“The Sunset Tapes—A Cool Tape Story”
By: Emily Ness
Jaden Smith’s highly anticipated second album, “The Sunset Tapes—A Cool Tape Story,”dawns before a new era of musical evolution for the singer, songwriter, rapper, and actor. At 11 tracks and 36 minutes long—with no features—it is evident that Smith is challenging himself to grow as a person and as an artist. His lyrics, instrumentals, and production support this notion, transporting listeners to a sunset over the California hills no matter where they are in the world.
Highlights of the album include the songs “A Calabasas Freestyle,” “Plastic,” “Better Things,” and “Syre in Abbey Road.” On “A Calabasas Freestyle,” Smith paints a dynamic picture of his life as a young man raised by movie stars. Here, he addresses why he dresses in rags when he is made of riches—proclaiming that this, along with his wisdom, is what makes him iconic. On “Plastic,” Smith raps about more mature content, such as being kicked out of a club, burning white picket fences, and putting a hit out on his doctor who “knows too much.” Being that Smith is 20 years old, this rebellion is to be expected. On “Better Things,” Smith raps about love lost. What sets this love song apart from others are the things he compliments, such as a girl’s piano-playing ability. Finally, on “Syre in Abbey Road,” Smith pays homage to his debut album “SYRE,” bringing listeners full circle as the sun sets on his debut album and rises again with “The Sunset Tapes—A Cool Tape Story.”