Atmosphere
Southsiders


3.5
great

Review

by Caleb C. USER (26 Reviews)
May 18th, 2014 | 46 replies | 5,720 views


Release Date: 05/06/2014 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A balance found.

7 of 7 thought this review was well written

It hurts like hell getting old. It’s scary, too, but mostly it just hurts. Your whole life you define yourself by your lifestyle, your friends, your music. You stew on your mistakes and regrets but it’s too late to do anything about it, so you move on. But those mistakes define you. You’re the dude who studied for his calculus final instead of going all out on the slip-n-slide with those girls next door. Especially that one who could never remember your name. So that definition consumes your very essence and you come to grips with it because there’s nothing else to be done. Keep on keepin’ on because like it or not, you’re you. But there’s no denying that knowing you can’t truly change your core is painful. Life is then a delicate balance, from that moment when you’re ‘grown’ until the day you call it quits, of staying true to and improving yourself.

Atmosphere worked hard throughout their development to create a centric ideal upon which they could better understand themselves, and on 2002’s God Loves Ugly, we saw the complete definition of their sound; slightly misguided and soul searching honesty laid bare over firmly grounded rhythms. From that point on for Atmosphere, it was a struggle of not being wholly satisfied with that classification. I’m sure it’s easy as an artist to get frustrated with the expectations of a fan base, especially one expecting a ‘part 2’ that expounds on the idea that latched them in the first place. But it’s not fair to be labeled so black and white. So much like each of us struggle with self-identification, Atmosphere had a hard time finding the sweet spot to settle into as they matured. Yet finally on their 7th album Southsiders, Atmosphere has found their balance.

Slug keeps it blunt and straightforward as ever, calculating his often simple rhymes for emotional impact. On ‘My Lady Has Two Men’, he pleads for unrequited love in typical Slug fashion with, ”It's obvious that I'm better than him, if you got me sense you won't settle for him.” Slug is still Slug, as cheesy as he his endearing. But unlike much of The Family Sign and even parts of When Life Gives You Lemons…, he sounds convinced of his personal truth again. It’s the self-aware Slug that made his early work so attractive and it’s good to hear it return. The fire may not be as present as it was in his younger years, but knowledge and experience keep his heart in the flow.

Ant, on the other hand, hits heights he hasn’t hit in years. His piano licks hauntingly resonate below the pulsating synths. It’s minimalistic by todays’ bombastic standards, but it lifts an otherwise low key Slug performance to three dimensional places that could have come across as flat on their own. On opener “Camera Thief” sees the beat wobbling with jazzy elasticity, belying the slightly depressed reflection of the lyrics by introducing a self-assured swagger.

Southsiders proves that Atmosphere is very much a team that’s evolved over time. They course correct here, remembering the past and learning from it. It’s the group gaining a better understanding of who they are and where they want to be. While we might not ever see the passion of the slightly emotionally off-kilter Slug again, we can certainly appreciate the wisdom and frustrations that he’s still willing to share. The ups and downs of the past have finally flat lined here. Sure, there were definitely growing pains, but it’s encouraging to see a group come out clean on the other side. Maybe that means we all can too.



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user ratings (44)
Chart.
3.3
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
iswimfast
May 17th 2014



1290 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

first review in awhile. started a new job : ) camera thief is pretty awesome.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VFt1xMPnkVg



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Phlegm
May 17th 2014



4344 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

nice review, didn't really enjoy the album. haven't dug much from these guys since Headshots

Digging: Yagya - Sleepygirls

Verm
May 17th 2014



1003 Comments


Album is enjoyable and better than the family sign

SharkTooth
May 18th 2014



4048 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

it's decent, like almost everything this year in terms of hip-hop

Digging: The Dillinger Escape Plan - Irony Is a Dead Scene

qwe3
May 18th 2014



21355 Comments


Atmosphere worked hard throughout their development to create a centric ideal upon which they could better
understand themselves, and on 2002’s God Loves Ugly, we saw the completion of that definition.


I agree that god loves ugly is their best and most defining work but this is almost three lines in the review you've taken
to say that and you don't really explain why it is that.

Rest of the review is pretty solid man, a bit of rambling but like you said it's your first in awhile, and most of your other
reviews are much tighter as far as I can remember.

Good stuff, but I probably won't check this out to be honest.



qwe3
May 18th 2014



21355 Comments


oh god what is with the editing function on this site.

MMX
May 18th 2014



4798 Comments


at least it's better than the family sign

scottpilgrim10
May 18th 2014



2964 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Minnesota Represent!

Digging: Kanye West - My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy

iswimfast
May 18th 2014



1290 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

thanks qwe, i definitely see what you mean about that. i'll see if i can brainstorm something up to better tie that in/back that up.

Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
May 18th 2014



31087 Comments

Album Rating: 3.3

Kinda like this album, in a background kind of way

Digging: Banks - Goddess

Calc
May 18th 2014



12138 Comments


ohh I've heard this, very meh...

Digging: Jizue - Shiori

Tyrannic
May 18th 2014



3261 Comments


My buddy is obsessed with this guy. Is this a good place to start?
Pos

tequileros97
May 18th 2014



41 Comments


I'd say not, you should start out with Lucy Ford: The Atmosphere EPs or God Loves Ugly

Phlegm
May 18th 2014



4344 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

bad dub 2

Inveigh
May 18th 2014



24944 Comments


still haven't listened to this in its entirety yet, but based on what I've heard it's only marginally better than their last 3-4 efforts. i haven't been able to get pumped about a new Atmosphere record in like 8 years.

Digging: YOB - Clearing The Path To Ascend

iswimfast
May 18th 2014



1290 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I'd say start with god loves ugly and if that doesn't appeal then prolly call it quits

Gyromania
May 18th 2014



15495 Comments


not really psyched about this release at all. the last one was painfully average. lemons is still a classic though

Inveigh
May 18th 2014



24944 Comments


idk the stuff on Overcast! and the Headshots 7 double-disc are completely different than everything they did after. if you don't dig godlovesugly or Lucy Ford i'd say still give Overcast! a shot because it's so different.

The Dynospectrum falls into the same category

iswimfast
May 18th 2014



1290 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

that's fair. also i stand by the fact that this might be Ant's best production on here, so if beats are a main interest you could try this as well.

Inveigh
May 18th 2014



24944 Comments


damn, really? i always thought his best production was found on Seven's Travels and You Can't Imagine... I didn't really care as much for the ultra-laid back style of Lemons, Family Sign or the seasonal Sad Clowns.

if these are a step up from that era then i may need to give this a real chance



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