Having broken through on 2006′s Moonlighting and reinforced their name on 2009′s Brooklynati, Tanya Morgan have hit that point in their still-evolving career where their biggest task is to simply maintain, especially now that they’re down to two MCs after a four-year lull. Even though it’d be easy for a group of their stay-posi caliber to coast off the easy goodwill they gained from emulating the brighter moments of circa ’93 Native Tongues rap, on Rubber Souls Tanya Morgan merge that spirit with a neo-soul vibe a decade ahead of their more direct lyrical influences. That live-band sound, provided by producer 6th Sense and a cast of sharp session players, switches things up ably — deep slow-ride bass murmurs and airy guitar strums on “The Day I,” mellow g-funk synth bounce on “Never Too Much,” funkadelic dark-alley foot-chase tension on “Pick It Up,” and snapping-tight snares throughout. Von Pea and Donwill’s softbatch-ducking earnestness radiates outwards in the service of romantic appeals (“All Em”) and hopes of leaving the next generation with the resources they didn’t grow up with themselves (“More”), lyrics that sound comfortable not only in their ease of mind but in how fluidly they ride.
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