Produced entirely by J.R. Rotem (responsible for hits from the likes of JLS, Jason DeRulo and Sean Kingston), "Replay" was released as the debut album from the Pop singer Iyaz in Summer 2010. Discovered by the latter of those artists online, the Virgin Islands singer who specialises in what he calls 'Island Pop' (a Pop mix of R&B, Reggae and Hip Hop in much the way Sean Kingston has been known to do) he offers this short record to join what he brought with the titular single - his breakthrough tune.
The singer's debut single, this infectious tune was just what he needed to get his career underway. Although it was just the sort of thing bound to get annoying over a short space of time (a trend with the tunes which J.R. Rotem churns out) at first it was an uplifting Pop song and something that pretty much anyone is bound to be excited by. It doesn't offer anything new, but more represents the sound of these times.
This was the singer's second single and so is well-suited to follow the last in the tracklist. I found that the song clearly wasn't anywhere near as good as the first and seemed to reflect the downfalls of the album and the direction that the remainder of the release would go in as it went on. The tune is rather average and although I wouldn't say that it's as weak as what you get elsewhere, it still doesn't compete with others who are in operation around this time.
3. "So Big"
I thought that this was a rather lifeless piece from him. Here he goes for a slowly-moving track where he attempts to draw listeners in with the familiarity of the structure and just how well it matches the sort of thing found on other tunes both he and Jason DeRulo have recorded through 2009 and 2010, but I simply didn't feel that it came off well at all for him an sounded like another wasteful track.
Backed initially by some stringwork before the production opens out into more of your typical House-inspired beats, I thought that this one showed how things simply weren't advancing anywhere for him at all and were simply being kept in the same place that is sure to bore anyone other than the naive listeners that this record is directed towards. It's any other relationship-based tune from him.
Although I wouldn't say that any massive changes are made, it's clear that J.R. Rotem has tried just a little harder in order to make the production sound as though it isn't just the same all the way through the entire album. Here we get something Snap-based and I thought that it may be a nice break to the monotony of the album, but once the vocals come in, it becomes apparent that we get just another reworking of any other Sean Kingston song.
This track has him taking the listeners through a journey of a recent relationship which began in San Francisco when he randomly met a young lady to his tastes. I thought that the way that things developed from there were completely unoriginal and reflected the way that most modern Pop songs with a Hip Hop edge are taken. There's no depth to it and I can't see all that many getting excited about it at all.
7. "There You Are"
He makes it clear that things aren't to change for him as he opts for a ballad here. Plain and simple in his approach, he vocals are far from special as he attempts to croon-out a dull piece. Contemporary ballads in today's Pop-R&B scene tend not to come off too well and when you consider how they've gone out of trend over the past decade, it seems silly to include this in when clearly not many are going to be drawn towards it.
Here he gets back towards much brighter material as he's given some lighter beats which enable you to have a bit of a better time that what the last one offered. Having said this, the standards really don't improve to any degree whatsoever and I felt that it showed that he had no intension in making something which sounds in any way to be creative and instead was just more filler to ensure that it seemed on the face of it that the tracklist was complete.
The album comes to a close unexpectedly with a track which has him going for a little something extra which just shows how far-removed from his surroundings (as a Virgin Islands native) he is. This track has him incorporating a little Reggae and Dancehall into the mix of things at the very end, but shows that he can't pull it off (just as Sean Kingston) as he doesn't reflect the connotations which most outsiders have with the music of the Caribbean.
This album sounds to be your typical rushed job. It doesn't have any depth to it at all and seems more to be J.R. Rotem pushing for a full-length piece in order to ensure that the best is made of this buzz he's gathered with a pretty big tune, but doesn't have much long-term potential. The beats here are very samey (which you'd expect with only one beatmaker behind it) and so this doesn't have much at all going for it.
Disc #1 Tracklisting
3 So Big
7 There You Are
9 Look At Me Now