Teezo Touchdown – ‘How Do You Sleep At Night?’ review: avant-garde outlier strikes gold
Blowing up by invading social media timelines with his abrupt and off-kilter performances, Texas native Teezo Touchdown’s sense of comedy was lauded first before his musical talents. With witty lines and eye-catching stunts, Teezo could have easily been left in the digital world. However, delivering immaculate features on blockbuster albums from Travis Scott and Don Toliver, as well as knockout singles like ‘Familiarity’ and ‘5 O’Clock’, 2023 has been his year.
‘You Thought’, the latest single from debut album ‘How Do You Sleep At Night?’, features the equally thought-provoking music disruptor Janelle Monáe, and is a perfect example of this amalgamated nature. With thrashing drums and shredded guitar riffs, the punchy bassline mixed with the 30-year-old’s deadpan is a total delight. Over this, Monáe’s higher register croons softly: “I thought we were better.”
In ‘You Thought’, you can hear Teezo interpolating the dreamy melody from Jagged Edge’s popular ‘00s R&B hit ‘Let’s Get Married’ – adding another note to how eclectic and wide-reaching the anti-pop star’s inspirations are. The reference also pops up again on ‘Too Easy’, the seemingly hefty rock free-for-all that turns on a sixpence into a coy break-up anthem.
Beyond this, there’s loads more to explore on ‘How Do You Sleep At Night?’. The opening track ‘OK’ is on-brand for Teezo. He’s full of defiance and angst as he tells the listener to mind their own business. ‘Nu Nay’ adds some lighter bossa nova flavour to the mix to balance out the more emotional songs ‘I Don’t Think U C Me’ and ‘Daddy Mama Issues’.
The highlight, though, is ‘Impossible’. Teezo Touchdown sings us a bunch of “what ifs” before asking, “Who said it’d be impossible?”, affirming over an indie-pop-tinged instrumental that it’s not crazy to chase your wildest desires.
The album closes with ‘The Original Was Better’, an anthemic track that uses unorthodox harmonies and adlibs for comedic effect before the track erupts into unhinged EDM. This love for dramatic highs and muted lows on this album makes the record a rollercoaster of emotions and sounds, and a polished and entertaining debut.
- Release date: September 8
- Record label: Not Fit For Society/RCA