Well, I had high hopes with this album. That’s for sure. I’m always keen to listen to new music from new people. This is actually my first time listening to Jaden despite this being his second album. One thing I can’t tell for sure is whether this is any better than his previous record Syre. Instead, I’ll just focus on The Sunset Tapes and what I thought about it.
The first time I heard Jaden, he did this collab with Justin Bieber when they were still kids. Look at them now. Bieber is a global star and Jaden is slowly but surely making his mark in the industry. With this record, there are some things he gets right and there are things I just don’t like. Hey, that’s just me.
What I like
Let me start with the fact that this is an 11-track song. This wouldn’t go unnoticed. See people? Just make a maximum of 12 songs and we’ll be okay. I don’t think the artists themselves don’t finish listening to their 20+ tracks. So why bother giving it to us? 🤷♂️
Onto serious matters now, there is much to like about Jaden Smith. First, he got bars for days. One thing I won’t dispute is his rapping skills. You can tell that he is putting a lot of thought into his lyrics. Good job. The production of the whole record is great which is not surprising because Roc Nation handled it. When the beat plays, it plays hard. That’s my favorite thing about the whole record. The beats and Jaden’s skills complement each other. I dig it.
Another thing that should be mentioned is his music style. In this era of music, everyone is trying to come up with their own style and stick with it. We have seen how the Migos formula is affecting the kind of music we are getting nowadays. We are even having boybands rapping like them. As for Jaden, he isn’t trying anything new but fusing many styles together. You get a little bit of everyone. What you’ll feel at the end of every song is that it reminds you of another song; which isn’t a bad thing. I consider it daring at best because he is perfecting known formulas that acts as a double edged sword which you will see in the next few moments.
Also, there are no features in this album. Unless they aren’t credited, that’s a pretty bold move from Jaden. J Cole did it, I see why he shouldn’t do the same. Besides, no need for a feature to steal your spotlight, right?
What I don’t like
The Auto-tune and singing. Dear me. It should be mentioned that this record is somewhat balanced between rapping and singing. The rapping is great, no doubt about it. It’s the singing that got me thinking otherwise. I’ll go ahead and say it, I hate it when rappers sing. It’s like they all became Ja Rule or Fetty Wap all of a sudden. Rappers with feelings. I’m not a fan.
For the record, the only person that I don’t mind using auto-tune is Travis because it doesn’t sound weird when he does it. Jaden, on the other hand, doesn’t have the same luck with his songs. They are exhausting. What’s even worse is that they are longer than the rap songs. Ugh. You have no idea how I was tempted to skip to the next track every time I heard the auto-tune. Sure, the lyrics are good but the voice is a no-no.
Probably the only thing that is of more concern to me is musical style. Given that he is incorporating so many styles to his music, it begs to ask what is he really on about. What’s his standout factor? I just don’t see it. I’ll admit, this is my first time listening to his work which puts me at a huge disadvantage. Perhaps I’ll get used to his music. Hey, everyone has to adapt to new stuff. Only time will tell with this one.
As of now, I’ll only give a score based on how I felt about it. I give it a 6.3/10. This is subject to change in the next couple of weeks. Or not. We shall see.