Preview: Ryan Leslie's "Transition"

AllHipHop Staff

Ryan Leslie is one of the best self promoters around. Any avid YouTube watcher knows to check out his videos of beat making or promotional teasers of potential music videos since about 2004. With all the controversy surrounded by him and his love life, it’s fitting that his sophomore album is titled Transition. After dealing with a bad breakup, the album focuses on that in between time we all have after moving on from a deeply committed relationship.

On Transition, Ryan experiments more with sound by adding electric guitar and other instruments one wouldn't expect from an R&B singer. The upbeat track “You’re Not My Girl” that has been getting light radio play is a hit simply because it’s appealing to the ear. The fast pace and lyrics make it so real to those friends with benefits relationships.

In other instances, he gets some help from his pals on Transition.

On the track “Something That I Like” dares to rap, but receives help from Pusha T of The Clipse, which adds some extra spices to the song. His rapping skills are not quite up to snuff per se but on this song he manages to hold his own and it works. Another notable track is “Nothing” because the chorus takes the horn sequence from Jay-Z’s Roc Boy’s and turns it out.

Outside of the music, you Ryan crafts a story on Transition.

Throughout the album you see the transgression of Ryan pining for a lady and it going nowhere. It’s more of him trying to make a rebound situation into something more. With the hot syrupy smooth track “To the Top” it makes you want to dim the lights and cuddle up. The song “Zodiac,” deals with some rather cliche matters that has been rehashed on a lot of R&B songs. "Zodiac" is an exception on this work by Mr. Leslie.

Overall, Transition is sweet and worth listening to. One of the reasons Ryan Leslie’s music should be appreciated is because it’s always positive. It’s seldom today to have artists have music a grandmother and child can listen to at the same time. . His work usually leaves listeners with a smile and bopping their heads to his simplistic beats. As long as he doesn’t try to rap on every track and stays true to his audience he’ll always do well.

Transition is set to release November 3:


1. Never Gonna Break Up

2. Something That I Like (feat. Pusha T)

3. Zodiac4. Is It Real Love5. Sunday Night6. You’re Not My Girl7. To The Top8. Nothing9. Guardian Angel10. All My Love11. I Choose You