Seven's Travels

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aec.ryms70046.2 5/8/12 New
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    Seven's Travels Rhymesayers Entertainment
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Review

Review Text In the year that followed God Loves Ugly, Atmosphere's travels nearly took them to a major label; unlikely as it might have seemed at one time, the hip-hop trio's cerebral yet down-to-earth sound had become one of the hottest things in the underground, thanks in large part to rapper Slug's charisma, and surprising vulnerability. But the group pulled back, deciding to retain control and assign the album they'd completed to punk label Epitaph. That move made sense on a few levels, not least because Seven's Travels bristles with the independent spirit that put both punk and hip-hop on the map. There are any number of disgusted references to the mainstream; "National Disgrace" coldly observes a drunken star and notes, "This is a career, not a hobby." And producer Ant's varied and effective trick bag sometimes even includes a raw, uncompromising sound miles away from any imaginable chart action. But Atmosphere has always resisted the art-for-art's sake strain that has infested hip-hop in recent years; as Slug himself says early on, "I'm trying to find a balance." The beats seduce with R&B richness as often as they snarl, and instances where lyrical abstraction runs wild ("Cats Van Bags") are the exception, not the rule, because Slug is as much a storyteller as diarist. "Shoes" is another of his pickup-gone-wrong tales, ending in giggles in front of the toilet, and "Always Coming Back Home To You" dissects a slice-of-life moment with a guy and a gun in unexpected fashion. Just as remarkable, though, is the optimistic commercial for small-town living that follows, as Slug observes, "Minnesota is dope/if only simply for not what we have, but what we don't" and leads a shout-out that goes in part "If the playground is free of stems and syringes/If there's only one store in your town that sells 12-inches/say shhhh." Now that's keeping it real. ~ Dan LeRoy

Track Listing

CD: 1

  1. 1. History
  2. 2. Trying To Find a Balance
  3. 3. Bird Sings Why the Cage I Know
  4. 4. Reflections
  5. 5. Gotta Lotta Walls
  6. 6. The Keys To Life Vs. 15 Minutes of Fame
  7. 7. Apple
  8. 8. Suicidegirls
  9. 9. Jason
  10. 10. Cats Van Bags
  11. 11. Los Angeles
  12. 12. Lift Her Pull Her
  13. 13. Shoes
  14. 14. National Disgrace
  15. 15. Denvermolorado
  16. 16. Liqour Lyles Cool July
  17. 17. Good Times (Sick Pimpin’)
  18. 18. In My Continental
  19. 19. Always Coming Back Home To You

Product Details

Release Date
5/8/12 

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