For Ty Dolla $ign, Free TC is on a mission to release his little brother from prison for a murder he did not commit. For the listeners, it’s one of the most diverse collections of R&B delivered in a very long time.
Free TC opens up with arguably the best song on the entire album—”LA”. The soulful ode to the City of Angels features harmonies by Brandy and James Fauntleroy, along with a verse from Kendrick Lamar. What makes this song so pleasant to listen to is that every instrument was recorded live, rather than created on a computer, delivering a more authentic sound.
The second track, “Saved”, features west coast legend E-40 and is an upbeat track that’s easy to listen to. The song about a woman thirsting for the lifestyle of the rich and famous could easily fit in with Top 40 radio.
For a stretch of two tracks, Ty Dolla $ign shares the most introspective songs of his career with listeners. “Credit” addresses previous women in his life, clearing the air on their relationships.
“Miracle/Whenever” might be the most touching song of the whole album, featuring a recording of Ty Dolla $ign singing, while his brother is on speakerphone, recording his bars from prison. This song really gives you a sense of the mission the artist is on.
One of the biggest features on an album with many is Kanye West, who makes an appearance on “Guard Down”, an inspiring song about protecting loved ones and staying strong through difficult times. The song could have been the most powerful on the album if it weren’t for the generic monologues done by the man formerly known as Diddy (he’s back to being Puff Daddy).
Fans of Ty Dolla $ign who are used to hearing his bangers in the club will be pleased by “Blasé Blasé” and “Only Right”. “Blasé Blasé” features Future, who at this point in 2015 can do no wrong, and Rae Sremmurd with one of the best verses on the album.
“Only Right” features long-time collaborators YG, Joe Moses and TeeCee4800. Though the song has no deep, intellectual value, don’t be surprised if you hear it next time you’re out at a club with friends.
While my complaints are few and far between for Free TC, it would have been great to see a bigger contribution by the collaborators on songs like on “Know Ya” and “Actress”.
Each song on the album has it’s own distinct sound, which showcases Ty Dolla $ign’s range and creativity as an artist. Whether the music is acoustic or produced by DJ Mustard, Ty Dolla $ign delivers on every song.
With such a unique mix of sounds, the album has a little of something for everybody. The best part of Free TC, however, might not be the music at all, but the recorded phone conversations the singer has with his brother. With a lot of highs and few lows, Ty Dolla $ign’s Free TC is clear proof that R&B is not dead.