Wicked Wisdom
Wicked Wisdom

So this is the debut of Jada Pinkett Smith’s metal band.OK, for the two of you still reading this review, the biggest problem with this record, as you might guess, is the fact that it’s not believable on any level. The band’s OK. They play a fairly solid version of nu-metal, but Smith sounds like, well, a pampered actress trying to sound tough.

Take the best track here, “Something Inside of Me,” which is a decent metalcore flavored tune when you block out the vocals. But on the chorus Smith sings “Something inside of me is pissed/Something inside of me could throw a 10,000 pound fist/Something inside of me’s so incensed/Something inside of me could break that motherfucker’s neck.” Though she attempts a growl at the end of each line, I don’t believe that she has that 10,000-pound fist. And even if she did, I get the feeling that if she tried to break the motherfucker’s neck with it, the motherfucker in question would spank her ass but good. There’s just not enough rage in the delivery to make me buy in at all. It’s not because she’s a woman. There are a number of women out there who could deliver that chorus believably. It’s just because she’s not a very good vocalist.

On most of the verses, she uses a rap-style delivery, which just intensifies the little girl trying to be hard feel. Her vocals are to metal what her husband’s raps are to Ice-T’s. Even on the lighter moments of the album, Smith’s delivery is flat. The band tries for an Evanescence sound on “Bleed All Over Me,” where she doesn’t have to sound tough at all, but there’s still not enough emotion there to interest me.

I think the band might have a future with a better singer. They deliver some catchy riffs and melodies on quite a few of the songs, and if the guy that’s doing backing screams here took over the main vocals, it might actually be a decent record. At least I believe it when he screams.

It seems that Smith expected the reaction to be much like this, as she seems to be trying to deliver a message on “Don’t Hate Me.” I think she’s wasting her breath.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Fred Phillips
April 15th, 2005

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