The Voice winner Jordan Smith’s debut album Something Beautiful arrives on March 18, 2016 – YAY! To whet his fans’ palates, Smith drops first single “Stand In The Light.” First impressions are quite important for new artists, even those who were fortunate enough to win a reality singing competition. So, how does “Stand In The Light” foreshadow Smith’s artistry and his album?
Well, “Stand In The Light” isn’t bad. That said is also isn’t the second coming. Yeah, saying a song isn’t the second coming may be cliché in itself, but “Stand In The Light” is a middle of the road song that we’ve heard over and over the years. Middle of the road is by no means bad as referenced earlier, but it usually doesn’t move the artist forward or make that artist transcendent. In the case of “Stand In The Light,” it’s a respectable song, but one that doesn’t wow.
Let’s break it down a little. First, as a song, “Stand In The Light” suits Smith as balladry is his strength. Furthermore, the inspirational tilt also seems like a lane that Smith can excel in (remember “How Great Thou Art” from The Voice). So, both those things are pros.
Moving beyond those, this single seems too safe. Again because it is middle of the road, there’s a great deal of poise and control as opposed to more risks. The song is typical in format – verse, chorus, verse, chorus, bridge and chorus. Furthermore, each chorus grows bigger in scope with the final iteration being the most grandiose and bombastic. The bridge builds off the second chorus sporting more oomph, though dies down a bit before the final push. Basically, it’s predictable.
As far as the vocals, while Smith still shows why he won the voice vocally, the safeness of this single doesn’t allow for Smith to truly wow. This lack of a “going for the kill” type vocal tempers “Stand In The Light” as opposed to amplifying the message and power. To summarize, THIS IS JUST NOT AN EXCITING DEBUT SINGLE. That’s disappointing because Smith is extremely talented with a monstrous instrument. That said, it’s not completely surprising – here’s why!
Over the years of watching American Idol, it could be argued that after several dynamic winners, the artists’ respective albums weren’t as dynamic. That didn’t diminish their talent, but the studio version of the artists at least on album one wasn’t as enthralling as the live visual seen on television. Hopefully this won’t end up being the case with Jordan Smith, but the first indications are Something Beautiful might NOT showcase the whole package that is Jordan Smith.