Americana and blues rocker Scott Smith’s 11-track debut album, The Sum of Life, was released at the end of 2015. The singer/songwriter has a tendency of composing some pretty catchy melodies which, combined with thoughtful lyrics reflecting the state of society, make for some solid songs.
The title track, which opens up the album, is particularly noteworthy. As the lone instrumental number of the set, it immediately makes one word come to mind as the first notes hit: beautiful. Violins and plucked acoustic guitars gently tell a silent tale, its delicate nature making it soothing, and its tempo, neither slow nor fast, is uplifting in a reflective way. This elegant song could easily be something a bride would choose to walk down the aisle to. “The Best Gift”, a folk song with an almost Celtic touch, is the other gentle track, with the softly played violins and piano giving it a soothing sweetness.
The other tracks on The Sum of Life range from folk to Americana, and some of them are just pure rocking numbers. A keyboard opens the mid-tempo, yet energetic Americana-laced “Eclipsing Moon”. Of the same genre, “Bad Dreams” brings violins and guitars to the forefront, using them to create a quiet, almost dreamy introspective piece. Country tracks include “Payday”, a number that has a very up-tempo, danceable feel that contrasts with lyrics which reflect some of the challenges of working in today’s society.
Another up-tempo, infectious, and engaging number is “Blues Guitar Slinger”, which is a rocker despite its title. The distorted electric guitars in the loud, energetic, and fun “Over It Soon” make it a unique number in this set. Similarly, a stomping piano on “The World Is Strange” makes it too stand out from the rest of the pack. Smith chose “Messing with Reality” to end the album with another dose of high energy.
For fans of Americana, this might be a singer/songwriter worth giving a shot, both on studio recordings and live. More information about Scott Smith is available on his official website and on his Facebook page.