Review Summary: Hard work pays off.
From the time we can comprehend the definition of the word, we are taught that violence isn’t the answer. I disagree in full. Some of the greatest nations of all time possessed strong militaries – Rome, China, England, the United States. If violence isn’t the answer, then why does the U.S. government’s defense budget for the 2010 fiscal year total $685.1 billion? Hell, some of the most important, revolutionary inventions of all time have been military related. The atom bomb. The automatic weapon. The phalanx. The atom bomb is astoundingly devastating. The automatic weapon is arguably the best overall weapon ever made. And the phalanx was a precise, well-oiled battle formation. Most recognizable as the formation the Spartans used, the phalanx required coordination, trust, and months of training to master. Some rap albums envelop you with their unifaceted might, and others just impress you with their all around greatness, and much like the phalanx, Dead Letter Perfect
wows you with its precision.
From the opening track, it’s quite blatant how meticulously this album was crafted. The uptempo, classy feel of Southside Ride is perfected with the rough jazz singer “yea’s” sample and the subtle disc scratching and the gentle feel of Still Love derived from its beautiful strings, timely percussion, uplifting atmosphere, and background soul singer sample exemplify the sophisticated touch of the production. Soulstice employs strings, pianos, and percussion to create an alleviating listening experience.
This is really fitting, because Soulstice is a more suave, technically proficient, articulate Chicagoan version of Jay-Z. Although it can generally be classified as a steady jog, Soulstice tweaks his flow the slightest in order for it to conform perfectly to the instrumental. And with his smooth voice he can do it seamlessly. Although he can provide them (“Take flight like Icarus/Or Pegasus/I’m just bad mother*cker like Oedipus,
”) Soulstice doesn’t utilize punchlines and similes as much as your typical underground rapper, preferring internal rhymes and extended rhyme schemes, (“See since I came through/Can’t let ‘em change you/Whatever hustle you want – it ain’t new/You came before you know how to make due/I know how the game do…[/i].”) In addition, his vast vocabulary and higher knowledge – he has a degree in electrical and computer engineering and works for the Department of Defense – assist in propelling Dead Letter Perfect
above your run of the mill underground hip-hop album.
But, as is with the phalanx, Dead Letter Perfect
has no standouts amongst its ranks, and will eventually wear out. After several listens, this album fades from its originally beautiful sounds to slightly duller ones. That’s not to say that this album is bad after multiple listens, it’s just that its replay value diminishes through time.
Dead Letter Perfect
emits an aurora of classiness and sophistication, making for such a refreshing easy listen. Soulstice provides an upscale, urbane record within the typically banging genre of rap, and it’s rather quite revitalizing. If you’re looking for trunk rattling beats and rock hard rhymes, you don’t belong here. But if you’re looking for pretty instrumentals and soothing vocals, welcome.