If the name Tiffany Evans sounds familiar to you, it should. You may have seen the then-10-year-old singer’s flawless Star Search appearances. They culminated in her winning the junior division championship after becoming the first contestant to receive perfect scores for all performances. Or perhaps you’ve caught her in Tyler Perry’s 2005 debut film Diary of a Mad Black Woman, if not in the theater then during one its zillion TV airings, as his out-of-drag character’s pint-size but big-voiced church choir soloist daughter. Then again, the buzz she garnered in the early years of her recording career might have reached your radar, especially with the name recogntion of her duet partner Ciara on the single “Promise Ring.”
And if “Tiffany Evans” still doesn’t ring a bell, well, again, it should. As one of the most promising young vocalist to emerge over the past decade, she ought to be in every conversation about the most talented singers in contemporary soul music. But unfortunately talent and fame do not always have a direct relationship. Despite a promising sign of things to come via the Ciara team-up, a cover of Stacy Lattisaw’s lovesick-lass classic “Let Me Be Your Angel,” and later releasing great singles such as “I’ll Be There” and “Baby Don’t Go,” the notoriety she deserves has eluded her. Here’s hoping that all changes with her solid new EP All Me.
From the jump, Evans shows she’s got the goods to capture your ear with the irresistible groove of the first track, “On Sight.” Boasting an assist from rapper Fetty Wap, it shows the sensual side of a lady who is far removed from the kid many first saw on Star Search. Now 23 and married with a child, she is clearly eager to let the world get to know the woman she has become.
The EP’s other bookend, the closing track “100 Percent,” drives that point home as a statement of her devotion to 3-year-old daughter Adalia. Evans and co-writer Rahim “Go To” Roberts, her collaborator on all seven tracks, also showcase her growth on that moving, piano-driven ballad. It’s also an example of Evans’s tempered delivery, offering just the right mix of emotion and power rather than exaggerated, over-the-top wailing.
Also standing out from the batch are the seductive “Talk a Good Game,” appropriately placed as the second track, making for a smooth thematic segue from the flirtatious opener “On Sight.” A grown and sexy vibe is also a winning touch on the provocative “T.M.I.” and the thumping “Me and You.” And although All Me has its pedestrian moments (“Put You On,” “Hands in da Air”), it is an overall satisfying listen.
If the EP All Me is any indication, then the next full-length album by Evans will be well-worth the long wait.
4 out of 5 stars
Standout Tracks: “On Sight,” “Me and You” and “100 Percent”
Buy All Me on iTunes now!