I always like a good recommendation, and usually when someone tells me "I guarantee you'll like it" or something to that effect, most of the time it's right on the money. Now I'll admit, prior to this review, I may have seen the name Clear Soul Forces once, but never heard any of their material until now. So, before I begin this review, I have to thank fellow supporters/friends John "KJ" Evans, Terry Myers and Juan Hernandez for recommending that I check this album out and review it on my blog. They have given me recommendations before (especially John and Terry), so I have no doubts that this will be another very good one.
Representing Detroit, Clear Soul Forces is comprised of members E-fave, J-Roc, L.A.Z. and Ilajide (who handled the album's production). After doing a bit of research, I've seen that prior to this "Gold PP7s" album, they also released "Detroit Revolution" in March 2012, so at some point I'll be checking that out as well. A review of mine would not be complete if I didn't begin things by talking about the opener, which in this case is "Continue?" (notice the question mark at the end in a clever move) This was a VERY good way to set the RIGHT tone for the album, with it's video game style/sound coming straight out of the 90s, and you know I immediately noticed that. Next up we have the awesome "Ninja Rap", which is a lyrical, sword swingin fest the would make GZA proud, no question. When I saw the title "Beats Rhymes & Life, the first thing that came to mind of course was A Tribe Called Quest, and this is a song that would make them proud as well. I consider it paying homage, and when it comes to hip hop with a soul twist, beats, rhymes and life is what it's about and these guys effectively show that ("Get some soul in ya life!"). There's more dopeness to be found on this album, and that includes "Sparring Session", which finds them firing off dope lyrics left and right ("This is not a cypher"), the Kooley High assisted "Freq Freq", "War Drums", with it's NICE mix of drums throughout, pun intended, the hot "Nuclear Reaction", the apply titled "Fresh Ta Def" and the nice closer "Solar Heat", complete with GoldenEye 007 ending (for the Nintendo 64, ha!) . I also liked how they brought a refreshing twist to the "track for the ladies" on "Eve". It's not something that you would be embarrassed to listen to or play for your significant other. It's truly a classy, feel good type song for the ladies that you really don't get a lot of these days, and I'm sure that's the point they were making here.
Overall, I'm so glad I got this recommendation, because it's an excellent album from top to bottom. I haven't said much about the lyrics. Why? Well, it's simple. All four MCs bring the simple yet effective practice to this album: dope beats and rhymes. I will say that the subject matter is all over the place at times, but that's NO knock on them at all. They did well throughout this album, and sometimes dope beats and rhymes is all you need. I also really like the VERY soulful vibe of the album as far as the production is concerned, and coming from Detroit, I could the influences of Black Milk, Elzhi, Slum Village, the late J. Dilla and even The Roots. This is a 4.5 star album and it'll definitely make my Best Albums of 2013 list, as well as being another addition to my collection. I commend them for this release and also another thanks to John, Terry and Juan for the recommendation!
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