February 19, 2016 TEEN – Love Yes (Album Review)
New York-based Alternative Rock band TEEN are a unique bunch of musicians with something different to offer. Coming together in Halifax, Nova Scotia back in 2010, TEEN unites former Here We Go Vocalist/Multi-instrumentalist Teeny Lieberson along with her sisters, Keyboardist/Vocalist Lizzie Lieberson and Drummer/Vocalist Katherine Lieberson, as well as later edition, Bassist/Vocalist Boshra AlSaadi. Aspiring with many creative ideas, before TEEN was born, Teeny herself self-released and recorded 2011’s EP, Little Doods. Then, officially forming TEEN, the cohesive band honed their sound and dropped their debut 2012 album, In Limbo, via Washington DC based Independent label Carpark Records. Following up in 2014 with The Way and Colors, TEEN showed they are influenced by R&B , New Wave , Alternative Rock, and everything in between. Now in 2016, TEEN return with their third studio album, entitled Love Yes. Released on Feburary 19th, Love Yes is a work of passion which saw the band returning home to Canada to record at Riverport at the Old Confidence Lodge, to once again work with Producer Daniel Schlett (Oberhofer, Ghostface Killah).
Twelve tracks in total, Love Yes is of reflection on the Lieberson sister’s late father, Classical Composer Peter Lieberson, and the stigma women deal with when they show any kind of sexuality and spirituality. Starting the album is “Tokyo,” a Zappa-esque Electronica Pop piece with a Doo-Wop cadence as Teeny slides up and down the vocal range, singing about women’s ever mission to keep the young look for their men. Next, “All About Us” has a retro ’60s vibe musically and lyrical delivery with a modern flare with the synths. Vocally, the track’s not all over the place as with “Tokyo,” but retains the theme of the woman in the couple role as the group sing about the man, who professes his love while being less than romantic. The upbeat melody of “Gone for Good” belies the sadness of the part of the story where the couple; however, takes the high road not pointing fingers. As up-tempo as the melody is, there is bit of a warped sound that could represent the confusion that goes with a breakup.
Teeny’s high vocals begin “Another Man’s Woman” with accompanying synths and light drums. This underlying beat has shades of Phil Collins’ “Take Me Home.” There is an anger to the vocal delivery as the track reveals that the female character has been duped again by a cheater. An upbeat Electronica beat is “Example” with a synth riff that goes throughout the track accompanied by whisked drums as the group sings about the double standard of opinions and ideas. Then, “Animal” starts hypnotically with an Electronic riff tempered by measured drums as the group sings about the double standard of a woman who acts like a man in society’s eyes, she is perceived as an animal. All in all, perhaps one of the best tracks of Love Yes.
The party-tuned “Free Time” turns the title on its ear as the upbeat melody is juxtaposed against the differences in the sexes’ ways of relaxing after their days. “Superhuman” is a bass-driven track, again accompanied by synths. This tune feels tongue-in-cheek as the group sings about feeling like a superhuman, untouchable, because she is strong-willed and sexual. The ballad “Please” is about the sisters’ late father. Beginning Bluesy, Teeny’s vocals come the purest of any song on the album. Listeners can instantly feel the longing in their delivery as the synths carry a low-key melody.
The bass kicks in, and “Noise Shift” is off and going, spiced with psychedelic synth work here and there until it takes a brief solo, as if to represent the constant bickering that can bog down a relationship. Then, the quiet horn finish represents the shift as contentment settles in from either the working out or the parties going their separate ways. The album’s title track, “Love Yes,” has a Indian-esque Electronica vibe. Again, there is longing to the tune as the group sings about wanting a man that can handle a strong-willed woman without feeling lesser. Ending Love Yes is piano-driven “Push,” with synths peppered throughout. This finale seems to be about the end of a relationship where the woman seemed like she was giving more.
TEEN is a band that prefers not to be confined by limits and are very experimental with their sounds, instrumentally and vocally, leaning toward the Alternative Pop realm. Given that their message is female-centric, they try hard to not point fingers while stating the obvious. With tracks like “Please,” they have opened themselves up to another kind of vulnerability, singing about their father, which shows a personal sensitivity that is refreshing. CrypticRock gives Love Yes 4.5 stars out of 5.