After a long three years, Atmosphere has released their sixth studio album, The Family Sign. Not too often will you come across hip-hop here on That Girl With a Blog, but when something’s good, it’s good.
In addition to the usual duo of Slug and Ant, they’ve added keyboardist Erick Anderson and guitarist Nate Collis to elicit a pretty different sound that the norm. While never your typical rapper, the lyrical genius, Slug, gets somehow even more sentimental on this album. He was never about “doin’ drugs and rollin’ with his thugs” or “shooting [expletive deleted] and gettin’ fuckin’ stupid” (thanks, MSI!) but this album literally hits home. They seriously “keep it real”. Songs about getting older, having kids, domestic violence, dealing with loss…shit that people seriously go through every single day.
There’s a whole lot less humor on this album, which I think makes it even more quality. You have so many rappers out there talking about bling and bitches and guns, but how about some actual (oh god! Dare I say it!?) poetry? That’s what this album is…pure poetry on top of Ant’s skilled beats, mellow guitar, and minimal piano. Don’t get me wrong, there’s still a certain clever humor, but in a more macabre sort of way as seen in “Bad Bad Daddy”, where Slug reminisces of what it would be like to have kids now if he had never changed…if he was still a lonely borderline alcoholic.
Lyrically poignant, as always, it’s a fantastic album in that respect. As for the music… it’s oddly captivating for the duo. I’m so used to being drawn in almost solely by Slug’s lyrics, but the addition of mellow guitar and minimal piano really add a depth to Ant’s beats not seen on their prior efforts. Even if you’re not into hip-hop, check out this album because it’s far more than that. It’s a solid B.
Check out the video for their first single from the album, “Just For Show” and have a great weekend!
“Just For Show”