Spirits X'tended / SoulJa

Track Listing

  1. Koko ni Iru Yo feat. Thelma Aoyama
  2. Soba ni Iru ne x YUKIE
  3. A Song For You
  4. Cassis
  5. ID
  6. Sotsugyo (Indies Version)
  7. Libertango (Pierrot)
  8. Rain
  9. Dogg Pound
  10. Lotus
  11. First Contact (Indies Version)
  12. Epilogue -happy-

Review

SoulJa is Japanese Hip-Hop artist and Spirits X’tended is a re-release of his album Spirits. There are subtle differences between this and the original version. The version of Soba ni Iru ne is the newer version with YUKIE and there are different versions of Sotsugyo and First Contact.

His brand of Hip-Hop is quite interesting in that a lot of the beats are quite smooth and relaxed in nature, almost more like R&B instead of Hip-Hop. Especially evident on the first half of this album, with the best examples  being Koko ni Iru Yo & Cassis. The more standard Hip-Hop fare on the second half also have the same vibe (with the exceptions of Dogg Pound & First Contact), so the sound is at least consistent.

The way he raps also happens to be unique in that it matches the feel of his laid-back productions. What I found surprising is that he’s actually got a decent singing voice (A Song For You, ID), which is strange to say about those who are primarily known as rappers. I wouldn’t mind hearing him trying a full album of just singing. (no Auto-Tune please)  When he ramps up the energy on tracks like Rain, Dogg Pound and First contact his voice begins to sound very similar to DMX. Whether that’s a good thing or not depends on your tastes.

If you like your Hip-Hop a little less on the rough side, this is the album for you.