Ryan Smart is a young artist from Lawrence, Kansas who recently released Take A Chance. Smart isn’t even nineteen years old but is showing some potential with these songs. At this point he still seems to be struggling slightly with finding his own sound as he jumps around from R Kelly type R&B and hip-hop to a more hard to pin down synth based pop.
He opens with “Man Made Paradise” which is one of the more unique styles on the album. Smart never revisits this style he introduces the album with. Soft synths linger around with cymbal crashes as he sings, “The years I've spent alone failed to build a home I've woke women who were able / Showed them soul that they could feel.” You then have a song like “No More Bets” which feels much more aligned with R Kelly but feels disparate from the opener. I enjoyed both songs but thought the leap in style didn’t create a foundation for Smart.
“All That Your Love Means To Me” is a smooth jam with electronic piano and his soulful vocals while “Over & Over” is a song that's more apt for the club. It’s not as high energy as a typical Daft Punk but has a good amount of energy.
“More Sure (Love Like Yours)” is a highlight. I thought he got the tones right and also delivers one of his best vocal performances. He closes with “Looking 4 Love (Dedicated 2 Ya)” which actually had a tinge of MIchael Jackson.
I think the first two songs off this album didn’t give you a good idea of what the rest of the album was going to be like. Both those songs felt a bit more pop based without as much influence from R&B. The album starts to sound more cohesive after the third song.
Smart may not believe me but he will look back on this album in ten years as his humble beginnings if he continues to pursue music. At his young age there is a lot of time for his tastes to become refined and to learn a lot about composition and production. That being said this is one of the more impressive beginnings I have heard from someone who is just get started. He is one to watch. I can say that with certainty.
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