Album Review – TDott’s ‘Against All Odds’

Canadian artist TDott is making his mark on the music industry with his debut EP, Against All Odds.

After beginning his career in the music industry in 2017 with the release of his first tracks on SoundCloud, TDott is ready to elevate his career to the next level with his new EP. The 20-year-old saw success in his singles, “Plotting” and “N2S,” using rhythmic melodies to showcase his abilities as both a rapper and singer. Residing in Alberta, Canada, the artist has released numerous singles since the pandemic, preparing him for the release of his first official project.

The EP begins with the title track, “A.A.O. (Against All Odds).” We first hear the piano creep into the song, building suspense and anticipation for the entire project as it eases us in. TDott finally enters the song with attention-grabbing adlibs, creating curiosity around how his flow and the beat would progress and work with one another. TDott’s flow didn’t disappoint when he came in on impact, showing off his melodic flow. However, the production was a bit underwhelming and does get lost behind TDott’s flow. Rather than working with it to elevate the track, it creates some conflict as the beat fights to be at the forefront. If anything, the moments in which the production dies down and just gives us the piano moment while TDott’s voice takes over are my favorites because they give a bit of relief to take in his sound. With that being said, the chorus is incredibly catchy and I think “A.A.O” is a great way to start off the album and showcase how multi-faceted TDott is as an artist.

I absolutely love “Playa.” The opening harmonies are just magical, and TDott sounds absolutely phenomenal over production like this. It’s simple, but enough to keep the song uptempo and interesting. And the little string melodies in the background are a beautiful touch. With artists like Burna Boy incorporating dancehall elements into their music, I could definitely imagine hearing this on the radio, and with the way that it transports me to a gorgeous beach despite the overcast weather of my current setting, I wouldn’t mind that at all. Once again, TDott’s hook stays with you. It’s so rhythmic and catchy and is absolutely the highlight of the track. The visual imagery just screams summertime somewhere tropical, surrounded by beautiful people and delicious drinks. The song also features Ywnolu, whose voice works beautifully with TDott’s to offer something different with his verse without overshadowing him. Already a top contender for a favorite track on the album.

There’s no solid transition into the third track, “KRAZY,” which takes on a sound more similar to “A.A.O.” I’m once again not super entranced in the production, but it does put the focus on TDott. I prefer to hear him on beats like “Playa” rather than those with trap elements, just because his voice is so melodic and his rhyme schemes are quite intricate. While the trap beats are fairly static, there are still a lot of moving parts that clash with his sound rather than contributing to the overall song. The overarching theme focuses on his journey and determination, which is really admirable, especially for his age. TDott’s lyrics center around his hustle and personal growth rather than the glitz and glamour of the industry, and even his songs about women aren’t degrading. That is honestly really refreshing and speaks volumes about his maturity. He proves yet again that hooks are his strong suit, and I could for sure hear this song being used for a sports commercial or video game, especially around 1:50. I think his energy 2 minutes into the song was a lot of fun and brought the song back to life, hyping up his listeners to feed off that adrenaline rush.

The transition into “Life Changed” was smoother, but I wouldn’t mind a slightly longer outro in the songs. Nothing too long, just something to come down from the burst of energy towards the end of “KRAZY.” I preferred the beginning of “Life Changed” because I thought it would slow down the pace of the project slightly for something different. But once the drum machine hits, we get another trap beat which is difficult to distinguish from the rest utilized throughout the album. They just start to feel a bit repetitive. However, I think this song displays TDott’s lyricism the most, and once again, the words are wholesome and motivational. He sings a lot about the importance of family and loyalty, and this song really demonstrates his values for his listeners. Although the premise of the song is a bit cliche, you can tell that TDott means every word, and the authenticity and vulnerability are really enjoyable to experience, especially when he sings about the pain he’s endured to get to where he is now in his life. Dayofkk proves to be another perfect match as a featured artist in terms of tone and lyricism, and his voice is packed full of visual imagery that keeps the listener attentive, even during heavier subject matter.

“Hold Onnn” features some of my favorite production. That introduction is sexy and smooth and enticing, and I was so excited to see just where it was going to end up. The song is fun and energetic and gives TDott the chance to show a slightly more cocky and assertive side of his persona. One of the highlights for me is the line, “we both feeling like Gatsby we trying to be great.” It’s really telling about what success is in TDott’s eyes, and it shows that he’s striving for something larger than life.

We finally get the slower song that I was hoping for with the final track, “Matter of Time.” This song is the perfect way for TDott to work with the production to display his melodic abilities while creating the perfect mood for the song. Overall, the track is feel-good and uplifting, making the listener fall in love with TDott’s personality. No matter what you think about his sound, you want to see this guy win. This was the best song TDott could have ended the project with because it feels the most reflective of who he is as an artist; while the fun, energetic trap beats are amazing to incorporate into the EP, this allowed TDott to put the spotlight on his incredible voice and to tell his story. The a capella towards the end is a bold choice, but it was nice to give TDott his moment. And using a variation of the piano intro from “A.A.O” as the outro is a really interesting way to wrap up the project, bringing it around full circle.

Overall, I think the project is really entertaining to listen to. While I would have loved to hear a bit more variety in terms of what themes were discussed and more songs like “Playa,” the project is extremely cohesive. And there’s no doubt that TDott is an incredibly talented artist with his eye on the prize. If you’re as excited as I am to see what he comes up with next, you can follow him on his socials below. Make sure to show him some love!

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