The Sum of Life showcases contemplative and deep guitar work, with Smith’s output influenced by folk, Americana, and singer-songwriter styles. The richness of this introductory composition is enough to invite listeners in, while songs like Blues Guitar Slinger change up the status quo by creating a Bayou-based bit of rock. A strong set of vocals provide the perfect counterpoint for the sizzling guitar work that is weaved through the track.
Bad Dreams slows things up and showcases a unique sound that will resound loudly with listeners long after the composition has ceased to play. Never one to rest on his laurels, Scott Smith has the ability to unite these disparate styles to create something that is decidedly greater than the sum of its constituent elements.
The Best Gift is one of the best tracks on Sum of Life, due primarily to the slower tempo that is present. By having a more deliberate sound cultivated here, there is a certain gravitas that rings true from the beginning to the end. Turn Out The Lights is a track that shatters the conception that late-album efforts are necessarily weaker than the initial cuts; the melodies that are hammered home here are assertive, showcasing a performer that is more than willing to change things up and create something special.
Sum of Life concludes with Messing With Reality, an effort that does a tremendous job in tying together the distinct sounds that listeners will experience over the course of Sum of Life. Scott Smith lays everything out for listeners on this release, and the open-book approach works well for him; this is clear, concise, and extremely immersive.
Top Tracks: Turn Out The Light, Blues Guitar Slinger