Jaden Smith’s ‘CTV3’ earns critical, commerical acclaim

‘Karate Kid’ star turned musical artist impresses yet again with latest album


Ali Smith, staff writer

Jaden Smith’s most recent album, “CTV3: Cool Tape Vol. 3,” is at the very least an unexpected musical treat.
I have been a Jaden Smith fan since the “Karate Kid” remake, and I never expected for him to blossom much past featuring in “Never Say Never” by Justin Bieber.
However, just like he has done with this album, Smith surprised me.
When I heard from friends that a new Jaden Smith album was being released at the end of August, I was expecting an upbeat, mainstream hip-hop kind of vibe that he carries in his most famous song “Icon.”
However, this album, which as its title suggests, is the third “Cool Tape” of its kind, introduces the softer side of Smith’s musical range.
The album opens with “Circa 2015,” which introduces the listener to Smith’s tenderness.
The song is about love and “not giving up” on love as the end of the song reiterates.
Like the album’s colorful cover, this song brings me back to summer and all of the romance and brightness that accompanies it.
His next song is a simple tune, backed by only a guitar. However, another shock is introduced after the second chorus: Justin Bieber. This musical reunion in “Falling for You” was long overdue and is arguably the most popular song on the album. This song continues the theme of love, and the conflicts it brings, while maintaining a calming melody.
“Rainbow Bap,” the third track, continues the Jon Bellion vibes of Jaden’s new album while also revealing some rap verses, which is Smith’s specialty.
The fourth track, titled “LUCY!,” is my favorite from the album. This happy, upbeat song reminds me of the excitement of new, love-struck relationships, which is also reflected in its lyrics.
The instruments are minimal in this song, and Smith’s voice absorbs most of the backtrack. It is hard not to dance when this song pops up on my shuffle.
“Everything” slows down the tempo of the album, and Smith expresses his feelings about someone who is just that: his everything.
The next three songs, which aren’t as notable as the prior, continue the slow flow introduced in “Everything”
The album is revived, however, with some rap in the ninth track, “Young in Love.”
Following this is “Cabin Fever,” which carries a tune similar to all of the songs on the album, but discusses the longing to see someone.
“Deep End,” the next song that really caught my ear, brings the imagery of summer to life. Smith expresses in this song the longing to dive deep into love with someone.
To close the album, Smith chose “Boys and Girls,” which reminded me of the hopeful beat of “Next to Me” by Emeli Sandé. And this song is in fact moving and hopeful.
One of the lines that struck me most was, “I say we can change the world.
“The future lies within boys and girls,” which I believe is something everyone needs to recognize.