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Syre (an album review)

The Story of a Lost Boy and Beautiful Confusion

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Syre (an album review)

Brandon Cole, Writer

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           “The story of a boy who chased the sunset until it chased him”. Jaden Smith’s debut rap album, spanning over 17 songs and a playtime of over an hour, is an ambitious and conceptual story that manages to seem incredibly deep, and yet at the same time incredibly shallow. There are lots of lines that hit home, but they’re thrown in between poorly written verses.

          The album starts out with a four-part song “BLUE”, in which he raps about the biblical creation of man, references Icarus, crooked cops, a conspiracy theory about 9/11, and that’s just barely scratching the surface. Throughout the album, the listener follows the life and story of Syre. Songs vary from sounding like modern trap bangers, to folk, older rock, metal, and often switch up the beat multiple times per song.

          While it keeps the listener on their  toes, it becomes exhausting, especially for an album this length. The album features many songs that seem like fillers, they’re catchy but have no meaning. It detracts from the overall album, lessening the impact of the story Smith loosely weaves. Smith often sounds like he’s trying too hard while managing to sound like he’s not trying at all. However, the album does have its “Eureka!” moments, and there’s plenty to fall in love with.

          Sonically, the album is a pleasure to listen to when not overbearing. Each instrument is well-defined, well mastered and balanced as to not be overpowering.Smith blends songs together incredibly well, often using snippets of conversation to carry forward the story of SYRE. If the SYRE album was slimmed down a bit by removing unnecessary tracks, and fixed some of it’s pacing issues, it would be quite an enjoyable listen. Overall, this is an impressive first album from Smith, and his future looks very promising.

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