Review of John Tyler’s Album - 'The Good Side of Things'
19-year-old, rising artist John Tyler is a rapper/singer, songwriter, engineer, and producer out of Baltimore, Maryland. From releasing his debut album 'True Art' in 2016, ‘True Love’ in 2018, and his EP 'No Color' in early 2019, John has proven to many that he is in fact, gifted, and holds a dynamic skill set. As summer ends and fall begins, John has released yet another remarkable album by the name of, ‘The Good Side of Things.'
Originally, this project was titled “If I Made Music in the 70s”, but John eventually settled on, ‘The Good Side of Things.' The title came to John, after asking the mother of a friend who had passed away, how she coped with losing loved ones. She simply told him, “Honey, you just have to look at the good side of things,” and that’s precisely what he’s been doing ever since!
Although his previous albums were focused on expressing his pain and frustration on topics like racism and bullying; after experiencing “one of the best summers yet” this year - John reveals a different side of himself that his fans haven’t seen before. Personally, listening to this album, I envisioned myself at a summer cookout surrounded by family and friends. Whether it’s blasting ‘hold on’ through my headphones by the pool or playing ‘celebrate’ on the speaker breaking out my best old school moves. This album produces an energetic vibe and creates a feeling of positivity and peace; It’s safe to say, overall, John executed and established the perfect mood.
Not only is this album filled with instrumentation and jazzy undertones, but it follows a creative 80s radio station theme, except 3x better! Continue reading and check out my review of ‘The Good Side of Things’ impressive tracklist!
TRACK 1: THE NEXT JOURNEY - The last song featured on John’s debut album ‘True Art’ was titled, ‘The Long Journey’. Now he’s kicking off ‘The Good Side of Things’ with a track emphasizing his next stage of life. This song consists of ambient/background noise and was surprisingly recorded on an iPhone 4!
TRACK 2: JOY - Initially, ‘Joy’ was supposed to be released as a single, but it made the cut! “Coming from No Color, I wanted to show others that I’m happier,” he stated. Although this song is indeed upbeat and filled with soulful background singers, voice-overs, and jazzy instrumentation; There are also dim lyrics throughout the song. “I’ve been black for a long time/ Life has been a hard time/Like I work part-time,” giving off a unique contrast to the message of being joyful.
TRACK 3, TRACK 5, TRACK 9: GOOD TIME | SHOUT OUT-SILKY 720 COMMERCIAL | FAN LOVE- NEW ALBUM COMMERCIAL INTERLUDES -
The ‘Good Time’ interlude immediately brought a smile to my face and a great laugh with the voice-overs; Shout out to India, a loyal friend and fan of John! Moving on to the ‘Shout Out’ interlude and the Silky 720 commercial, this interlude was essential to the album and gave the album theme an extra flare. With shout outs from key artists John admires, like Kassim, Martin J.Ballou, O-Slice, and more!
Lastly, during the Fan Love interlude, John hints he’s releasing his “best album” yet sooner than we think. So keep an eye out!
TRACK 4: SMILE MORE - At first, you may think the message John is trying to convey is about love, and it is, but, self-love. Self-doubt can be one of your biggest enemies and could lead you to not following/believing in your dreams. John wrote this song standing in the mirror; so, he’s basically speaking to himself. “I Just want you/ You are my dreams,” as he sings about his future goals. Remember, “Pursue your dreams and go and get the bag (ASAP)!”
TRACK 6: STRAWBERRY MOON - Strawberry Moon is definitely in my top two, and not number two! John uses his voice to raise awareness of Natives/Blacks or any other cultures who has been gentrified or robbed. “Strawberry Moon/Let it shine on you,” “Because they killed the natives, and they’ll kill you too,” What is a strawberry moon, you may ask? It’s a real thing, and it was a term used by Algonquin tribe of Native Americans when harvest season for strawberries advanced.
TRACK 7: HOLD ON - The album settles down to a softer tone with a sweet guitar presence and emotion. ‘Hold on’ was written for a friend of John who’s currently in a long-distance relationship. Sometimes giving up is easier than trying over and over to make matters work. However, “Just hold on/ Only time will tell if it’s meant to be.” The comforting effect this song delivers is by far soothing and reassuring.
TRACK 8: SUNSHINE - The transitions and mixing of ‘Sunshine’ are phenomenal, as well as the small drum solo towards the end. The lyricism is bound to get you in a great mood, “Love to see the sunrise/ Feels like I’m in paradise,” I recommend playing this song before a workout or to start your early morning.
TRACK 10: CELEBRATE - ‘Celebrate’ is the perfect ending and summarization of the album. With countless instruments and vocalists incorporated, you feel the energy communicated and an uplifting old school vibe. Behind the scenes, this song was created amongst many talented friends in a matter of one day! “It was crazy; There were about 50 people in my house, and it's a memory I will keep and speak on always,” John concluded.
John Tyler’s album ‘The Good Side of Things’ is available on all streaming platforms. Keep up with John Tyler with the following below.