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By: Kevin DesOrmeaux

As I sit in my living room absorbing Smittbeats’ new release “Listen!” I find myself likening the experience to the first time I saw “The Godfather.” Make no mistake, this album is not “The Godfather” of albums, but it has captured my undivided attention in the same fashion as the Francis Ford Coppola film did, with my mouth agape and a blank stare enveloping my face. Smittbeats walks the razors edge that divides genius and absurdity. A majority of the time he finds himself on the right side of that divide. His moments of genius shine through when he displays a feather light touch over songs that blossom under his restrained guidance. On “6 Foot 7 Foot” he flows over the most minimal of samples, yet the song manages to feel as robust as any other that may have three times as many tracks running throughout it. He flourishes in his ability to choose a small amount of tracks and make them count. Less is most certainly more for Smitt.

Woven throughout “Listen!” is a tapestry of moments that show his versatility and respect for his craft. Big points to Smitt for paying a beautiful tribute to Otis Redding on the track “Otis” by treating his sample like the musical treasure it is. Tracks like “Adrians Room” and “Lookin’ Like” are simultaneously heartfelt and sharp. As impressed as I am with his writing it’s his production that leaves me most excited about the prospect of Smitts future in the game. In a genre that is so saturated when it comes to producers piling tracks on top of tracks just because they can, Smitt infuses a breath of fresh air by allowing you to, well, breath through songs that have space grow without feeling like you’re trapped in an elevator with five obese fellas yelling at you and dropping ear shattering beats.

Smitt could afford to trim some of the fat off this 51-minute long release (“Hotel” and “Smooth” come off as repetitive and tedious) and stick with more songs that keep the album tight. Like I said, he doesn’t always find himself on the right side of the divide, but when he does he provides songs that are uniquely modern and sleek. If Smittbeats manages to maintain this course he won’t need to ask people to “Listen!” anymore. They’ll be waiting to.

"Ill Be Home" off of the mixtape
LISTEN" Volume 1
Directed by: SMITTBEATS of A.M.G in association with YeeTV





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