Ab-Soul
These Days...


2.5
average

Review

by Guzzo CONTRIBUTOR (25 Reviews)
June 27th, 2014 | 64 replies


Release Date: 06/24/2014 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Saturated

When Control System came out back in 2012, one of the more interesting aspects was hearing Ab-Soul’s wordplay cover subjects of religion, conspiracy theories, politics, and his life. It created a really tense atmosphere that managed to keep songs like “The Book of Soul” or “Terrorist Threats” on replay even in 2014. With These Days… however, what we get is a lot of ideas and experimentation without any album flow or structure. “Twact,” “Nevermind” and “Hunnid Stax” all showcase the sounds of an attempt at radio success, especially in “Twact” which sounds like it was stolen straight from YG’s new record. And then on the opposite side of the hip-hop spectrum we have tracks like “W.R.O.C.,” “God’s Reign” and “Tree of Life” that hearken back to Control System with Soul dropping thought-provoking bars like, “With a dollar and a dream/why you think money is green?/ Color of vegetation/the most important thing, trees.” It’s just These Days… is so scatterbrained that the very next track after “Tree of Life” see’s Soul start out with lines like, “Who gettin' that money?/ Real motha***in' money/ That’s all I do dawg/ got cashed out, got ***ed up, then I passed out.” It’s as though These Days… is a brain storm of ideas that got put into an album without any direction.

And it isn’t just the topical themes that are standing in opposite spectrums; the production doesn’t seem to know what face to put on either. There are two beat switches much akin to those found throughout Kendrick Lamar’s GKMC, except on here they are utterly pointless and don’t do anything to the album except for add a hidden track at the end of “Tree of Life” and “Just Have Fun.” Again, it just feels like Soul had an idea but didn’t feel like putting enough effort into expanding it. On the track “Nevermind” the beat seems entirely too slowed down for its own trap-flavored good, and its inclusion of static to change up the beat each 30 seconds just doesn’t make sense. In reality, there is so much going on in the production of “Nevermind” that it’s a song that truly epitomizes These Days… as a whole. One second it’s a slowed down trap affair, then the static comes in and changes it into an R&B sound only to change again into an acid soaked guitar lead with the slowed down trap beat coming back.

It’s not as though the tracks when seen by themselves are all that bad though. “Kendrick Lamar’s Interlude” ends up being up being one of the best tracks on the LP, with Kendrick coming through with a very high-energy verse that goes well with the crazed jazz instrumentals backing him. However, the song just feels like Kendrick is doing Ab-Soul the same favor that Soul did for him back on Section .80 and nothing more than that. The raw-audio recording found at the end of the closing track “W.R.O.C.” sees Ab-Soul up against Daylyt in a rap battle. What turns out to be a really cool, albeit really long, track where Soul and Daylyt go back and forth with verses, ends up being a real ending testament of “What the hell did I just listen to?”

Sadly, that is a question that was raised for the album as a whole after I finished listening to it. Sure, the idea of the album is supposed to be Ab-Soul’s view of mainstream hip-hop as well as himself “these days” but the way he goes about showing us his view is nauseating when the album is digested as a whole. What These Days… ends up being is more so diarrhea of the mouth rather than an introspective look at the current times and themes. And that by itself makes the album a disappointment. Not because the tracks by themselves are bad or that Ab-Soul’s wordplay is poor, but because the LP just feels so unpolished and poorly structured after two years of delays and being pushed back. That ends up being the real disappointment.



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user ratings (95)
Chart.
2.9
good
other reviews of this album
BornToBeAborted (3)
In the end, Ab-Soul mostly succeeds at making an album that nobody wanted him to make...

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Control System

Comments:Add a Comment 
RoundOnEndHiInMiddle
June 27th 2014


336 Comments


Great review, dude. Have yourself a mind pos

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Guzzo10
Contributing Reviewer
June 27th 2014


1063 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Thank you sir, much appreciated!

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DropdeadWHA
June 27th 2014


681 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

nice review.

Nikkolae
June 27th 2014


4862 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

"With These Days… however, what we get is a lot of ideas and experimentation without any album flow or structure."

basically yes, pretty much summed up the album right there

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Phlegm
June 27th 2014


5240 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

yup

Digging: Dean Blunt - Black Metal

ShitsofRain
June 27th 2014


5915 Comments


ok wont listen to this now

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cmaitland421
June 27th 2014


147 Comments


Great review. This has been delayed so much that I didn't even know it had actually come out until today.

Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
June 27th 2014


31401 Comments

Album Rating: 2.2

Probably the most boring thing I've heard all year

Digging: Objekt - Flatland

ExplosiveOranges
June 27th 2014


3256 Comments


I feel like I haven't seen a review from you in a while, Guzzo. Mindpos.

Digging: Run the Jewels - Run the Jewels 2

Hep Kat
June 27th 2014


15351 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5 | Sound Off

Soulo cain rap 4 shi n ima tell evrybody

Phlegm
June 27th 2014


5240 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

watch all those 3.5's and 4's change their ratings now lmao!!! iw as here first b*tches!

Hep Kat
June 27th 2014


15351 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5 | Sound Off

ur ratin ain't low enuff fucka

HolidayKirk
Contributing Reviewer
June 27th 2014


1641 Comments


More Guz reviews please. Can this man get a feature?

Hep Kat
June 27th 2014


15351 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5 | Sound Off

yeah feature this backed

Guzzo10
Contributing Reviewer
June 27th 2014


1063 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Thanks for the love guys. @Kirk, I've never gotten a featured review before, pretty sure Sputz has me banned from ever getting one lol.

hogan900
Contributing Reviewer
June 27th 2014


1670 Comments


Guzzo, me and you both dude.. Then again I gotta earn that spot one day by stop reviewing older music. However I got a big ass project I've been writing. Awesome job as always though my man, was actually going to check this out.

Sleaper
June 27th 2014


3408 Comments


not a fan of ab soul.. never have been.

this album is super mediocre

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Guzzo10
Contributing Reviewer
June 28th 2014


1063 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

NICE REC SLEAP

Sleaper
June 28th 2014


3408 Comments


keep up the hip hop reviews dude
no one else on here does em like you do

MMX
June 28th 2014


4832 Comments


"Not because the tracks by themselves are bad or that Ab-Soul’s wordplay is poor, but because the LP
just feels so unpolished and poorly structured after two years of delays and being pushed back."


Nailed it on the head

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