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Transition (Deluxe Version)

Ryan Leslie

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Album Review

Leave it to overachieving wiz kid Ryan Leslie to release two albums within a year. His self-titled album released merely nine months prior, he returns with "a collection of songs inspired by a summer of secret love." For someone who documents so much of his life, it seems almost implausible that he could maintain that kind of privacy. Maybe the relationship was a George Glass situation (i.e., made up), or perhaps Leslie produced a clone to make public appearances so he could sneak off with his woman. Whatever the case, Transition offers a set of songs that is undeniably more focused than that of Ryan Leslie, and that comes through even more clearly after re-sequencing the material to suit the rise and fall of the relationship. The highs, however, are not as high as they are on the debut and, if less surprisingly, there is nothing as weird as "Gibberish." "You're Not My Girl" is the album's standout, working a snappy disco-funk rhythm aided by synthetic harpsichord and xylophone (triggering a flashback to the S.O.S. Band's "Take Your Time"). "Never Gonna Break Up," the mood-setting opener — which would actually make more sense as the album's finale — is not far behind, with its softly lancing synthesizers accenting Leslie's fragility after being kicked to the curb. Apart from a couple subtle wrinkles, Leslie's sound has not changed much and continues to resemble the Neptunes' candy-coated bounce, like he is the Monte Moir or Jellybean Johnson to Pharrell Williams and Chad Hugo's Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis. "Something I Like," in fact, could be slotted in the middle of Clipse's Neps-produced Hell Hath No Fury, even if it didn't happen to feature a verse from the duo's Pusha T. At times, his voice seems to be lacking in conviction, but those moments do tend to occur when he's spitting game; post-breakup, that could be the most difficult material to pull off. And while he is not a singer like a John Legend or Usher, he can be an effectual vocalist, exemplified most on the closing "I Choose You," where it sounds like he's trying his best not to not come across as deflated but is too wounded to help it. [A version of the album featuring a DVD and three bonus tracks was also released.]

Customer Reviews

Amazing!

This is a smart, fresh, vibrant R&B album that feels like your're walking on pluto hand at hand with your girl. Ryan Leslie has no fears on this album unlike his first LP released this year. Ryan Leslie always has been himself but his first LP felt like he was conforming a bit to his label. This album sounds like his old next selection mixtapes..right on!!

soundclick.com/duecey

SPEECHLESS...

Mr. Leslie never ceases to amaze me... I'm in love!!! :)

Amazing

Ryan Leslie never disappoints with his extremely creative beats. This album is also a perfect display of his incredible vocal talent as well. As soon as others recognize his natural musical gift he will be the king of R&B! Great job Ryan keep the albums coming!! You're an inspiration to everyone :)

Biography

Born: September 25, 1978 in Washington DC

Genre: R&B/Soul

Years Active: '00s, '10s

An exceptionally shrewd producer, songwriter, performer, businessman, and self-promoter — he once hired someone to film nearly all of his activities, which were diligently edited and uploaded to YouTube — Ryan Leslie began making music as a teenager, scored a perfect 1600 on his SATs before he was old enough to drive, and graduated from Harvard at the age of 19. He got a foothold in the music industry within four years of graduation. By the end of 2005,...
Full Bio
Transition (Deluxe Version), Ryan Leslie
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