By Timia Cobb
Album: Thanks For the Chapstick
Release Date: May 17, 2017
Haitian-American musician Teamarr released her second album, Thanks For the Chapstick, in 2017. She puts everything a young woman goes through in the early stages of life into a melodic R&B/soul album. The songs on Thanks for the Chapstick touch on everything from self-love, the struggle of being true to yourself , being comfortable with your sexuality and even being a black girl who enjoys guys who play with Yu-Gi-Oh cards.
Teamarr is an artist I just recently found, but she honestly gives me a sense of familiarity that makes me wish she was the older sister I never knew I wanted. Everything she does is unique—for a black female R&B artist, at least. She presents herself similarly to the many black girls out there who have felt ashamed for liking sex and talking about it, or embarrassed for even mentioning they knew what Yu-Gi-Oh cards were. Even her hair is a representation for how amazing she is. She chooses to dye her hair grey because she sees it as the color of wisdom. I love her music and her as a brand. When I first bought her album, I had only seen a couple of interviews she’d done and had listened to only one song, but she’s gained a fan.
Thanks for the Chapstick consists of seven songs. They all have a raw, storytelling vibe to them, and her vocals deliver magnificently. The story I get from this album is that it’s about her in a relationship. She starts at the beginning where she’s in love with her partner and she sees a potential future. Slowly through the album, however, she starts to see that the same recurring problems she had in past relationships are affecting the one she’s in now. By the end, she’s confused on exactly what she needs and uses sex as an outlet to be close to someone but not close enough to get her feelings hurt. Her voice on this album portrays every emotion she goes through in her relationship: love, confusion, happiness, doubt and more. Her voice tells a story that makes this album believable and understanding.
One of the songs I relate to most on the album is “In My Mind.” The song title describes the song perfectly. The song goes back and forth from Teamarr’s thoughts that consist of funny banter, thinking about reckless sex, the future of her relationship, and how she feels about her love life. I understand this song because my mind travels a thousand miles a minute. I worry about things that could never happen, and daydream about how my future could turn out all the time. The song shows emotions that I think many try to hide because they don’t understand what they’re feeling. She’s singing about the vulnerability of not knowing what you need but still trying to fight for what you think will make you happy. How she delivers this song makes it seem like she isn’t sure of herself, that she’s questioning her actions and where they are going to lead her.
Another song from the album that contributes to showing how amazing of an artist Teamarr is is “I Know Nothing.” The beginning lyrics of this song are captivating to me because it’s something I believe everyone has thought about but has never really said. She sings, “I’m finding it hard to rely on humans with pretty eyes ’cause they seem to prey on all the other humans with sh***y eyesight.” This song is the best on the album because she is singing about how she truly feels, which is hurt and used. You can hear it in her when she sings “I know nothing” repeatedly until her voice sounds hoarse and cracks. She delivered emotions that I say most artists today try to distance themselves from showing.
Thanks for the Chapstick isn’t the best album I’ve ever heard, but it’s possibly the most relatable one. I understood it on an emotional level that I believe many others will as well. Her emotional yet funny lyrics sell and make this album special. I hope to hear more of her in the future.