Over a month after teasing behind-the-scenes footage and photos, Tamia has fully returned back to music with the release of her “Beautiful Surprise” video, taken from her upcoming album of the same name due later this summer. It’s been six years since her last LP Between Friends dropped, but unlike those who reinvent themselves while on hiatus and come back eager to adapt to trends (Hello, Usher and Kelly Rowland), Tamia has stuck strictly to her R&B roots and delivered a solid single.
Co-written by Claude Kelly and super-produced by Salaam Remi, the mid-tempo tune features a breezy bounce fit for the season. Though it doesn’t challenge Tamia’s voice the way we know she’s capable of pulling off, her tone on the track – tinged with her charming soprano and a breathy “ooh, ahh” kick-off to the chorus – is enough to make it go mainstream. (But since Tamia’s always been grossly underrated, we won’t be surprised if it doesn’t.) Reminiscent, but slightly slower than her greatest hit “So Into You,” Tamia sweetly expresses her love for, well, being in love: “‘Cause I wasn’t expecting you too late tonight / And I didn’t hear you come inside / But there’s nothing in this world I want more / Than to have my baby back in my arms…”
It’s a luminous lilt that is only matched by the video, itself. Directed by Ryan Pallotta, lights bounce off the camera lens and drape the songstress in sunrays as she writhes around the floor of a Malibu mansion. A storyline is forgone in exchange for beauty shots and PG-rated poses leaving you wishing – for both our sakes – that Tamia had gone just a little harder, for both the track and its accompanying clip, while no doubt “beautiful,” lack the critical moments that would have taken them from safe to sensation.