Ryan Leslie’s debut album has hit the net, but let me be the first to say that I will be purchasing it when it drops on February 10th. Though he doesn’t really break any molds or create any new creative lanes, his music, which I would almost call “Mood R&B”, strikes a pretty evenly keeled musical portrait that is a pleasant listen all the way through.
After MANY delays and false starts (the internationally released/leaked “Just Right”), Ryan’s debut album has finally come forth. From being the man who put Cassie on to now who outshines her musically, he is sure to continue on as a producer/songwriter for other artists while simulataneously carving out a place in the spotlight for himself.
To be sure, Ryan’s no powerhouse vocalist. But he counters this with catchy beats and his own version of the sing/rap combination.
But what is also his secret weapon is also his achille’s heel. Ryan definitely has a template that he follows and at times his hooks, both instrumental and lyrical, get a bit repetitive. Nonetheless, it’s a solid listen mostly from beginning to end.
This album is dedicated to the “hers” in your life — it’s primary subject through and through seems to be about women and the trials and triumphs that we men go through. The album starts off with “Diamond Girl”, which is one of my favorites on the album with its heavy synth and its adcending notes that open the song. After that, it goes to the previously released “Addiction” which have the only features on the album of Cassie & Fabolous. This is to whit one of the few missteps on the album, and could have been left on the cutting room floor, especially Fabolous’ ad-libs which are tragic and sound like Jim Jones on downers.
Skip that track and the good times begin to roll. Ryan hits a streak of great tunes that can essentially be ridden out until the very last track, “Gibberish”. Though this song seemed to have the internet going nuts, I for one didn’t care for it. It’s literally a bad ending to a very decent album. Ryan on this joint embraces the auto-tune with his Weezy-esque mumbling. A good waste of a track and of almost 5 minutes of my life!
Overall, favorite songs include the previously mentioned “Diamond Girl”, “Quick Sand”, “Just Right” (a hold over from his previously released/unreleased album”, “Valentine”, and “Out of The Blue”.
Check it out and be sure to support!