When you see the title Leave It Smokin‘, you expect a baby-making slow jam with some seductive moans and deep bass…not a bouncy, mildly throwback vibe soaked in seduction.
We’re not mad at it, though.
In her first offering since 2015’s Love Life, Tamia switches up ever so slightly again to keep fans from getting bored but still comes with the core vocals that make her the singer she is. The wonderful thing about her voice is that she doesn’t always have to come at you full blast to get our attention. She doesn’t go full You Put A Move On My Heart, opting to stay in a somewhat closed range in both tone and pitch for the fronting parts. She layers things up with the backing harmonies and that brings in a lot of the color. The effect makes things come off a very seductive despite the upbeat production.
Speaking of which, the production really does have that air of nineties to it but the overall sound is more updated. It has all the neo-soul elements and fewer of the more overt jazz overtones that would come from that era on a song like this and, honestly, is better for it. The gentleness of this track matched with the new jack drumline is enough to make it work in terms of seductiveness but leaves it to the vocalist to add those flavors that make it repeatable.
The lyrics are okay. They aren’t so dull that you tune out, but there are a lot of metaphors strung together so, if that’s not your thing, it may leave you a little cold. You do get the sense that she is looking for passion in her life from the man she loves, so the meaning is clear no matter what.
No word if there is going to be an album to follow, but this does come in same year as the 20th anniversary of the release of her debut album, so this could just be a celebration of that fact.