Published Jul 17, 2019Jaden Smith's 2017 debut, SYRE, showed creativity and tremendous potential. On it, the neo-Fresh Prince established himself as a legitimate artist in his own right — and more than just a privileged celebrity child enjoying the spoils of nepotism.
ERYS, however, plays right into the stereotype its predecessor avoided, positioning Jaden as bored and self-important, with perhaps too many musical resources at his disposal.
Masquerading as a complement to SYRE, ERYS is a near replica of Jaden's previous effort, whose similarities run too close to repetition to make a true impact. The four-song arc that introduces the album (the "PINK" to SYRE'S "BLUE") doesn't quite hold the same ingenuity the second time around.
The same can be said for much of the rest of the album — it's not that it's bad, per se, it's that every attempt at trappy braggadocio ("i-drip-or-is," "Got It"), tender, emo rock ("Summertime in Paris," "Blackout"), or energetic punk ("Fire Dept") can be matched with a matching, better-executed song somewhere on SYRE.
Jaden is an undeniable talent and is advocating to save our entire planet, so his missteps on ERYS are easily forgiven. But when packaged as a pair, Jaden's sophomore effort doesn't quite measure up to its companion. (MSFTS Music/Roc Nation)