Published Oct 05, 2020Anniversary is a fitting title for Bryson Tiller's third album, which was released five years to the day after his debut, Trapsoul, and with matching album artwork to boot. This time around, Tiller has returned to the '90s R&B sound that cultivated his dedicated fan base, with rap-esque crooning over heavy bass beats. On 2017 sophomore album True to Self, Tiller recognized his assimilation into R&B stardom — a position he aspired to but also criticized on Trapsoul. Here, Tiller's voice is a recognizable return to his essence, sharing his honest but shallow versions of vulnerability.
Anniversary does not shy away from Tiller's notable flips of cassette tapes and voicemail recordings from an array of displeased women. It also gives listeners a much-hyped Drake collaboration in "Outta Time." Despite years of hints at a collaboration between the two, with Tiller having almost signed to Drake's OVO label, the song feels short-lived without a hook.
"Timeless Interlude" demonstrates Tiller's growth from the 502 come-up kid to an established artist who has finally acknowledged his place in the game: "If Jesus take my life? / At least I made it to the greatest heights." Tiller has hinted at another release coming this winter — it seems like his pinnacle still awaits. (RCA)