Atmosphere Seven’s Travels

[Rhymesayers/Epitaph; 2003]

Styles: underground hip hop
Others: Aesop Rock, Sage Francis, MF Doom

Atmosphere fans tend to break into two categories. There's those that enjoy Slug's cocky Overcast! style, and then there's those that worship his emo-rap, self-deprecation shtick. On Atmosphere’s last release, God Loves Ugly, Slug might have been trying too hard to please both sides. Lucky for us, the bad taste in our mouths from that album can be scraped off our tongues with the Seven’s Travels jewel case.

This is the first Epitaph release for rapper Slug and producer Ant. The two friends from Minnesota arrive with a release that resembles the Headshots' Se7en tape from way back in 1998. The similarity between the two albums is found in the perfect balance of humor, aggression, wit, and heart. Slug sums up this whole theory with the first true track on the album, “Trying To Find A Balance.” Slug delivers his words with the grace, charisma, and emotion we’ve come to expect from him, but which was lacking on God Loves Ugly. Mr. Daley continues this trend of hunger and honesty throughout the rest of the album.

Atmosphere isn’t Atmosphere without Ant making the beats. The often criticized producer who has been known to turn his snares up too high, returns with an improvement in his overall ability.  More intriguing sample layering and a varied selection of drums help establish Ant’s importance to the group.

Slug’s songwriting doesn’t always get the recognition it deserves.  His knack for conveying the everyday feelings of the average man are genuine and well-conceived. Songs like “Gotta Lotta Walls,” “Bird Sings Why The Caged I Know,” and “Always Coming Back Home To You” showcase Slug’s usual themes of women, travel, liquor, and life which are expressed brilliantly. This record is sure to keep the sixteen year old girls swooning to Slug’s acne scars.

1. History
2. Trying To Find A Balance
3. Bird Sings Why The Caged I Know
4. Reflections
5. Gotta Lotta Walls
6. The Keys To Life vs. 15 Minutes Of Fame
7. Apple
8. Suicidegirls
9. Jason
10. Cats Van Bags
11. Los Angeles
12. Lifter Puller
13. Shoes
14. National Disgrace
15. Denvemolorado
16. Liquor Lyles Cool July
17. Good Times (Sick Pimpin')
18. In My Continental
19. Always Coming Back Home To You

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