Various Artists (Hip Hop)
Modal Soul Classics II: Dedicated to Nujabes


4.0
excellent

Review

by Dante Alighieri USER (85 Reviews)
December 16th, 2010 | 27 replies | 6,783 views


Release Date: 2010 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A tribute worthy of Nujabes.

5 of 5 thought this review was well written

If you haven’t heard of Jun Seba then you’re too late. News of Nujabes’ untimely death in early of 2010 was a devastating blow to the underground hip-hop community as his stapled genre of smooth jazz influenced beats have become both critically praised and massively sought out. It’s hard, to this day, to think of any album that can compete with ‘Metaphorical Music’ and his follow up ‘Modal Soul’. The John Coltrane-esque flow, the wonderfully crafted lyrics, and stellar guest stars not only helped single handedly define an entire sub-genre of hip-hop, but started a movement of Japanese rappers that is still felt to this day. With such critical acclaim, it is both expected and nearly equally dreaded that the personal friends close to Jun and those inspired by him would create a tribute album to his legacy: expected because of his everlasting impact felt on the genre and dreaded because of the impossible task of creating a tribute worthy of Nujabes. With that said, it can be really easy to hate on this tribute, as it is not a new undertaking of any sort but a reflection to the memory of Jun. However, with surprising astonishment on my part, the tribute album not only encapsulates the sound and flow of Nujabes adequately, but it nigh worthy to be added into the collection of masterpieces that he released; a true accomplishment on the parts of the rappers, producers, and emcees on this record.

It’s bitter sweet really. While the album itself is a conglomeration of smooth jazz, hip-hop and jazz influenced beats, it still can’t be helped the feeling of nostalgia and the true realization that Jun Seba is really gone and that his genius will never grace the tracks of others again. Tracks on this album range from original material to redone tracks like the sax version of ‘Music is Ours’ and a remixed track of ‘Modal Soul’. It stands out that when I say that these tracks are ‘remixed’, I don’t mean blandly redone by some half-talented DJ, incessantly scribbling away at a vinyl, no. These tracks have been redone in a style worthy of Nujabes as they are done in a style of smooth jazz that is both a pleasure to listen to and a tear jerker when compared to the works of him. The redone version of ‘Refection Eternal’ is a standout track throughout the entire album. Fans of Jun Seba will easily recognize the opening piano riff from his sophomore album and the subtle changes that have been redone do not take away from the overall track, they reinforce. Added in is a live drum kit and redone vocals by multiple Japanese singers that complement the track superbly. This causes the track to sound more alive and vibrant then its original counterpart and while it may seem unfair to call it a more tasteful track than the original, it can’t be said that it is up to par with every other song Nujabes has made. This album should be seen not as a half finished, post-mortem release, nearly finished by the time of death like Dilla, but for what it is, a tribute album. An album that salutes the man who revolutionized the boundaries of smooth jazz and hip-hop, marrying the two together to create some of the most beautiful beats ever put together in an album. Jun Seba might be gone but his memory and genius can still be tangibly felt, whether when listening to his previous material or whether you happen to find yourself going through this album, listening to the memory that is Nujabes.



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user ratings (4)
Chart.
3.8
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
cvlts
December 16th 2010



8954 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

review basically wrote itself.


RIP Jun Seba

Minus The Flair
Emeritus
December 16th 2010



862 Comments


how weird, i've been on a total nujabes binge all day. will have to check this out.

cvlts
December 16th 2010



8954 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

totally worth it

JustJoe
December 16th 2010



1399 Comments


Precisely what I need today. Great review, user This Life is Genocide.

Slum
December 16th 2010



2579 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I believe there should be a comma after Seba in the first sentence and a few other nitpicky things here and there.

Anyway, fantastic review man. Haven't heard of the guy before, but you make me wanna check him out. Pos

cvlts
December 16th 2010



8954 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

reworded some things around.

thanx Nevin, you'll totally love this.

Slum
December 16th 2010



2579 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

This is pretty good, need to listen a few more times though

cvlts
December 16th 2010



8954 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

yeah, had it rated a 3.5 originally as well.

Psilocyanide
December 16th 2010



1823 Comments


Need to get this, love Nujabes.

thebhoy
Emeritus
December 16th 2010



4459 Comments


too much Japanese in my life right now makes me hate this for no reason. Next time I see the term Kamakura I'm going to explode.

Winsomniac
December 16th 2010



7955 Comments


RIP Nujabes, nice write-up. Pos'd.

cvlts
December 16th 2010



8954 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

peace.

Kamakura Keelan

HalfManHalfAmazing
December 16th 2010



565 Comments


Out of curiosity, does this feature any of his work?

cvlts
December 16th 2010



8954 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

yeah, I think all of the material is made by Nujabes but redone by guests. no new material though

thebhoy
Emeritus
December 17th 2010



4459 Comments


KABOOM!

Xenophanes
Emeritus
December 17th 2010



10585 Comments


Cool review.

Pos.

Digging: United Nations - The Next Four Years

SoapySoap
December 17th 2010



865 Comments


I'm definitely going to check this out, seeing as i LOVE Nujabes. That man has never done wrong in my book.

cvlts
December 17th 2010



8954 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

this is no different

KritikalMotion
December 17th 2010



2261 Comments


been waiting for this to appear

nice review

cvlts
December 18th 2010



8954 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

lol nice bro, yeah been still definitely helped out with finals anxiety



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