Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Atmosphere : "Fishing Blues"

Musically he doesn't take as many chances as Aesop Rock and instead relies on the charisma of his flow. Trap rap might as well not have occurred as he stays true to his old school way of spitting the verses. "Ringo" is a little too happy for my taste buds. In fact the backing track makes me think of Smash Mouth. "Besos" is a little more serious in tone, but sonically along the same lines. "Pure Evil" seems like it should be on the soundtrack to Stranger Things. There is a western swagger to this song.Lyrically it finds Slug taking a more aggressive attitude. His harder edge to his lyrics continues to a lesser extent on "Perfect". There is more serious tone and less playful cadence to his delivery, despite his proclamation that he does say that if he contradicts himself it's not a sign of the apocalypse.

He has always placed more emphasis on the lyrics than the leaning on his backing track. However this album feels less organic when it comes to the beats they are layered over. They do reflect the more pessimistic tone of the album thus far. "Seismic Waves" holds tension without letting the best come in an get you moving. He holds fast to his vision and leaves you hanging with anticipation for the beat to drop. "Next to You" is more of a love song so the ounce of r&b injected into it seems to make sense. I more realistic view of relationships is reflected on 'the Shit We've Been Through", that finds his heard bared in his lyrics in a manner that measures up against his very best work. The album continues to ebb and flow with a wide range of dynamic from the simmering "When the Lights go Out' to the more in your face attack of "No Biggie". I think his brand of hip hop benefits most from the more energetic bursts. "Everything" is a continuation of the groove started off in the previous song.Lyrically it reflects on the current state of his life as an adult.

While I was looking forward to the collaboration with Aesop Rock, going into the song it seems a little more relaxed than what I might have hoped for. When Aesop comes in it sounds a little dialed in. There is a better groove to "Sugar" that has a 70's funk feel. The title track also holds an even smoother funk groove that would sound out of place on a Sade song. Slug raps around the beat to pick up the songs pace. When the Grouch comes in he doesn't really add much to his brief verse. Kim Manning adds much more to the hooks she provides to "Won't Look Back" which has an almost country feel to it. "Anybody that I Have Known" is more melodic Slug almost singing on the choruses. The song is much more laid back, but retains a certain honesty to it that makes it endearing.The mood remains relaxed going into "Still Be Here". Being real for Slug now means focusing on the realitites of parenting, which I can relate to and perhaps his fan base that has spent the past 20 years with him, but perhaps not kids just getting into hip hop or kids trying to transition from Trap rap into something with more substance. He coasts his way out of the album on "A Long Hello" that is heart-felt and real, but not dialed up to 11 with it comes to energy. The message of over emphasizing good-bye is something not often touched up in any genre, so you have to respect him for that. Overall it's a solid album, not one I see my self bumping on a regular basis so I'll give it an 8.


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