Atmosphere?s new album, To All My friends, Blood Makes the Blade Holy, is truly a diamond in the dirt as far as new releases for 2010 go, even though it is technically an EP as it is not long enough to be classified as an album. Much of the commercial drivel, especially on the rap and hip-hop front, which has been produced this year, has caused me (and many other music lovers) to lose faith in the music industry to quite a large extent.
To all my friends?. is perfect for people who enjoy hip hop, or as their work is sometimes classified, indie rap, but prefer chilled out music about various realities as opposed to mass produced songs about sex, wealth, violence and fame. All of Atmospheres previous works have too been released on the label Rhymesayers Entertainment.
Ant and Slug, the duo that is Atmosphere in its entirety, have managed to develop and grow with each release, a feat that is not often attainable in rap these days. I only came into contact with their music properly over the past few months, but the combination of inspiringly simple lyrics and catchy yet laidback tunes have made this one of my top ten albums for 2010 by a long shot.
Each song has aspects that people from all walks of life can relate to; everyday situations made into art. The album balances the negatives of life perfectly with the positives, with the lyrics touching on everything from the struggles of drug addiction and dealing in songs like ?Major Leagues? and ?Scalp?, to the beauty of living and appreciation of life?s small pleasures in songs like ?Hope? and ?Freefallin??.
The use of guitar and piano throughout the EP adds an awesome element of grunge and beauty in combination. Lyrically and musically, this is one of the few albums I have ever owned that I can listen to on repeat for hours on end without getting bored or skipping a single song. As music fanatic I just have to point out that the backing tracks are just as beautiful as the rhymes.
Few artists working in the some genres as Slug and Ant truly comprehend what it?s like living in the working class and dealing with the same issues everyday, but these boys seem to pull it off perfectly in every way.
The EP is available online on the Fifth Element website