Friday, October 26, 2012

Ryan Leslie – Les Is More (2012) – Review

Review: Ryan Leslie is back with his third album Les Is More (his first to be released independently), following up his first two solid 2009 releases (Ryan Leslie and Transition). After a number of delays, the album is finally out with many of the songs having video accompaniment (which can be seen at

Les Is More is much more a rap album for Leslie than his typical R&B/pop singing on his first two. It still has Leslie crooning on a number of tracks, but each song features rap verses as well. And, he is not a bad MC – in fact, he is good. There are no guest on the album either, letting him shine (with frequent collaborator Fabolous showing up on a bonus track Beautiful Life Remix). Lyrically, the album mostly deals with Leslie’s lavish life and beautiful women, and thus feels a bit generic in today’s hip hop landscape of boasting.

Musically, however, Leslie’s work continues to stand out, and is really the reason to seek out and listen to his work. He not only produces every song on the album, but he plays every instrument too. It also has a lot of musical range, with songs that feel fun to songs that feel intimate. His beats are generally great, and Les Is More is no different.

While I probably still like his self-titled album the best, Les Is More is another good release from Leslie, and I look forward to his future work. 3/5

Essential Tracks:

1)      5 Minute Freshen Up
2)      Beautiful Life
3)      Joan of Arc

Available on CD and Digital Download

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