The impact I received upon listening Jaden Smith’s debut album, SYRE, was same with when I first listened Frank Ocean’s Channel ORANGE. My voiceless excitement was extremely shaken inside. The moment I found another outstanding originality and creativity.
B, L, U, E, they all got me from music to the concept of titles (note: each is the first four songs title). Jaden’s passionate rhyming grabbed my emotion. Lyrics were mostly fresh youth (that also means they need to be worked out more in the future). Consciousness conquered the youth and fame as the son of Will Smith and Jada Pickett-Smith. New conscious rap was born here. 17 songs in 1 hour 11 minutes. I listened to the whole album with urge, joy, strain, and languidness. The album made me impossible to do other staffs while listening. I had to take a small comfortable sigh when the album was over.
SYRE gives an impression that this album is the honest journey of Jaden Smith who is still 19 years old. Fresh love worries, decadent love, self-conflict, young struggle, rebellion, a material point of view…necessary passage during youth. Jaden doesn’t hide who he is in this album, grown rich with a lot of attention since his birth, but still, he is just a young dude who has been through those growing up process. Probably that’s why Jaden’s debut album is dark and doomy overall with a few exceptions like “Watch Me” with rock beats. The dark mood could be a love/hate point for those who seek freshness and trends. Though SYRE contains many trendy beats, this album is not among the mass production of the same rap game that difficult to find their own identities. Hard to party and dance with this doomy album (we can with a few songs…). Also, this is not a street rap or hood rap. Hell, Jaden can’t be hood grown up in Malibu. For fun or ghetto seekers, this could be a boring album. But SYRE is the album to listen and visualize the imaginations. If listeners seek creativity in rap, here it is. In that way, SYRE is an ecstasy.
I couldn’t see what career direction Jaden Smith wanted to go in the future before. Starting as an actor in The Pursuit of Happyness, did he want to be an actor? A model? A teen icon? But this product, SYRE, made a clear statement that he was a multi-talented guy with young intelligence and sensitivity. His parents might inherit artistry and creativity but obviously nothing more to do with this album (his sister, Willow, made a good contribution to the album though). Don’t ever expect “Gettin’ Jiggy Wit It” other than a part of lyric here. This songwriting skill that doesn’t make this long album boring is favorable. The songs sometimes change their types in the middle are simply cool. Sound elements are exciting and original such as “Ninety”. And he was fortunate to pursue his will. It would be a very difficult for a teenager without a name to create big sound production and collaborate with radical songwriters. He archived nearly perfection from the debut album.
OVERALL POINTS: 94/100
- Songs: ★★★★+3/4
- Originality: ★★★★+1/2
- Thrills: ★★★★★
- Song orders: ★★★★★
- Vocal: ★★★★
- Background: ★★★★+1/2
- Production: ★★★★★
- Strong songs: “B”, “L”, “U”, “E”, “Breakfast”, “Ninety”, “Batman”
EXTRA (NOT COUNTED TOWARD THE OVERALL POINTS)
- Title: B
- Album cover: A