Jaden Smith Channels His Dark Side in Ambitious Follow-Up
“There will definitely be fans who vie for one album over the other – and it’s perfectly OK. These efforts are meant to be the perfect, complementary images of each other. This latest LP brings the rowdier Jaden Smith and it is incredible in its own right.”
Jaden Smith has become a popular and positive figure within the news lately – notably for his recent lead filtration donation to the city of Flint, Michigan and the building of his eco-friendly jUST Water company. However, Smith has re-emerged to the music scene with ERYS – an intricate follow-up to his 2017 release SYRE. However, his latest entry is the darker twin to his previous album.
Similarly to his previous album, ERYS begins in a four-track color pattern; trading blue for pink. His sister, Willow, makes several appearances on the LP – including the opening track “P,” another Biblical entry that mirrors “B.”
This contrasting effort shows how the 21-year-old is expanding his musical universe by providing a new character – Erys. This character is living in a “dystopic Los Angeles” with a much more gritty, realistic perspective.
In a recent Rolling Stone interview, Smith discussed the prevalence of this darker theme – especially with the color pink.
“Pink for Erys is really everything,” he shared. “All he really has is pink. He finds this new substance; this thing it’s called ‘vision.’ And he puts it in these pink packs, and he gives it to everyone, and when they take it they start becoming his minions pretty much, do whatever he wants, in like a zombie, soldier type of way. That’s what pink is for Erys. Pink for him is control. Pink for him is power. He is pink. Everything is pink for him.”
Despite some clunkier tracks in the album, the LP succeeds in sharing a group of diverse and eclectic sounds. Ranging from the rock record “Fire Dept” to a more traditional rap sound with the A$AP Rocky-assisted “Chateau,” Smith proves that he is a man of many talents.
Album highlights include the duet with his sister Willow, “Summertime in Paris,” a song that practically begs to be added to your summer playlist.
However, my personal favorites lie in his collaborations – especially “On My Own” with Kid Cudi and “NOIZE” with Tyler, the Creator. These moments provide the most fun on the record – especially with the tongue-in-cheek references from Tyler on the rumored relationship between the two.
As a fan of his musical efforts, this latest release has left me in the middle. I personally have a stronger connection towards SYRE for its emotional depth, but this is definitely the purpose. While ERYS may not be my favorite contribution from Smith, it definitely adds a new level to his musicianship.
There will definitely be fans who vie for one album over the other – and it’s perfectly OK. These efforts are meant to be the perfect, complementary images of each other. This latest LP brings the rowdier Jaden Smith and it is incredible in its own right. An artist’s sound is meant to evolve and bring new flavors into the equation.
The Smith children are definitely getting ready for world domination – musically and environmentally. You can catch Jaden joining Tyler, the Creator on his Igor tour alongside Blood Orange and GoldLink.
Smith will be stopping by Detroit’s Masonic Temple on Saturday, September 7 alongside Tyler. You can pick up tickets here and stream his ERYS album here.