Jaden Smith’s ‘SYRE’ shows promise, but no masterpiece



As he climbs out of his Tesla, looking as cool as the ice draped on his neck, Jaden Smith begins the next chapter of his career as an aspiring music superstar in his new music video for “Icon.”

With his new release, he delivers vocals with a passion and poise that his previous work never had. The major increase in sales between “SYRE” and Smith’s previous project, “CTV2,” proves that. “SYRE” opened on the 24th spot of the Billboard 200, while “CTV2” never ranked.

Songs from “SYRE” such as “U,” “Falcon,” “The Passion” and “George Jeff” succeed greatly due to the individuality and ingenuity shown in them.

Many of the tracks contrast greatly within themselves through instrumentals. Smith goes from a funky beat, sounding like a Brazilian dance anthem, to an Ed Sheeran-esque acoustic guitar rhythm. Then, from a furious and cocky delivery to a slow, methodical, almost prophetic flow in the middle of a lyric.

When Smith has passion in his voice, a feeling of immense hype and intensity wraps around the listener and refuses to let go until the song comes to an end. The track “Icon,”is a booming, bass-blaring bop that demands your focus, making it the best example of this.

Contrasts do not just appear inside the songs. A war of genres between the tracks rages on; the sides almost evenly split between rock and rap.

This contrast of genre in Smith’s album provides a refreshing change during a time where mainstream hip-hop has a congestion of boring bass and painful snare, but it also could be seen one of the album’s biggest downfalls. Many times major changes that happen in certain songs clouds the track’s purpose. In “Hope,” the beat, vocals and lyrical theme changes completely a total of three times. With each change, the purpose gets foggier, and the desire to skip to the next song grows stronger.

Jaden’s flow and delivery weighs down the quality of “SYRE” greatly. On a majority of the tracks, Smith stays in a extremely monotone state, trying to belt out all of his words as fast as possible, making him sound like he wants to do anything but make this song.

One of the songs that showcases this the most would be “Rapper,” where the entire song comprises itself of one boring, generic trap beat with an even more boring vocal performance.

Overall, “SYRE” may appear as a flawed project, but also one that shows a lot of potential for the 19-year-old artist. Songs like “Lost Boy” and “Ninety” drag on for a brutally long time as they near the 10-minute mark, being by far the album’s biggest flaw.

These tracks bring a wave of exhaustion with them, but get blown away by the short, passionate tracks filled to the brim with energy during their three-minute spans.

“SYRE” plummets to the Earth and then soars with an equal amount of incredible highs and rock-bottom lows, but it is best described as just bland. I would give this album a 5/10.