Smith did respectably well to mask his musical shortcomings with gospel chorus swells, vocal riffs, and uses of simplistic harmonies that gave some extra power to the plain structure, but ultimately the underdeveloped melodic ideas and rudimentary chords and rhythms on piano makes this only a work for those who immaturely want their music handed to them on a silver platter by their culture.
Thrilling is not a word I’d use to describe anything about this album. There was simply a lack of strong musical decisions in moments that mattered most, with Smith relying heavily on an inner ear that isn’t very developed or nuanced. These moments that mattered the most were not the giant gospel chorus swells or intricate vocal riffs, although I must say Smith did well to divert attention away from his shortcomings with them. Alas, I was not fooled, and what came across first and foremost was a melodic plainness that was well individualistic yet had no compelling or emotional strings attached. A musician really needs to work hard to find those, and Smith seemed to settle too easily on underdeveloped ideas that simply popped into his head. Pairing this with rudimentary block chords and rhythms on piano resulted in a structure that isn’t very worthwhile. Indeed, the timbre was the most off-putting element of the work, being very plain in presentation with a piano part that required little thought or imagination and the recurring use of a gospel choir that gave good energy but lost its captivating power overtime. Not to mention Smith’s trademark high vocals that are amusing but don’t serve a good purpose. Everything that was a positive on the album really stemmed from one thing, and it was ultimately successful enough to give this album respectability and an ease of listening. That one aspect was the different patterns and uses of simple harmonic language. While on paper the harmonic analysis doesn’t look too exciting, Smith did well to find appropriate, sensible, and well-timed movement in order to achieve some emotional connection to the music. Because of this, the melodies were able to find stints of personality in choruses and the lead harmonic instrument proved to be at least interesting at times to hear. Within the entire music world, it’s still not a big accomplishment, but for those who latch onto musical plainness that is super easy to understand, Smith provides some decent extra strength that can equate to something powerful. This is the obvious step up from the Ed Sheeran types. While I’d like to tell you that this just isn’t worth your time, if you really need your music to be significant in modern day culture and handed to you on a silver platter like a child, then this isn’t all that bad to get into.