Those relationship themes permeate "Ripe," and that's where Lee's clever/dumb aspirations come to play. He seems so taken with writing love songs that his lyrics too often come out as cliches, either melodramatic generalizations ("Love is a reason to exist" on "Just Say Yes") or cheesy pickup lines ("I'm tired of being alone/I want to take you home" on "Home").
For the most part, though, Lee can pull off those ubiquitous lovey-dovey lyrics, given his youth and his up-tempo style. Even the fanboyish "What Would Jay-Z Do?" (a love song of a different kind, devoted to his idol) comes across as more clever than dumb, with Lee's goofy lyrics channeled into a seriously catchy tune.
-- Catherine P. Lewis