Review Summary: A huge improvement over W.A.R.
Monch has changed in the 3 years since we last heard him in 'We Are Renegades', and while 'WAR' a decent album, it was a step backwards from his previous releases. With "P.T.S.D.-Post Traumatic Stress Disorder", we aren't exactly getting back to the ways of Desire and Internal Affairs but we are given a welcome change in pace and mood that proves that even Pharoahe is aware enough to realize that his political raps alone can't support a whole album.
"P.T.S.D."' is sort of a continuation of the ideas brought up in "WAR". However, PTSD is a huge improvement over the latter due to an increased diversity in topics, in addition to the anti-establishment themes of WAR, listeners are greeted with a welcome return to battle raps like Bad MF and Damage, which feature Monch at his best.
Pharoahe is an extremely competent rapper who is able to, whether or not it’s on a political song, deliver good lines such as:
"So I, spin the cylinder on my revolver
Then, maybe let it draw blood like Chupacabra
And dissolve into the abyss, without evolving
Instead of revolving around the habitual problem solver
Research like, George Washington Carver"
"Now that's practicing sacrilegious activism
Attack is for battle, and practical rap with wisdom
Actually, it's pragmatic capitalism for actors that crack under pressure and collapse when I get 'em
Monch is medicinal man made medical marijuana
With a phase plasma rifle like I'm searchin' for Sarah Conner"
However, perhaps the greatest improvement that PTSD makes over its predecessor is the production. The production on We Are Renegades, while not exactly bad, wasn't exactly good either. WAR's beats were relatively monotonous in comparison to that of its predecessors, although it is easy to admit that the production on Internal Affairs is pretty much unbeatable. PTSD for the most part brings the production back to the status quo of Monch's albums.
Even with the many improvements over WAR, there are still several major issues that really drag the album down as a whole, the biggest of which is consistency. Great and mediocre tracks switch interchangeably without warning through the course of the album, as the album switches from songs like 'Rapid Eye Movement' to 'Scream' and vice versa. This in turn brings the other problem with PTSD: its sense of direction. WAR may have been consistently average, but it was still a clear, focused effort that knew what it was trying to do. PTSD tries to be many things at once, without much in the form of connecting them together. And as a result it can be easily considered by some to be Monch's weakest effort to date.
PTSD-Post Traumatic Stress Disorder stands as the least consistent thing Pharoahe Monch has ever done. While in some respects it succeeds at putting away some of the doubts and concerns that manifested in fans' minds from the release of WAR, it doesn't exactly put them to rest. The amount of mediocrity that lies within the album ultimately makes it just as disappointing. Even then, PTSD serves as a solid enough introduction for any newcomer to Monch's work, as there are still a couple of tracks that work well.
Rapid Eye Movement