For some people music is much more than a hobby or a business, it’s a passion. For acclaimed R&B / pop artist I am A. S.M.O.O.T.H., formerly known as Antonio Walker, it goes far beyond even a passion, it’s a drug or addiction. A few months ago, the artist announced the release of his new album “To the Fans” on iTunes. “In the past I’ve made my mark for other artists, but now that time’s in the past,” commented I am A S.M.O.O.T.H., on his new album. “I hope my music would be a great influence to anyone who is going through tough situations in life or maybe have the best love of your life. I’m still growing as an artist, but ‘To the Fans’ is a great testament to where I am today, and a thank you to the people who helped me get here.”
“To the Fans” proves that I am A S.M.O.O.T.H. is not only capable of propelling a song, but fully conceiving a 15-track album dedicated to his fans as well. It is his most coherent artistic statement: Edgy and diverse, dark but never completely foreboding, the album combines tough beats, irresistible melodies and anthemic lyrics to build a smooth R&B landmark.
Musically, “To the Fans” is an ingenious blend of positive anthems, gorgeously beautiful ballads, and new jack dance cuts. You will be hard pressed to find and independent album that pleases your ears, moves your feet, and lifts your spirit the way this does. The project has it all: substance, style, pop appeal, energy, and a socially conscious message.
This is probably the best comprehensive showcase of I am A S.M.O.O.T.H.’s performing skills, and the best overall concept he has brought to an album. Whether it is the insistent and heartfelt “The Greatest Love,” the skillful groove of “Nekida” and “4 Ever” or the wonderful, sweet, and lovely vibe of “Why,” and “I Loved You” this album just works from beginning to end. Albums like “To the Fans” are a throwback to a whole different time and mindset, when more artists were writing and performing music with a sense of caring and intelligence. Amidst the mindless and misogynistic pop artists of today, I am A S.M.O.O.T.H. is a really refreshing change of pace.
Moreover, it isn’t simply listening and appreciating the music that makes it great – it’s also having wonderful memories and associations that enrich the listening experience. This is how music becomes classic, by becoming a part of one’s very being. If you are the type of person who tries to experience the music, listen to “To the Fans”. Then perhaps you can develop your own personal experiences that speak to you and help you appreciate the messages of this recording – hope, happiness, love and the strength of an individual to overcome.
“To the Fans” stands as I am A S.M.O.O.T.H.’s collective defining statement, compositionally, vocally and conceptually thus far.