Monday, October 18, 2010

Atmosphere - When Life Gives You Lemons... (2008)



Great beats and honest takes on the hard side of life alternating between uplifting and optimistic tales and darker rants on the human condition make this alt-rap release a winner, though some bits feel unneccessary.
Rating: 4/5


Make no mistake - this album is awesome. If you're looking for one alt-rap album to introduce you to Atmosphere, the Rhymesayers collective, Aesop Rock, and related characters, make it this one. The instrumentation and production is incredibly well done, lush when it should be, sparse when the mood calls. MC Slug's vocal stylings carass a rolling cascade of imagery and energy throughout, and the songs are honest, relatable, and soulful.

My only problem with this album is that there are just a few songs that, while decent, don't really engage or interest as much as the other tracks, which overwhelmingly succeed at these goals. This make the low points on the album stand out in stark contrast. On an album with 15 tracks, this almost feels inexcusable - how hard is it to trim some B material and just drop a classic 12-track disc? I'm no slave to convention, but it would have worked well here.

Overall, this album is very much a gem, though. Most will find some new personal favorites on it, as tracks like Dreamer, Yesterday, and Your Glasshouse provoke the imagination lyrically while grooving the body instrumentally. I'll definitely be revisiting this album again soon. I just wish it were a bit tighter -- that would have made it a 5/5.

Pros: Excellent songwriting, excellent beats
Cons: A few lame tracks drag the whole album down.

Standout Track - Yesterday

20 comments:

  1. Well, I'll take your word on the other tracks, but Yesterday wasn't too shabby.

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  2. I like Aesop Rock, Atomosphere is too "I'M WHITE SO WHAT?" for me.

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  3. I'm not really sure where you're coming from on that. Slug doesn't really reference his whiteness on this album, nor on Seven's Travels, if I prefer.

    I agree that Aes is awesome though. At some point I'll be reviewing Labor Days, for sure.

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  4. nice, kinda generic album name tho lol

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  5. I think his track where he talks about his dads death and you only know at the end of the song is amazing. it makes me think about my family relations. Great review man. I love Atmosphere. :D

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  6. sweet man, you'd like my site

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  7. You know maybe I haven't given him a chance, I only saw one music video and I was just really turned off by the style. Too angsty for me, maybe all his tracks arent like that. I havent been listening to new artists much since my sound system fuggin broke :'( laptop speakers don't do Muddy Waters' production justice.

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  8. I used to listen to them so much

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  9. I love his song God's Bathroom Floor
    He does write great lyrics :)

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  10. Great song ! tanks for sharing it ...

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  11. I need to start listening to them again, thanks for reminding me.

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  12. Sounds alright. I might have to check this album out.

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  13. Awesome track, and informative review. Downloading this shit right now.

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  14. fullowin 'n' suppin :)

    wtfiniggagun

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  15. I loved this band alot last year

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  16. Huge fan of Atmosphere. Just saw them last month in Chicago, actually. Fantastic review, I'll be certain to come back for future reviews.

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