Tanqueray Hayward – Definition of a Woman
If there is project that can be called highly anticipated by those who regularly peruse this website, it will be Definition of a Woman by Tanqueray Hayward. Hayward’s work on songs such as “This Kind of Love,” “Caught Up,” and the Holiday tune “It’s Christmas” captured the ears and hearts of SoulTrackers and earned her accolades, such as winning the Best New Artist in last year’s SoulTracks Readers’ Choice Awards and seeing “This Kind of Love” being selected as one of our 100 best songs of 2020.
So, the Philly native with the big, emotive voice who is steeped in singing everything from gospel to classical and soul had already raised expectations for Definition of a Woman, and she does not disappoint. Hayward’s power packed vocals are the first thing that grab the attention of listeners. She’s operating at a level vocally where few singers dare to tread. While soulfulness is something that’s often out of style in contemporary R&B, Hayward is a singer who is not shy about scaling the heights and depths of her immense range in her effort to convey the emotion and honesty that she brings to each work – whether it is the undying commitment of til death do us part love of the wedding day anthem “The End of Never,” or giving a deadbeat dad a piece of her mind in “Single Momma Blues.”
All of Hayward’s songs have a conversational quality: a track like “Standing All Alone,” a 1980s styled ballad that finds her trying to pick up the pieces of being abandoned by a lover, is contrasted with the self-awareness expressed in “Caught Up,” a work of jazz/funk fusion that finds Hayward trying not to be so overwhelmed by a guy’s attractive qualities that she overlooks the problematic ones. While the 60s girl group styled “Single Momma Blues” finds Hayward imploring an absentee father to get involved in his daughter’s life, the deep soul of “This Kind of Love” finds Hayward using her powerful instrument to shower praise on the man who stepped into her life to add love and stability.
Hayward has a conversation with herself on the classic R&B ballad “Reflections,” a song about the importance of loving and accepting yourself before it’s possible to truly love someone else. And Hayward does her best vocal work on “Broken Window,” a song about how easily faith can be shattered and how God is willing to pick of those shattered shards and make our strength stronger. She starts out singing and by the end of the track she is straight up testifying. The congregation will definitely be saying ‘amen’ at the end of this album. Highly Recommended
By Howard Dukes