Review Summary: An album that isn't highly regarded compared to their older releases, but stands the test of the time just as well.
2 of 2 thought this review was well written
First off: I cannot believe there hasn't been a proper review of this album. While many see this as their most "mainstream" effort, I believe it to be their best. Sure, there are some fillers (what Hip-hop album that has 19 songs is fill-free?) but even the lackluster songs on "Seven's Travels" would be most group's shining moment. With that said, let us delve into what makes this album is so captivating, shall we?
The album starts off with "History". The beat hints at the overall feeling of what is to come; A bit happy, somewhat sad, and extremely melancholy. Not a standout track by any means, but I certainly don't skip it on account of it being a prelude to the machine that is "Seven's Travels". Next, we're onto the main single of the album, "Trying To Find A Balance". Now, this is not particuliarly one of my favorite songs on the disc, but Slug's pissed off lyrical prowess is certainly reason enough to keep one's ears glued to the speakers. It even provides a chuckle, when hearing the line "Now I'm too ***ed up to dance, so I'mma (sp?) sit with my hand down the front of my pants". Come on, who hasn't been too drunk at a friends house and found themselves pulling the proverbial "Al Bundy"?
The 3rd through 9th songs on here are decent, but certainly dont represent the meat of "Seven's Travels" greatness. You'll find some cute phrases, a couple catchy one-liners, and of course (as with the rest of the album) damn good beats. The 10th track, aptly titled "Cats Van Bag" features the hardest beat on the record. Perhaps the only downfall of this song is Brother Ali's cheesy lyrics (Sabertooth tiger???) and inadvertent disruption of the flow. Nevertheless, this is not a detraction from the rest of the album. After that, we find ourselves listening to "Los Angeles". Probably as close to a filler track as "Seven's Travels" has to offer, but at least the minute of Slug's lyrics accurately portray the feeling of L.A.
Tracks 12 through 19: Ah, now we're getting into the center of what makes this album so brilliant. "Lifter Her Pull Her" is actually my favorite song from them, and I'll try to adequately elaborate. From the soothing piano measures, to the heartfelt sample ("You don't know me, you just love me") to the GREAT lyrics... this song has it all. In my opinion, this song truly encompasses what this album set out to do: Which is make an overall melancholy album that makes you happy to hear. A contradiction, right? There is no other way to properly describe it. I suppose this song hits close to home for me because of the intimate lyrics, but I won't get too much further into that because that would make me biased, right?
"Shoes" is a song with a simple drum beat, without samples and glamour. The lyrics really stand out on this track, and not just because of the stripped down drums he's spitting to. "National Disgrace" has a very upbeat rhythm, as well as snarky lyrics that delve into (what I see as) the politics of music. "Denvermolorado" happens to feature my favorite musical section on the record, and my personal favorite lyric "Is the sound of emotion enough to make me want to hang myself from the rafter that's over my bed? But when I stop to climb the Ladder that's embedded in my heart I start to question all the emotion in my head". Deep stuff, courtesy of Slug.
The general message of the next few songs is right in line with the theme of the album; Friends, women, and of course... traveling. The final track is likely the most different. Acoustic guitar, mellow flow, and great storytelling. "Always Coming Back Home To You" is definitely a highlight of "Seven's". I almost wish there weren't a hidden track ("Say Shh") so that I could without a doubt say that this record ended on an epic note. Either way, I believe it's a great end, and a fitting song title to a record that gives the feeling of lonely traveler who would like nothing more than to make do with what he has at home. Perhaps this constant touring and pouring of his heart is all that Sean Daley (Slug) knows... but damn it makes for an amazing Hip-hop album.
Love this album. Good review, although while I agree with the rating I kind of disagree with some of what you say about the individual tracks.
Bird Sings Why The Caged I Know is easily in my top three on the record, plus Reflections and Gotta Lotta Walls are fantastic too.
I don't think this is Atmosphere's weakest moment at all. However, everything that came after this has been slightly above average at best. This still has nothing on God Loves Ugly, Lucy Ford or Sad Clown Bad Dub II though.
@Inveigh, Cant Imagine and Lemons are really good records. Sorry if you are not a fan of ants ever evolving production, but like smacks I dig em. Lift her pull her is one of my all time fav atmosphere tracks...and cat van was my formal introduction to Mr. Brother Ali. Good review! RSE for life!
If I knew how to edit my review, I would fix the couple grammatical errors! Inveigh, I agree... I do like tracks 3-6 a lot, I just didn't find any room to elaborate on them because I do feel that 3-9 are not the meat and tatoes of this album. It's certainly not Atmosphere's weakest moment! Everyone I've spoken to about it gives me the "blah blah its too mainstream, GodLovesUgly 4 lyfe" bullshit. It's a great record.
Definitely their best post-GLU record, and it's not really close. I think this was Atmosphere's last truly great album, but there's certainly moments on the newer ones that stand out, just some real weak tracks too.
I agree. "You Can't Imagine" is probably their weakest effort, although it has some great songs on it. I did enjoy "When Life Gives You Lemons" though. I'll probably review Sad Clown II next, seeing as how (yet again) there hasn't been a proper review on it.
yeah, I've been sitting on a half-finished review for Sad Clown II for awhile, I should probably finish it (I had to add like half the Atmosphere albums to the site, when i got here there were only like 6 of them).
I know dude, it was sad. I think I added Leak At Will, Strictly Leakage, both Sad Clowns that are on here, and maybe something else... I can't remember. There's still 11 Sad Clowns that no one's added, not to mention the Headshots discs/tapes and all three volumes of New, Unreleased & B-Sides.. haha, I have over 300 Atmosphere songs on my computer at home, and that doesn't even count the Headshots (other than Headshots Se7en)
Nope, I'm from San Diego. Moved to Oregon when I was 17, and then moved to Phoenix Arizona about 2 months ago. SD has a couple exceptional underground hip hop stores, so I got good reccomendations. Hip hop actually isn't even my forte'! I'm pretty picky when it comes to it. I'm more into hardcore, metal, spazzy shit. Just no country, please. Haha.