Since his debut SYRE last year, Jaden Smith has been taking the hip-hop world by storm. His unique indie approach to the genre has made him one of the genre’s promising up-and-comers, and with one short EP already under his belt this year (this summer’s SYRE: The Electric Album), Smith is ready to keep going. Jaden Smith gets atmospheric in The Sunset Tapes: A Cool Tape Story, his latest album that tells a story.
Smith’s aesthetic is still well intact; if anything, it’s only become more polished and intrinsic with this record. Opening track ‘SOHO‘ kicks things off with a chill start, the atmosphere calm and Smith staying cool and collected to establish his swagger. ‘A Calabasas Freestyle‘ follows with a darker mood, Smith’s flow becoming sharper as he flawlessly delivers atop the track. The chiller atmosphere dominates the record, however: ‘Distant‘ comes with a chill, poetic vibe while even closing track ‘Rollin Around‘ brings a great calming end to the record with fantastic melodies soaring to complete it.
Despite the overall vibe of the record, Smith is constantly experimenting with new sounds. ‘Play This On A Mountain At Sunset‘ is the first track on the record that really tries something new, its trippy sounds creating this oddly soothing, colorful soundscape. ‘Yeah Yeah‘ has more of an indie drive to it, before ‘SYRE In Abbey Road‘ delivers a very unique atmosphere, composed almost entirely out of vocoded vocals as if it were a Bon Iver track. ‘FALLEN Part 2,’ a continuation of a track from SYRE, also enchants with its sweet melodies and great tone. Jaden Smith is constantly trying to reinvent himself in each song, and it makes for a very refreshing listen.
Jaden Smith gets atmospheric in The Sunset Tapes: A Cool Tape Story, seeking out new sounds while building on his previous record to create something surprisingly beautiful. It’s a truly relaxing record, offering up songs to both chill to and vibe with. Smith only continues to prove that he’s a force to be reckoned with in hip-hop.
Favorite Tracks: A Calabasas Freestyle, SYRE In Abbey Road, Rollin Around, FALLEN Part 2
Least Favorite Track: Better Things
Rating: 85 / 100
Stream or buy The Sunset Tapes: A Cool Tape Story on Apple Music, and follow our 2018 Playlist on Spotify: