Saba - Bucket List Project album review: Beautiful sounds from a tough town

SABABucket List Project ****Saba Pivot

Bucket List Project
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Artist: SABA
Genre: Hip-Hop & Rap
Label: Saba Pivot

Prolific creative scenes often spring out of the toughest terrain. Chicago's violent gangs may have given rise to the "Chiraq" moniker, but a clutch of smart new-school artists are emerging from the city, including Chance the Rapper, Vic Mensa, Jamila Woods, Noname and, of course, Saba.

The beautifully detailed and layered sound as much as the sharply pointed and poignant rhymes will pull you towards Bucket List Project. Like Kendrick Lamar when he was drawing the lines for Good Kid, MAAD City, Saba knows just the right shade of faded, sepia-washed nostalgia he wants to evoke and sets to his task with gusto and sleepy, hazy soul and jazz undertones.

There are other voices here (Noname is exemplary on Church/Liquor Store), but the real deal comes when Saba looks around his 'hood and articulates what he feels. Put this one on your own musical bucket list right away.