Posted on June 22nd, 2011 (12:00 pm) by Clayton Williamson

Most hip-hop artists have no qualm with educating listeners on new dances and the girth of their bank accounts, but Atmosphere isn’t typical hip-hop. Seasoned stalwarts working from 1989 onwards, Minneapolis natives Slug and Ant (rapper Sean Daley and DJ Anthony Davis, respectively) have fashioned The Family Sign as an earnest statement on vital relationships and other dramatic elements that complicate the lives of grown adults.

Atmosphere keeps the music efficient and organic, incorporating authentic instruments but still employing a mildly catchy aftertaste that refrains from Auto Tune-esque gimmicks while delivering a litany of sincere declarations. “My Key” opens with a carousel of brooding beats and hooks orbited by a single focused verse. Follow-up “The Last to Say” is a heartbreaking soliloquy, restrained by bitter acceptance of a terrible past set to a minimalist beat and weeping guitar. Though The Family Sign features several straight-laced tales of catharsis, Atmosphere isn’t against having a good time either, albeit with a pinch of irony. “Just for Show” and “Bad Bad Daddy” mix anger and resentment with lively rhythms and synths. “She’s Enough” moves along like a solid single, dirty riffs extolling a virtuous long-term romance.

The group keeps the songwriting of The Family Sign centered on fundamental ideas, but they are true professionals when it comes to creating original, arresting hip-hop with tried and true musical devices. Without concerning themselves with zeitgeists or popular trends, Atmosphere only provides a welcome, intense truth.

Track List:

1. My Key
2. The Last to Say
3. Became
4. Just For Show
5. She’s Enough
6. Bad Bad Daddy
7. Millenium Dodo
8. Who I’ll Never Be
9. I Don’t Need Brighter Days
10. Ain’t Nobody
11. Your Name Here
12. If You Can Save Me Now
13. Something So
14. My Notes

Atmosphere: The Family Sign
Purchase at: Amazon | eMusic

Our Rating

78 / 100
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