"Just Right" is the debut album from Ryan Leslie. the album came out in 2005 as the songer-writer and producer finally decided to step up as a vocalist after having lent his lyrics to the likes of Cassie and Usher, and beats to a wide range of Hip Hoppers, R&B singers and Pop singers too.
1. Way That You Move Girl
This is a good way to start the album as you have Leslie inviting people in with a selection of Hip Hop samples from Kanye, Fat Joe and others from around the time to get you into the track. However, as it is a Ryan Leslie song, I was disappointed to hear him being taken over by the gest performers, The Clipse, whose raps dominate the track, making it seem as though its not even his as he only gets the chance to sing the hooks and one verse, but for a club tune as a Rap/R&B crossover, it's decent.
2. Used To Be
Thsi song was the first track I heard from Ryan Leslie and it immdiately attracted me to his music. I came across it by accident wen looking throuhg Fabolos tracks, and when the East Coast rapper came to collaborate with this R&B singer, it made for a refreshing change in the urban scene. You have to give a lot of credit to Leslie for having such funky production, which is able to untie rap and R&B so well together.
3. Just Right
This is the title track from the album, and appropriately, it is one of the best ones from the album. I think that it's more in the production which I found to be the strength of it as it has some bassy synth which gives some variation to a very smooth album. As always Leslie's vocals as on point as he sings to the girl who is "just right for [him]"
4. Taste For Your Love
I really liked the way in which Ryan Leslie creates a seductive atmosphere when he sings the opening lines to the song. he does it by varying his range from the deep to the very high falsettoes, which he is known for. With such a strong start, it would be difficult to ruin the flow, but he does continue with the high quality singing and self-made production.
5. My Everything
When reading the title for this,. I expected to hear a very obvious dragged-out ballard from Ryn Leslie, but I was pleased to hear that he didn't go for something like this, as I hadn't heard him do something liek this before (so I wouldn't have thought anything good could come out of it). Intead of this we hear him opt for some maure club beats which appear to be rather Neptune-esque, and these have a lot of deep synthy production elements which make it exciting, yet reserved.
6. Pleaze, Pleaze, Pleaze
This is a sensual love song from Leslie as he opts for a nineties R&B beat to get him into the type of beats which he is comfortable in performing, as they were the sounds which he matured with as a musician. Although he did sing it well, I felt that it was quite plain and was quite out-dated for something which came out in 2005.
7. Over Easy
I asn't that impressed by this song as Ryan Leslie changed up what he is known for as he made some Latin-influenced beats, and these simply didn't suit his style, and so I thought that it was a struggle throughout as he had to stretch in order to get in with the style of the production which backed it.
8. Lay U Down
For the first couple of minutes into the track I foudn myslef wondering what he was playing about at ith his singing as he kept singing short lines every now and agin, it wasn't until quite far into it when I realised that it was because we were meant to be concentrating on his original production instead of the lyrics for the first part. Once you get into it, it make more sense because the beats are what lead it and express the meaning of the track, and fully embrace with the lyrics.
9. Missin' U
This is a smooth R&B joint from R-Les and here he offers something very original as he mixes the emotions of longin for someone who is about to leave with enjoying the current times which they have with them. This comes out in the innovaive prouction whihc sounds all over the place, but in fact is very structured as it has the soft melodies contrasting with rougher percussion.
If you had any doubts towards his ability on the pruduction side of things before, after listeing to this one I'm sure that you won't feel the same, as this is amongst the best on the album. I think that I was personally drawn to it due to it's Hip Hop influence on it with some bouncy bass. As always, you don't ahve to worry about his voice as Ryan leslie as as strong as always. Here his singing focuses on how he 'overdoses' on love for one particualr woman, and the effects which this has opon him.
11. Back To The Love
From the odd start, in which he tries a little half-hearted rap (or just singing in spoken-word) and this was sometihng whcih I didn't expect hm to be able to pull back, but once you ease your way into the tack, you mange to appreciate his talne for singing, producing and writing the songs too as he merges them so well with an feelign of bitterness as he reviews his relationship and wishes to rectify the mistakes which he mades, hte ones which led to the partnership breaking apart.
12. It's Love
Everything is slowed down dramstically in a way which I didn't expect to hear from Ryan Leslie (as he usually attempts to go for unconventional routes around obvious subjects), but here he goes into a common ballard, and it just put me off straight away as it just isn't designed for someone like me to listen to. He could have made it something more soulful, attracting those who aren't into the clean love songs, but he didn't and went for a very typical song.
This is one of the songs which I heard prior to purchasing the album, and it has the sort of original R&B which made him stand out from all of the obvious songs in the genre. here you have a great mix of soul and R&B with some unexpected production which has a similar style to that of Chad Hugo and Pharrell (The Neptunes) as he comes with futuristic spacey sounds which distinguish his sound in contrast to other ones in the genre.
This is a decent R&B album, and there little to complain about when you little to it, but at times he tries to hard to implement his futuristic production where it's not even relavent to the theme. I think this shows some inexperience from him, however as he does all the work in this album by writing each an every element to it (lyrics, beats and performs it too) he puts in so much effort, and all of it is quality, it's just that sometimes you feel as though he hasn't got the balance right yet. If you want something a little different, but still within the basic boundaries of R&B, then try this one out.
Disc #1 Tracklisting
1 Way That You Move Girl
2 Used To Be
3 Just Right
4 Taste For Your Love
5 My Everything
6 Pleaze Pleaze Pleaze
7 Over Easy
8 Lay U Down
9 Missin' U
11 Back To The Love
12 It's Love (That I Feel)
13 Ready (To Love U)