Monday, July 23rd, 2018

Tamia – Leave It Smokin’

Advice applies to the bedroom only; bushwalkers, please disregard…


Hazel Southwell: This had me at “classic ’90s summer intro” and got extremely deep with me over twinkling noises and an upper-vocal-register verse, before arranging a romantic break with me over the shifting vibes of the chorus and announcing our nuptials in People on the second-verse, second-line breathy crack. Do not play yourself by wasting this hot weather without this.

Ryo Miyauchi: The moody synths and stoic break beat of this late-hour summer funk don’t sound too odd next to material by producers who mine the attitude, if not direct sounds from R&B and neo-soul records of the early ’00s. That said, Tamia’s mood-setting is free of nostalgia-chasing, with her occupied on the scene unfolding in front of her right there and now.

Alfred Soto: It’s a tribute to the songwriting and performing shrewdness that Tamia could have built a different song around the line “I need passion like fire” but chooses the modest title hook instead. The early nineties British R&B arrangement is attractive without succumbing to the retro. 

Jonathan Bradley: Salaam Remi’s rattling and snare-heavy beat nails the throwback vibe, but Tamia does better than craft a period piece with “Leave It Smokin’.” Her touch is gentle without being insubstantial, and her performance is an aptly inviting one. It’s four minutes, and feels like half that, but the ease with which it tumbles along only invites you to listen again, and fall deeper in.

Will Rivitz: Like butter, it’s only a couple degrees away from delectable fluidity, ARP synth arpeggios fluttering suggestively behind Tamia’s coy, open invitation to “passion like fire.” Like butter, too, it’s homogeneous and uniform, not a single part of the song making any effort to distinguish itself from any other. If you put it on loop, it would take at least three or four go-rounds for the listener to recognize that the song had restarted. 

Ian Mathers: Despite the fiery subject matter, the actual song is cozy enough it’d be perfect for listening to when it’s storming outside and you don’t want to leave the couch or bed, but not too raucous, no actual thunder, just lots of grey and too much rain to go out into. You know; a quiet storm.

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