Download Zak’s new album, As Rome Burned, at itunes by clicking here
Click the "Blog" section for As Rome Burned lyrics
Click below for Zak’s new video for his song Have You Looked Outside
Watch Zak’s video for Traitor’s Way by clicking here.
Cdbaby.com has rated Zak’s new album, As Rome Burned, as an editor’s pick.
08.26.2008 – DOWNLOAD A FREE MP3 OF ZAK’S COVER OF WE BID YOU GOODNIGHT
Download "We Bid You Goodnight" here.
06.02.2008 – Album Review From Glasswerk.com
Glasswerk.com album review-
If hymns were rock music sung to worship whatever you happened to believe in then it would sound like Zak Smith. That’s not to say this music has anything to do with religion, except that it is a form of salvation for it’s creator.
He uses it to open up his life to the listener, discussing everything from his future dreams in “Hollywood” to treason in “Traitor’s Way” and even sexual fantasies in “Girls Touching Girls”. These are the thoughts of man in his mid-twenties. Rather than confounding us with wisdom beyond his years he is being true to himself and singing about what he actually knows and has experienced and with that comes a certain frankness. Combine that with a soulful but raw voice and guitars that are alive with riffs and energy and you have a collection of great music that has plenty of potential to grow and develop with the artist.
03.29.2008 – Album Review from Here Comes the Flood
When you are musician from Jersey with a raw voice and a bag full of good guitar hooks, people will tend to draw comparisons with the other guy from that area who made it big. Zak Smith likes classic rock with a hint of soul and he can come up with the songs to go with it. He is dreaming of better future (Hollywood), has sexual fantasies (Girls Touching Girls), brings in the brass for a vaudeville glow (Minstrel Show) and slows down when he writes about treason (A Traitor’s Way) or reaches out to a girl (K).
As Rome Burned runs for little over half an hour. This self-released album might well become a collectors item in years to come. I am going to hold on to his handwritten note that came with the CD and make a fortune on eBay in about five years from now. In case you are wondering, that’s not Zak Smith on the cover of the album. It’s his dad with a neighbour of his.- Hans Werksman
03.13.2008 – Album Review Exceprt from Jersey Beat
This is one of the (many) things that makes writing for Jersey Beat (the Boss is starting on his 26th year), so much fun. A literally unknown artist sends in a CD to review with a hand-written note, asking if Jersey Beat would review it (he also included a website to check out his new video: Zaksmithlive.com). Listening to "As Rome Burns" is like someone opening up their life to you in ten songs. The music never gets too high or too low, and leaves the listener completely satisfied… The record is a blend of throaty, blue-eyed soul, and acoustic rock, with the lyrics being an obvious reflection of the life and times of their creator.- Phil Rainone
02.14.2008 – New Artist Profile at Nirvanastyle.com
A Life Saved by Rock and Roll
Author: Hina Shereen Ejaz Sat Jan 26, 2008
As Rome Burned, an intense title for an equally heavy hitting album that sounds quasi classic rock and pretty lyrically savvy for a 24-year-old new artist from Montclair, New Jersey who fittingly names Bruce Springsteen as one of his heroes.
Meet Zak Smith, a guitarist and singer who says he felt like he was saved by rock music. “There’s this song by Tom Petty that has this part where he’s trying to explain rock and roll to this religious person and he says ‘they love it like you love Jesus, it does the same thing to their souls’ .That’s how I feel, and that’s how I felt when I was fifteen and first started listening to music”. He adds, “When some people become religious sometimes I think they feel like they’ve been saved from something, and that’s the way I felt…that same feeling.”
While attending College, Smith started to perform live, playing songs with just himself and his guitar. After he graduated he formed a band which he recently dismantled after deciding to go solo again. The album he went on to record, As Rome Burned, debuted this past December and features a number of session musicians. All the songs on the album were written by Smith.
Smith just put his album onto itunes which he says he’s pretty happy about, “it’s a big change from how it used to be… it used to take lots of money to produce albums and put out CD’s, now that cost is eliminated with itunes and those kinds of companies, where people can just download songs…if it makes it easier to get songs to people that’s a good thing to me”.
Smith is filming the video for one of his favorite songs on the album, “Traitor’s Way” next week and interestingly comments, “The idea of music videos is stupid to me. It’s a waste of time and they’re usually boring to watch…But they also have the potential to get your songs more well known, especially with things like Youtube. So I figured if I’m going to make a video I wanted it to be pretty simple, so it’s mostly going to just be me singing on stage. But the place we’re gonna film it is an abandoned movie theater”.
Smith, a traditional songwriter, says that if he could be writing and recording music for the rest of his life he would be would be pretty happy. However, he also adds that if his album isn’t eventually considered one of the best of all time he will feel like he failed. Smith is so motivated that he is currently working on his second album which he aspires to be a double disc album, one with covers and one of original songs. Smith says, “The original stuff is similar to the first record, it might be a little rougher sounding though”.
Smith who is not image obsessed like other new artists, wants his profile to be raised by his work. “People who ‘act’ like rock stars are acting like they think they’re supposed to act …they’ve seen other people with tattoos so they get tattoos, and they see other people wearing makeup and so they wear makeup… and listening to their records is as bad as listening to someone lie to you to your face…”