"Soul" is an overused and not necessarily useful word to describe music, potentially reducing a complex interplay of influences, ideas and emotions into a vague catchall. Many artists in the wake of Kanye's success used soul samples as a play for endowing their songs with emotion, as if an odd Motown bass loop would automatically give their tracks visceral heft. Tree's music samples soul, but his approach is unforced and one of a kind. Sunday School is rugged and textured. The beats rumble as if vibrating from a Cadillac trunk and the samples are chopped up at odd angles, vocalists transformed into a bubbling cacophony of voices. Tree's impressionistic rap style is a a powerful tool as well, he tells oblique stories and creates an easy bond with listeners.
Download: Tree, Sunday School