Review: THEY. stun with smooth, soulful, sophomore album ‘The Amanda Tape’

THEY. Twitter | Photo Courtesy
The duo expands their sound to new levels while keeping what fans already love

The R&B duo made their long-awaited return after years away

R&B duo THEY. have often preferred to stay in their lane of music. Rather than following what’s charting in the music industry and looking for a hopeful replication, Dante Jones and Drew Love have created what’s true to their interests without trying to please anyone else. What tends to come out of these collaborative, care-free sessions are some of the most passionate R&B projects created.

Their new project known as The Amanda Tape is no disappointment for fans old and new, despite nearly three years since their last project of any kind to be released. While the project falls in line with much of their past content, as they reminisce on former flames and current relationships, The Amanda Tape offers an extra level of commonality between the artists that they discovered at the beginning of creating this project.

When they first announced the new project, the duo went on record to state the birth and their common inspiration for the new album on social media. According to the duo, The Amanda Tape was named after they discovered they were creating music about former relationships with different women who both happened to be named Amanda.

Their new album offers everything that a relationship would in musical form. The group takes the listener through the lowest of winter blues on some tracks, just before they’re drawn into the highest of euphoric feelings, with everything in between. It’s clear that THEY. intended for the listener to feel as if they’re walking through a relationship as if it’s showcased in a museum.

Standout tracks from the project include ones released before the full project, “Losing Focus” with rapper Wale, “Play Fight” with rising singer Tinashe, as well as the current leader “Count Me In.” The post-release lead single “On and On” is getting significant attention from their fanbase for their departure from their typical lyrical content, as well as a stunning music video.

Throughout the track, the duo examines the image of racial injustice as it’s seen by various groups across the country, while also acknowledging the importance of every life in hopes of better days ahead. As Dante Jones reflects on the never-ending cycle of acts of injustice from protests to riots with no end in sight, he sings, “Don’t say it’s too late, we can still / Save this thing / Ask me, “What went wrong?” / I could go on and on and on, for days.”

While what their fans have been given is what they wanted in the past few years from the duo, the project does seem to come and go without making much of a memorable impact. More of the same is often what a fanbase needs, yet this album doesn’t show any signs of a new sound or any steps forward in any upcoming evolution.

The lyrical content may be relatable enough for most fans to enjoy with their catchy melodies becoming infectious, they aren’t enough to save some of the instrumentals and beats that often become repetitive. With their musical catalog building up, an increasing amount of their music is beginning to blend as it slowly becomes more and more similar.

While THEY. may have delivered more of the same, none of their fans seem to mind too much as they’ll take anything they can get their hands on at this point. It may be another few years filled with relationships and heartbreak until they deliver another project, but The Amanda Tape will do more than hold their fanbase over until then.

Review: 4/5

Leave a Reply