Layton Greene is a 21 year old rising artist from East St. Louis, Illinois. She first went viral in 2017 when she released a homemade cover with her own interpretation of Kodak Black’s “Roll in Peace.” Because of this cover, Greene got the opportunity to partner with G-Styles, a producer from Tennessee, to record a professional version of her cover which she named, “”Roll in Peace Remix.” The track was posted in November 2017, and became extremely popular when it reached number 12 on the Hot R&B Songs chart. After that, she posted a few more covers that did well, and was eventually signed by Quality Controls Music as their first R&B artist.
On September 9, 2019, Greene released her debut EP titled “Tell Ya Story.” This album is composed of seven individual tracks: “Blame on Me,” “Never Knew,” “I Love You,” “Choices,” “I Choose,” “Knives,” and “Open Wounds.” The theme of her album focuses on love and relationships through six songs, with “Blame on Me” having a different sound, following a theme of Greene telling her backstory and childhood.
“Blame on Me” has a very unique theme compared to the other six songs. In this song, Greene tells her own personal story of her upbringing and how she got to the point she is at today. The song has a few different beats throughout it, but they are well incorporated with one another. It begins with Greene telling her story with a light piano melody behind her soothing voice that is filtered to radio-like sound . Then the beat drops, but overall the sound is still very laid back with the piano melody continuing throughout the whole song. Greene has a very raspy voice that compliments the instrumentals. The sound of the song also backs up the lyrics which are very hard hitting and personal. Throughout the song, Greene constantly mentions how she was going through so many problems with family that it felt like it was all because of her, hence the title “Blame on Me.”
Personally, “Blame on Me” is my favorite song out of the album just because of how personal her lyrics are. Greene was able to pour her heart out in her songs and tell the whole world her story, which I find extremely admirable. I also really enjoyed the very diverse and unique beat of this song.
The second song in her album, “Never Knew” is where she begins to tell her story of her relationships and how those affected her. Greene’s voice is very clear, loud, and steady throughout all of the song, and this along with the guitar in the background gives the song a very casual vibe to it that also makes you want to bob your head up and down. Greene sings about her relationship that she has very high hopes for as she feels as the person she is in a relationship with is the first person she can truly understand and relate to.
Greene continues telling her love story in “I Love You.” In this track, Greene sings about her feelings after a break up. Her voice in this song is more diverse, she begins with her smooth natural voice, but then transitions to a higher, yet lighter, voice during the chorus. She sings about how even though they went through a breakup she can’t stop thinking about him constantly and still loves him. The beat of this song lowkey reminds me of the beat from “Blame on Me,” a lot due to the background instrumentals of a light piano melody which is in both songs, but this one is more mainstream compared to “Blame on Me.”
“Choices” was the song with the most unique sound compared to the rest of the six tracks. This song is a very slow-dance kind of song. It’s backed up by only an electric guitar that makes Greene’s voice stand out. This song is also one that has a lot of her ad-libs incorporated which makes the sound even more unique. Through this she talks about having to choose between two people who both want to be in a relationship with her, but not wanting to lose a good friend if she were to choose.
“I Choose,” directly connects to “Choices,” as it’s where Greene sings about the man she chose out of the two choices she had. Through the song, the beat is still laid back but it’s faster than the beat in “Choices.” Greene’s voice in this song is very pleasant to listen to as it’s very smooth from start to finish, and it ends with her voice being filtered to sound radio-like which brings the song as a whole together.
The two last songs in the album, “Knives” and “Open Wounds” are also directly connected with one another. “Knives” is about how the man Greene is in a relationship keeps lying to her about everything and he cheats but denies he did it, yet at the end of the day Greene still decides to forgive him. “Open Wounds” is about how Greene was hurt emotionally by the man she was dating and she needs to heal her wounds and then she is leaving him. Both of these songs have very catchy beats yet the beats couldn’t be more different from each other.
Greene’s album “Tell Ya Story” has very diverse sounds. I don’t usually listen to R&B artists (I think this is my first time willingly doing so), but I was pulled in by Greene’s soothing voice and the different melodies she uses. I personally enjoyed the whole album because even though there were some similarities in a few songs each was still unique in it’s own way. I would rate this album a strong 5/5.