Week after week, he stunned the nation with his glamorous vocal range, singing song after song with the purest perfection. His falsetto flowed freely through each note and his belting filled the entire room with ecstatic joy and disbelief. This man goes by the name of Jordan Smith, the 22 year-old, Season 9 winner of The Voice.
After not making it on in 2014, Smith came back with “mind-blowing” strength and confidence in 2015 with the song “Chandelier”, by Sia. Needless to say, all four judges turned around, and he ended up picking Adam Levine as his coach. As the competition went on, he glamorously sang songs like “Halo” by Beyoncé, “Great is Thy Faithfulness”, performed by Chris Rice, and “Who You Are” by Jessie J. Each of those songs exhibited power and versatility in Smith’s voice, which is why audiences loved this Kentucky native so much. So where did this insanely unique and diverse voice go after The Voice ended?
Smith went to Republic Records to produce his new album, Something Beautiful, which was released on Friday, March 18th 2016. As a huge proponent of his, I was anticipating something that would top all performances on The Voice- something that would give me goosebumps the minute the songs came on- something truly beautiful. It was, but nowhere near where it could have, or should have been.
Many of the songs in the album simply lack any essence of upbeat vibes like the songs “You Are So Beautiful”, “Angel”, and “Beautiful Things”. Although sung beautifully and exquisitely, Smith lacked the power and strength that America came to love. On the opposite end, other songs in the album are upbeat and do contain beauty, but they do not come close to matching any of his previous masterpieces. “Stand in The Light” is the second song in Something Beautiful and its colorful and creative instrumentals aid Smith just fine, however, it places a dull spotlight on what Smith is truly capable of. The lyrics, “This is who I am, I’m not going to hide/ Cause the greatest risk we’ll ever take is by far/ To stand in the light and be seen as we are” contain a powerful message conveyed through a voice that barely had to stretch to reach the notes. Do not get me wrong, Smith sounds awesome, but he really did not utilize any of the power that he has in him, which made this song feel empty considering we know he can sing way higher.
Another song in Something Beautiful that is energetic, but fails to exceed expectations is “What Now”. The slow and steady rhythm of the music quickly amps up into a speedy and body- grooving sensation, yet his voice does not express the same feeling. His emotion and variation in timing are there, yet his singing is not up to par with what he is capable of. Sure, he flips to his head voice a few times, but he never really expands the notes to other octaves that he has hit numerous times before. We want the gender defying Jordan Smith, the man on both ends of the vocal spectrum. Beautiful music is nice, just not when each song has several areas that can be expanded upon.
Something Beautiful earns a MEB rating of a 5 because although the music is beautiful and the song choices are appropriate for this Christian gospel singer, the overall contents fail to exceed expectations on what Jordan Smith has performed in the past year. Individual songs “Amazing Grace”, “I Got to Be Me”, and “Beautiful” are worth purchasing because they are renditions of classics and can ease stress on a car ride home, however, the other songs just do not have the upbeat rhythm we have all come to love.
Jordan Smith performing his song, “Stand In the Light”, on The Voice
Pop | Republic Records