The latest album I bought is rather bittersweet. It is a fantastic album. The perfect album to relax to. What makes it bittersweet is the artist who gave us this beautiful work is no longer with us.
Back in 2010 hip hop DJ Nujabes died after being severely injured in a car accident. He was in the process of recording his third studio album. Several of his friends and collaborators decided to finish the album Spiritual State. The album was released in 2011, but I only found out about it a few weeks ago. I finally got my hands on a copy and have been listening to it for the past days.
Spiritual State does feel slightly incomplete, but that may simply be my mind trying to figure out what Nujabes might have done differently had he lived. It opens with the title track. It definitely sets the mood of finality and reflection that is found throughout the album. It is one of my favorite tracks:
Spiral is another song that stands out. It reminds me of Nujabes’s work on Samurai Champloo. I immediately think of Jin in the episode where he tries to run away with the geisha when I listen to this.
Color of Autumn is another gem. It is rather short, fading out at the end. I wonder if this was one of the tracks that was only a sketch. If it is, it is still impressive.
Far Fowls is another favorite. I love the mix of different music styles. They should not work together, but Nujabes knew what he was doing.
My favorite song on the album is the last, Island. It is a perfect bookend, matching the tone of the opening track Spiritual State. It is simply a beautiful song.
This is one of my favorite albums. I want to thank Nujabes for sharing his talent and mind and soul with us. We did not get see all that he had to offer, but what he did share is magnificent.
Thank you, Seba Jun.
Gone to soon…RIP Nujabes