” stands out among the others. The melody effectively displays the impressive vocal range of lead singer Kristina “Teeny” Lieberson complemented well by the powerful voices of the other quartet members.  The track embraces R&B undertones beneath a sheath of vocal synchronization, with a sound resembling some futuristic choir of space angels.

The album’s dynamic range make The Way and Color proves how much TEEN has evolved from their first LP, In Limbo. While In Limbo brought TEEN recognition as a pop girl group, The Way and Color transforms their initial stagnant stereotype while bringing them into a new dimension of their own that fuses R&B, psych, and pop.

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