Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Album Review: Ghostface Killah & BADBADNOTGOOD- Sour Soul

Ghostface Killah & BADBADNOTGOOD 
Sour Soul
*** out of *****
Ghostface Killah has been incredibly busy lately releasing an album a year since 2013 and this is the first of two scheduled for 2015. On his last effort, 36 Seasons, Ghost partnered with The Revelations a Brooklyn soul band who added a calming retro touch to the chaotic comic book/superhero story trying to be told. On Sour Soul Ghost has again teamed up with a live band, this time the Toronto based trip-hop/jazz outfit BADBADNOTGOOD, the result is a freer looser and more enjoyable effort then 36 Seasons but not a career milestone by any stretch.  

The band plays that retro soul style that fits the Wu Warrior's verses like a glove even managing to toss in a few instrumentals like the easy string laden "Stark Reality" or the horn blown "Experience" album closer. When the front man comes on though he does it in his trademark style, uncut repeating the ghetto war stories of yore and coming on the heels of 36 Seasons, he does have a feel of going through the motions as a lead MC. Far from poor he still links words and syllables effortlessly but there is a sense of having heard it all already that creeps in.  

Things are mixed equal measure for BBNG's smooth sliding beats and Ghostface's pimp rhymes ("Tone's Rap") or pumped up with energy when it is called for over crisp drums and keyboard choruses ("Mind Playing Tricks"). The guests add a nice texture update with Danny Brown injecting a verse for "Six Degrees" and Elzhi trumping Ghost's power on "Gunshowers".

The upbeat tone though is fleeting, the mainstay is the 70's retro soul vibe and BBNG perfectly play it, if without a distinct feel; if anything they replicate the sound too perfectly it almost feels sampled. The best combo of all the styles is the Tree helped "Street Knowledge" which rolls along effortlessly with musical flares from the ether and rhymes from the gutter.  

This album feels par for the course (not a major highlight far from a letdown) just more of the same smooth jams and gruff vocals, a pattern Ghostface has seemed to settled into nicely over recent years.
Support the artists here and here, buy the album here, stream the album here, and peep some video below:

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