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A soft smile for Smyle

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Kyle Harvey(better Known as just Kyle) is a rapper with a whole lot of character. Unlike most rappers of today that only focus on money or women Kyle chooses to show care for personal relationships and good vibes. This is heavily apparent in his 2015 album Smyle. Being the sequel to his first stand alone album Beautiful Loser, the bar is set high, but he definitely raised it. The album itself is completely outstanding, but the real out standing part is just how much character goes into each individual song. Smyle has it’s flaws, but overall is a really good album.

The album has 13 songs, and the majority of them are instant classics while the rest just get the short end of the stick. The main focus of the album is ego and self image, while also focusing on love and fame on the side. There are individual songs that standout, but some don’t use this formula well. A very strange journey from track 1 to 13 is in store for anyone picking it up.

Smyle features 2 different types of songs; either a self centered ego trip or a petty love song. Both of these categories Kyle pulls off really well, but there are some key things worth major praise. The music behind the lyrics is entirely unique, and unlike anything else on the market right now. Most rappers of today keep their tone low and dark, but Kyle goes in an entirely different direction keeping his beats really light and energetic. Sometimes this comes off really well like in “Endless Summer Symphony”, but other times it just doesn’t fit the lyrics like in “Feels Good”.

No one song in Smyle is the same as the next one, but sometimes this isn’t the best thing. Listening to the whole album in one sitting is hard because it isn’t easy to follow with how all over the place it is. You could be really enjoying the vibes in one song, but when the next one comes on it could completely ruin the flow of the album. Another thing that fluctuates song to song is the level of family friendly content. Some songs like “Summertime Soul” or “Don’t Wanna Fall in Love” are radio friendly with none to very little explicit language, but others like “Really? Yeah!” or “SuperDuperHero” have multiple in each sentence. This doesn’t mean that the music is bad or unenjoyable, but this is something to expect when going into the album completely blind.

The standout tracks have to be “Don’t Wanna Fall in Love”, “Summertime Soul”, “Endless Summer Symphony” and “The Force”. These are the songs worthy of being left on repeat because of their compelling message and amazing tone. When hearing songs like this it makes the rest of the album feel lacking and slack. You can’t go from something like “Summertime Soul” and go to a track like “Found Bae” and be satisfied.

Kyle is more of an indie-pop artist than a rapper in many ways, and because of this it’s hard to compare him to well known rappers of today. In actuality his work is more comparable to songs made by artist like Foster the People or Oh Wonder. Even if the listener doesn’t like rap music they could still find something they enjoy in Kyle’s music, and that is something really special.

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A soft smile for Smyle