Review: Stateless – Stateless

4.5 Stars


Rarely is there an album that I can listen to from beginning to end multiple times, but Stateless’ self titled release is ranks as one of the few exceptions. Stateless is one of those sleeper acts that no one knows about, yet they manage to drop better albums that drop commercial acts that have multi-million dollar marketing budgets and radio airplay.

This album is one of my top 5 albums of 2007, hands down. It’s in a list that includes Jay-Z’s American Gangster and Radiohead’s In Rainbows and it should give Coldplay’s new album a run for its money. It’s just that good people.

The Leeds, UK-based five piece band combines the soulful voice of lead singer Chris James (who some remember from DJ Shadow’s The Outsider) with instrumentation that ranges from downtempo, trip-hop as well as a little hip-hop on the side. Instead of the guitar heavy rock that usually dominates from the UK, you get samples, dj scratches, synths, and keyboards. From the get go, Stateless sets a mood, a tone, and a feeling for this album. Its got a consistency that can’t be touched.

I was pretty much hooked from the off-beat piano riff that starts off their lead single “Bloodstream.” The chorus, which goes “I think I might have inhaled you/you’ve gotten into my Bloodstream,” is probably one of the best love lines to drop this decade. The band flirts with rap-rock in “This Language,” featuring San Francisco rapper Lateef the Truthspeaker, however the rhymes bounce off of the beat so eloquently, it doesn’t feel tacked on like a certain Busta Rhymes/Linkin Park project (or any Linkin Park project for that matter).

Although these dudes are signed to a label, they aren’t getting much buzz. It would be a shame to see an act like Stateless fall to the wayside. Check their MySpace page, and if you like, cop their album here.