Release Date: February 29, 2012
- I Hate U feat. ROLA
- Shake Dat!!!
- 4 Chords
- I Love U feat. Yui Minemura & Anna Fujita
ISSA & SoulJa, two names that most who follow the world of J-Pop should recognize. ISSA of course, is the leader of popular late 90’s AVEX boy band DU PUMP.
Amongst AKB48 fans he is the guy who allegedly pumped Masuda Yuka out of the organization. In other words he is one of the many public enemies to the more emo of the fandom.
SoulJa is probably best known for pulling an AC/DC and making the same song over and over consecutive times. Koko ni Iru yo if you’re not sure which song I speak of. But he’s also a very accomplished Hip-Hop artist who has brought his European and American influences to Japan with much success.
The pairing of these two men might seem strange but on ISM they show a chemistry of a veteran duo that has been together for years.
As for what’s on ISM, the majority of the music on this album falls within the R&B influenced Hip-Hop with only a few pure straight up Hip-Hop or dance songs spread throughout. It makes for an intriguing listen and its fairly apparent what the strength of this album is after the first few tracks. But first let’s get to what went wrong.
The party tracks P.A.I.O. and Shake That are just sad, sad attempts and getting the listener hyped. SoulJa has done better solo efforts than those two. And from what I remember DA PUMP have much better up-tempo songs as well. Just skip them if you don’t want to punish your ears.
Then again, sometimes it’s not any better with what these guys are good at together. Tonight is an example of an R&B track gone wrong. It just didn’t sound as cohesive as some of the other similar sounding songs on this album.
With the exceptions of the bad (and the interludes and skits) the rest of ISM is some fairly solid stuff. Most of the material has been released as singles already so there really isn’t much new to speak of.
I would suggest taking a listen to the first half of the album up to the Intermission and that should give you a good idea of what ISSA & SoulJa are doing with their collaboration. If you’re too lazy to do that then give Destiny, D.T.N.A. and Foreva a go first.
If you wish to continue after skipping a couple of songs then you should find the rest to be an enjoyable listen, even if you’re not a Hip-Hop or R&B fan.