I’m unsure of how such a talented artist slipped under the radar for this long. Perhaps it was the beginning of the digital age or a drastic change in what people wanted to hear, but Teedra Moses released the classic Complex Simplicity ten years ago and it still resonates as loud today as it did then.
You don’t have to love R&B music to enjoy Teedra Moses because her superb melodies, crisp production and impassioned vocals are universal. Complex Simplicity rides the edge of neo soul with the perfect amount of pop flair. There is a certain nostalgia inducing quality about this album.
Sampling Nas, Moses takes us on an audio journey that would fit a late night cruise along the beach with “Be Your Girl.” The sexiness isn’t overt or off-putting, but relatable with a longing for someone you are crushing on to just take notice.
Playful “Caution” takes off where “Be Your Girl” leaves off and lyrically warns her suitor she’s blissfully falling in love without reservation. The heat gets completely #turntup with “Backstroke,” easily one of the sexiest ‘so good, but so bad for you’ anthems I’ve come across. Teedra’s use of layers and harmonies catapult this song to one of the many standouts for this release. Her silky runs and ad libs put her miles ahead of the game, showing her true artistry and impeccable attention to detail.
The genius producer Paul Poli interpolates Outkasts’ “SpottieOttieDopalicious” in another standout track, “No More Tears,” where Teedra, fed up with the drama, decides to move on from a dying relationship. Speaking of moving on, Moses takes a slight detour from the smooth jams and teams up with crunk king Lil Jon on the sassy and thumping “You Better Tell Her.”
After a hard day, title track “Complex Simplicity” gives life a new perspective starting out with ‘Life is just complex simplicity’ and gives the friendly reminder not to take it all so seriously. Emotions fly high on the midtempo ode to forever love with “For a Lifetime” where Moses doesn’t know if she’s ready to take the risk of starting anew.
What sounds like it could get a bit morbid, Teedra spends a little over three and a half minutes describing what would be her perfect “Last Day” on earth. Instead. it inspires to live each day to the fullest and recognize what is important in your life. Moses’ emotional delivery and honest lyrics make this an absolute unmissable moment.
Closing out the album is”‘I Think of You (Shirley’s Song)” which begins with a spoken word intro explaining how Moses was supposed to deliver a tribute to her late mother, but at the time was too choked up to do so. Get your tissues ready. The song features an excerpt of the performance and leads to a beautiful acoustic track in honor of her mother. It skips the dreariness and focuses on all the positives of live and how precious our time is here.
Teedra Moses has continued on to release great music independently over the last decade. Her songs are complete stories and we’re lucky enough to be included on her journey. Time to RSVP your spot! Check out our Core program The Blvd. to hear some of her tracks and similar content.
Complex Simplicity is currently available on TVT Records and you can catch Teedra Moses touring as well as her new project Cognac & Conversations due out later this year via Maybach Music Group.
– Submitted by Tristan Bolden, Music Design
I love this song! I’m a huge Teedra fan too, and I don’t quite get why she didn’t get as popular as some of her less tatlened peers, but its kinda nice that’s she’s like the best kept secret in R&B.