Nujabes
Modal Soul


4.5
superb

Review

by Raja Ram USER (4 Reviews)
June 28th, 2010 | 57 replies


Release Date: 2005 | Tracklist

Review Summary: RIP Jun Seba.

As living things, we Homo sapiens need a steady supply of certain ingredients to survive. From water to shelter, each is significant and helps define the way we live our lives. In music, the formula is undeniably similar. As a plant needs nutrients and light, a song requires both rhythm and pitch. Unfortunately, even with the proper ingredients and measurements the results are not always as expected. Stagnancy spreads throughout genres due to repetition, as well as a lack of skill or emotion. Luckily Nujabes (alias of Japanese DJ and hip-hop producer Seba Jun) avoids this and Modal Soul will undoubtedly be a tasty addition to the hip-hop cookbook.

Within Seba's recipe exists all of the essential factors needed to be granted printing space in the book. He not only equips himself with jazzy instrumentals, but also with intelligent lyricists who are capable of gliding atop of them. Nujabes' reluctance to produce a track which isn't seemingly passionate or authentic, gives Modal Soul a flavor never encountered before.

The taste is bold, distinguishable, and unlike many other flavors, all of the elements are seamlessly blended. He meshes hip-hop rhythms with jazz samples from the likes of Miles Davis and Yusef Lateef. Background pianos and parts of saxophone solos are all incorporated. Although the sampled jazz artists are high profiled, the featured underground hip-hop acts are also an important spice to the dish.

For Modal Soul, Nujabes has recruited seven different emcees, rather than having one sole lyricist. Not only does each artist sound different, but their flow and lyrical topics are varied as well. The lyrics range from merely okay to excellent, yet always appropriate for the occupied instrumentals.
I'm just a vagabond with flowers for Algernon
The average Joe who knows what the f*ck is going on
It's the hope of my thoughts that I travel upon
Fly like an arrow of god until I'm gone
Taken from the track "Feather", these lyrics demonstrate the eloquent usage of imagery and other literary devices throughout the recipe. Because of the diverse artists featured on Modal Soul, no track sounds quite like the last.

Overall, the recipe presented is more than adequate. Seba's ability to portray emotion is awe-inspiring and the majority of the instrumentals on here could in fact be enjoyed without the assistance of vocals. I believe it's a rare occurrence that someone as talented as Nujabes comes around, and his impact has already been felt. Modal Soul is monumental, and easily serves as a tasteful addition to the hip-hop cookbook.

Recommended Tracks: "Feather", "Luv (Sic) Pt. 3", "Sea of Cloud", "The Sign"


user ratings (377)
Chart.
4.2
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
Bulldog
June 28th 2010


3796 Comments


Nujabes' reluctance to produce a track which isn't seemingly passionate and authentic, gives Modal Soul a flavor never encountered before.


should be "passionate or authentic"

Miles Davis, to Yusef Lateef


Cut out that comma and substitute 'to' with 'and'.
fu$ck


"f*ck" would be better.

As for your intro, you transition from what human beings need to survive to recipe/food type discssion. you pick the former up and run with the latter (to a bit of an 'urgh' extent), and you should probably rewrite that intro. also, the last sentence in your intro is basically the last sentence in your outro, and it would fit better as the last sentence as your outro. so yea change your intro.

fix all this stuff and ill definitely pos. good third review.



Bulldog
June 28th 2010


3796 Comments


alright fair enough i know that feeling.

pos'd.

porch
June 28th 2010


8460 Comments


Cool album but i prefer metaphorical music

MUNGOLOID
June 28th 2010


4351 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

good to finally see a review for this.

Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
June 28th 2010


31620 Comments


Nice dude, real nice

Also, what Porch said

Digging: Theo Parrish - American Intelligence

Bulldog
June 28th 2010


3796 Comments


whatup Deviant.?

Dryden
June 28th 2010


13276 Comments


sup bizdriz

Psilocyanide
June 28th 2010


1823 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Not bad, but there are 6 MCs on here, not 7.

Psilocyanide
June 28th 2010


1823 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

It would have been more accurate to just say 8 guest appearances.

alachlahol
June 28th 2010


7515 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

guy knew how to chill

Essence
June 28th 2010


3595 Comments


album is sooooooooooooooooooooooooo good

Essence
June 29th 2010


3595 Comments


Light on the Land is made of sexiness

Ulsufyring
June 29th 2010


1724 Comments


Yeah but those - what appear to be whale singing clips - are so ethereal, they get me every time

cvlts
July 1st 2010


8985 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

beautiful, beautiful music. gonna bump this higher soon.

robertsona
Staff Reviewer
July 25th 2010


15082 Comments


this stuff is honestly so perfect it sends fucking shivers down my spine

robertsona
Staff Reviewer
October 14th 2010


15082 Comments


luv sic is the best song like ever


feather is amazing too

porch
October 14th 2010


8460 Comments


yeah its good chill music

i prefer metaphorical music though

PatchworkNeurology
December 22nd 2010


352 Comments


Modal Soul Classics II wins. So do the Hydeout Production cd's

plane
Staff Reviewer
December 23rd 2010


6100 Comments


so down with this

cvlts
December 23rd 2010


8985 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

need everything by this guy tbh



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