REVIEW: Tyler Carter – ‘Leave Your Love’ EP

Artist: Tyler Carter
Album: Leave Your Love EP
Label: Rise Records

The Internet has been demanding a Tyler Carter solo album since 2010, if not longer. Several songs surfaced in 2011, including the popular “Side To Side,” but no release ever came together. Demand returned following the rise of Carter’s latest project, Issues, and now we’re kicking off 2015 with a new collection of solo tracks that prove Carter could easily have an entirely different career in music.

Opening on a rather mediocre note, “Sophisticated” showcases the best and worst moments of Leave Your Love in under four minutes. The production is huge, as is the sound of Carter’s signature croon, but the lyrics run the gamut from beautifully descriptive to ever-so-slightly over the line of silliness. You can’t hate on someone for sharing their version of reality, but when Carter talks about the kind of car his girl is “hopping out of” it’s hard not to chuckle. That said, when the repetitive hook drops you quickly forget any minor qualms you might have had with the preceding verse. It’s the kind of thing you memorize the first time through, but it’s not until the tenth spin that you really begin to get into it.

The title track helps transition the album from the aggressive sound of “Sophisticated” to something far more emotionally-driven and, at times, romantic. The energy is still there, as is the over the top production, but it’s on “Leave Your Love” that Carter finds a nice groove for the record that he follows throughout the remainder of its duration. The song itself is also good, boasting a memorable hook and a sound far more akin to The Weeknd than anything else. It’s soft and haunting, but still littered with outbursts of Carter’s powerful vocals. I wouldn’t say this song could be a single, but its need to be a part of this record is without question.

The next track, “Georgia,” is the first great song of 2015 (or last great song of 2014, depending on when you first heard it). It tackles the idea of being in love with someone who is in love with their addiction(s). It does so in a way that somehow manages to tear out your heart one moment before making you want to hit the club the next. A lot of this is owed to the way Carter’s pitch perfect vocals blend with the production, which often includes the kind thumping bass you expect to build to a giant EDM drop. That moment of complete electronic insanity never arrives, but once you hear how Carter handles himself on the track you won’t care because his talent is so great everything else takes a backseat. This is the point on Leave Your Love where everything finally comes together in such a way that something truly magical occurs, and though it only happens once on the entire EP it’s enough to sell you on Carter’s entire career (including his work in other groups).

The last truly great song on Leave Your Love is “So Slow,” which more or less serves as the sexually-fueled power ballad fans always knew would appear on this release. Its placement on the track listing is a little curious when one considers the heavy topics discussed on the song before (“Georgia”) and after (“Tears On The Runway”), but the production fits the flow of the album so well it’s hard to care all that much about thematic differences during repeat listens. I think it’s material like this and “Georgia” that suits Carter best, as they place him in the limelight and never allow the music to steal your attention. That’s not to say the music isn’t interesting because it most certainly is, but as an artist trying to establish himself the last thing Carter needs is to be overshadowed by great production.

Leave Your Love includes two additional songs, though neither one is all that remarkable. “Tears On The Runway (Part 1)” would be completely disposable if not for a fantastic guest appearance from Nylo. It plays like a classic duet, with each vocalist being given their own verses before combining their talent on the bridge, but never rises to the level of catchiness or memorability found in the preceding tracks. Likewise, “Find Me” closes out the album on an adequate, yet not all that impressive note. It feels a bit too much like everything that came before it to stand out, except for the fact its hook lacks the infectious nature inherent on the rest of the album.

To put it in the simplest terms possible: Leave Your Love is the kind of album you would expect to result from blending The Weeknd’s Kiss Land with Justin Bieber’s Journals, only with a dash of club-ready production added to keep your attention even when the lyrics flatline. That doesn’t happen all that often, but when those rare moments do occur it’s nice knowing there is a constant barrage of electronic synth and drums pouring through your speakers. Tyler Carter has long established himself as a commanding voice of the alternative music scene, and with the release he proves he could easily tackle other genres if so desired. I, for one, hope this is only the beginning of Carter’s career. He has a lot of great ideas at play here, and even the ones that don’t end up working out as well as you might hope offer at least some semblance of originality. That’s more than you can say for 99% of the music released today, which in my mind makes Leave Your Love the first album you need to hear in 2015.

SCORE: 8/10
Review written by: James Shotwell

James Shotwell
Latest posts by James Shotwell (see all)
Both comments and pings are currently closed.

Comments are closed.