If there's one thing Tamera King can't help, it's wearing her heart on her sleeve romantically. Now she's ready to prove passion and pain don't always include pleasure on her debut album Traumatized Lover. After two prior EPs, the Boston-bred singer has finally arrived with her freshman effort. Since she dropped her first EP in her early teens, Tamera has displayed a natural talent for heartfelt lyricism that enable her vocals to really shine. Her sound is a modern R&B with remnants of pop that play back like open diaries because of her descriptive storytelling. On her latest 7-track project, the singer offers revealing tales that tether between trauma and toxicity.
The intro begins with a slow start as “Show Me Love” finds Tamera falling deeper romantically. Its misty production gives her open space to confess her deeper involvement for her person. While this isn't the best presentation of her range, her tone compliments the sound gracefully. The backbone of this Tamera's beat selections, which empowers her to set the mood lyrically and vocally. ”Pride” builds off where the last ends as she finds herself at a crossroads because of her romantic indifferences. The energy is felt a lot more on this record as Tamera croons about a relationship dying from the other half not doing enough.
“Trauma” is a standout that captures the project’s essence while showing Tamera’s melodic voice. This is the song where everything comes together for new listeners looking to understand her musicianship. The vocal leaps on here hit in all the right places as she expresses her anger on a betrayal. Something underrated on here is the various pockets she finds, including the one that makes the chorus so memorable.
"You know you gave me trust issues and love issues,
You make me feel like I'm the fool but you're the fool,
'Cause you lied"
"Mind Games" offers duality on when could-be couples that can't get on the same page. Tamera comes in very soothingly atop of the intoxicating instrumental to confront her issues while Guyclaude makes a guest appearance to offer his point of view. All in all, it's an introspective collaboration that's well done and perfectly fits the project's storyline.
The only thing really holding this project back from seeing its true potential is its inconsistent energy from Tamera. Her lyrics and storytelling abilities is really what makes this project so listenable, along with most of her melodies. In terms of vocal range, not all the time does it feel like Tamera King is reaching as hard as she could. There are songs like the intro and "It Is What It Was" where she could've filled the open space up with her voice more.
"Traumatized Lover" has its down moments, but there are more shining moments than dull to maintain its replay value. Tamera King made a strong EP that was able to highlight her talents as a songwriter and her potential range. As she continues to find herself vocally, it will be fun to continue watching her growth given her already developed skills as a polished artist.