Album Review: These Days by Ab-Soul

July 8, 2014

After only a week since its released, Ab Soul’s third studio album, These Days is still bringing about a lot of buzz. After striking major controversy for threatening to leak his own album, the Black Lip Pastor dropped lyrical science for those willing to listen.

Ab-Soul was back with his usual tricks. He released a project that can have you ready to enjoy yourself at a kickback and on the next track you’re truly contemplating your place in life. This is something Soul’s fans have always enjoyed about him; the power to make you think beyond the music and more about your own life.

The album starts with “God’s Reign” featuring TDE’s SZA, produced by Purity Ring. “I guess it’s how it is these days. You even lose when you win these days” is a theme many people can relate to. Soul follows the common theme of winners and losers’ spiritual awakening, as well as his own personal issues, some of which include his ex-girlfriend who died a few years back.

The beats can come pretty hard on this album, something the TDE camp has always been known for. J Cole, Purity Ring, Kenny Beats and Sounwave are just some of a long list of producers for the project.

The wide range of producers is nothing compared to the many features sprinkled through the project. What’s interesting with the features is they’re limited to choruses and are not credited on the song title. With a good ear you can catch Mac Miller and Joey Bada$$ on a few tracks. Diddy also makes a cameo saying “It ain’t no more to it. Solo eating now. Tell em’ Puff said so”. Other notable features include Lupe Fiasco, ScHoolboy Q, Rick Ross, JMSN and Action Brunson.

“Life is a traffic jam,” sings Ab-Soul on his outro, the same way Kendrick did on Section.80’s outro. The same way Ab-Soul laid down a killer spoken word on Kendrick’s outro, Kendrick laid an amazing verse on the “Kendrick Lamar Interlude”

Be aware of the many extra skits and hidden tracks. I won’t ruin the surprise for you, just know one hidden song is an entire battle between Ab-Soul and popular battle rapper Daylyt.

After really sitting with the album, I realized this album was worth all the support it gained. This is a really good album. Granted not every song can be an amazing one. It’s a given there is going to be a song or two you don’t like and once you can come to terms with that reality, you can put it past you. If you’re an Ab-Soul fan, you’ll love this album. If you are a first time listener, you may find this album to be a little off the wall, weird even and that is understandable. When I first listened to Ab-Soul in 2012 I thought the same thing but take time and listen. You may not be able to relate on everything but you sure can relate to something. That’s the beautiful thing about Ab-Soul’s talent. He brings you into his world and in the end, you’ve learned something about yourself, whether it be spiritual, musically or even in small things.

Rating: [usr=4 size=22]

By Romel Lherisson

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