Review: Mod Sun – Health, Wealth…

Aritst: MOD SUN
Album: Health, Wealth, Success, And Happiness
Genre: Hippy Hop
Label: None

Here at UTG, part of my job involves planning our features and when certains aspects of the site will go “live.” Out of the entire year, the only time this becomes truly difficult is when we plan our year-end lists. Given the tendencies of labels to wait until late in the year to release “a-game” material, we always set between five and ten launch dates to ensure as many albums as possible can be heard before lists are compiled because we feel it is important to give as many artists as possible their shot at exposure on UTG. Generally, this plans works well as most albums have months of promotion that give us plenty of time to plan activity here, but this year was different. Just hours after our lists went live, Mod Sun, the self-proclaimed hippy-hop artist we featured on UTG TV (twice) this year, surprised fans everywhere and released a brand new (and free) mixtape, Health, Wealth, Success, and Happiness. To say we wish we could have known this album was coming would be an understatement. The entire staff had been impatiently waiting new material from Mod Sun and to think he could have topped some of our lists and now doesn’t even appear, broke our hearts. So, to make up for it and spread the great word that is Movement On Dreams, Stand Under None (MOD SUN), we decided to run a review of what might just be the last great album you hear this year.

Following the spoken word introduction, Mod Sun kicks off this release with “Tye Dye The Night,” a chill beat that doesn’t grab you by the collar, but rather welcomes you to the record and allows you to settle in for everything that is to follow. Then, wasting no time slowly building the mood, Mod Sun turns up the fire with “Highly Motivated” before delivering what may be the hook of the season on the Pat Brown guested, “Pass It My Way.” This career high performance then continues on with more subdued, yet equally pleasing and Jonny Craig featuring, “Become My Life.”

As we move deeper into Health, Wealth, Success, And Happiness, the one thing that stands out above all else is the evolution of Mod Sun’s talent on this release. While the early tracks will make listeners recall his past releases, “Bars Of The Sun” and every track that follows demonstrates a level of talent we have yet to see, but knew he was capable of. Add to this the incredible beats on tracks like “Got To Be There,” “Where Were You,” as well as the Dave Seigel produced “Time To Celebrate” and you have one of the few artists/releases this year to actually surpass expectations (which were already quite high).

As it states in the introduction, Health, Wealth, Success, And Happiness is a work of art and is intended to be heard in its entirety. While I know that may seem like something that’s heard more often than not in the music world, few albums ever live up to such talk and even less do it as well as Mod Sun has on this mixtape. He has not only evolved himself as a musician, but taken a giant step forward for a subgenre of music that seems destined to take over the world in 2011. Hippy hop is here to stay and this mixtape is your invitation to join the party. So click here, download it, sit back, dim the lights, and let your mind unwind to what is easily one of the most cohesive, fun, honest, and enlightening releases of the year.

Score: 10/10
Review written by James Shotwell with additional input from Matt Haines.

James Shotwell

James Shotwell is the founder of Under The Gun Review. He loves writing about music and movies almost as much as he loves his two fat cats. He's also the co-founder of Antique Records and the Marketing Coordinator for Haulix. You should probably follow him on Twitter.

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