“A collection of profound and epic album reviews and musical articles by former astronaut and brain surgeon, Alasdair Kennedy. Reaching levels of poetry that rival Keats and Blake, the following reviews affirm Alasdair to be a prodigy, a genius and a god whose opinion is always objectively right. He is also without a doubt the most modest man in the universe.” - Alasdair Kennedy
Review of 'Sour Soul' by BADBADNOTGOOD and Ghostface Killah
Sour Soulhas all the instrumental grandeur of a Bond movie. Why then
is Ghostface Killah not rapping about fast cars and hot women and gunfights
like he always does? Why instead is he giving us nutritional tips?
'Eat fish. That brainfood will make you smart' - Ghostface Killah
didn’t seem like it could go wrong. On the surface, Ghostface Killah seemed
like the perfect match for BADBADNOTGOOD’s cinematic, atmospheric style. This
was a rapper who had worked with live bands in the past and who was known for
his narrative action-movie-style of lyricism.
jazz trio, BADBADNOTGOOD, probably feel privileged for the opportunity to work
with an artist such as Ghostface Killah. However, it is really Ghostface who
should feel privileged to be collaborating with these guys, as they are the
ones that really provide the entertainment value here.
from sixties soul artists and movie composers such as James Bond’s John Barry,
BADBADNOTGOOD really succeed at creating that smoky and lavish sixties-spy-thriller
vibe. There are fat horns and thick string sections and jazzy twangy
guitars complete with that spacey tremolo effect. You can smell the cigar smoke
and taste the Martini.
the perfect backdrop to lay down his gangster persona, Ghostface sadly decides
to squander the occasion by delivering some of his most uncharacteristically lacklustre
lyrics. On a track ironically named ‘Nuggets of Wisdom’ Ghostface tells us ‘to make peace not war, make babies some more’.
This is followed by a list of health tips on the track ‘Food’, the
aforementioned ‘eat fish’ being one
primary school pieces of advice aren’t going to lead anyone to have an epiphany
and have no place on a Ghostface Killah record. I expect badass action movie
imagery with grit and depth. Most rappers get criticised for having too much
violence and sex on their records, but here I’m left wanting more.
annoying is the fact that the New York rapper teases us with brief moments of
this such as the surveillance paranoia on ‘Sour Soul’ and the fast-paced
descriptions of ‘wild car chases’ and
catching ‘bullets with my hands and teeth’
on ‘Ray Gun’. Here the epic instrumentation and vivid lyrics come together
brilliantly, transporting the listener to an exotic supervillain hideout.
Ghostface looking like a badass
course the lack of decent subject matter isn’t the true problem here. It’s the
lack of vocal commitment full stop that seems to be the problem. There are
tracks on here where Ghostface drops a single verse and let’s BADBADNOTGOOD do
the rest of the work. There are tracks where the guest vocalists such as Doom
and Danny Brown jump on board and provide as many if not more bars than
Ghostface. Then there’s the issue of no hooks throughout the entire record.
Some people don’t need catchy choruses in their hip hop, but I personally like
a good sing-along section to give a song momentum.
a feeling that Ghostface couldn’t be bothered with most of the record, or that
he was rushed. Either way he’s holding back a lot of his talent here, cruising
over the instrumentals with lyrics seemingly thought up in five minutes. His
attitude is very much ‘that’ll do’.
Saying this, BADBADNOTGOOD
fans should still definitely check this record out, as the band are shining here. The
gorgeous lazy wah guitars of ‘Gunshowers’ feel like the soundtrack to a long drive
through the desert. ‘Stark’s Reality’ is slow suave music for a casino. The grand
ending of ‘Ray Gun’ meanwhile could accompany a fight scene over a time-bomb. These guys should be scoring movies.