Review by Emily Smith
Casper Jones, a pop/hip-hip/R&B artist from Seattle, Washington has recently released his latest single “Photosynthesis.” The track brings a narrative of finding passion and a new outlook on life in a culture saturated with drugs and apathy.
Many of the lyrics in “Photosynthesis” reference giving up drugs in order to see the bigger, fuller picture in life in a way that is fairly unconventional in pop, hip-hop, and R&B nowadays. All over the radio, we hear anthems of partying and club life, almost to a point where it’s too normal. Jones instead calls for people to find what they love in life rather than turning to the partying scene and doing nothing. In one verse he laments, “My generation made it cool to do less/ and I can’t stand it.”
The song itself begins with faint instrumentals that lure the listener in before diving into the heart of the song led by a smooth, pounding beat that sets the chill vibe of the song. The vocals ride this consistently prominent beat for the first half of the song and really grab the attention of the listener, forcing them to focus in on Jones’ lyrics.
The lyrics are the highlight of this track, as Jones makes use of spectacular wordplay. Themes of nature are used to show growth away from a life of apathy and drug use. The main line in the chorus, “Find your light/ It’s called growth by photosynthesis,” is one example. The “light” is a calling or a passion in life, and it’s what will make someone grow as a person.
In other lyrics, Jones juxtaposes drugs with more positive references to nature to best show how life without drugs is still a fulfilling one. For example, Jones sings, “I quit smoking tree/ but I’m still planting seeds.” The two halves of this lyric mirror each other with references to nature, but starkly contrast in regards to the meaning. In a sense, a person can “grow” from nature, yet there are two different routes to take (the one with drugs or the one without drugs).
Throughout the song, Jones fills his verses with wordplay, whether by sound and rhyme (“I’m losing inhibitions just by using intuition”) or by changing the wording around in two halves of a lyric (“Most living to die/ yeah I’m dying to live”). Jones also references common terminology associated with drugs, but uses them in a way that contrastively expresses his “high” off of life. One line reads, “I don’t need no drugs/ My beats already got me lit,” using the word “lit” to describe how he feels without drugs. Another line reads, “I quit smoking green, my dreams is higher than the roof at,” using “higher” in a similar way.
The song transitions to a second half that keeps the listener on their toes with some low-pitched vocals that repeat throughout the chorus at an even slower beat. The outro gently takes the listener out of the song. It is a rather experimental way to end the song, and it pays off.
“Photosynthesis” has many lyrical highlights and themes that will capture the attention of any listener. Listen to “Photosynthesis” here.
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