Atmosphere – “Whenever” review

This is the surprise 10th full-length album from revered Minneapolis emcee/producer tag team Atmosphere. Who’ve released a handful of classics through their label Rhymesayers Entertainment including Lucy FordYou Can’t Imagine How Much Fun We’re HavingSad Clown Bad Dub 9 & then of course God Loves Ugly. Last time we heard from them was with Mi Vida Local last October, but they’re finishing off the decade with Whenever.

The opener “Bde Maka Ska” finds Slug talking about serenity over a boom bap beat with a killer guitar lead whereas the next song “Push Play” tells the story of him meeting this chick over a tense instrumental. The track “Postal Lady” talks about a day in the life of Slug over a sensual funky beat while the song “Love Each Other” talks about if he was woman’s lover over a buttery instrumental. The track “Romance” talks about just that over a spacious instrumental while the song “Dearly Beloved” with Mujah Messiah as well as Rhymesayers co-founder Musab continues the themes of love over a smooth instrumental.

“The Hands of Time” vents about heartache over what I believe is a sitar sample while the titular song with Gifted Gab, Haphduzn & MURS is a decent 4 minute cypher with a warping instrumental. The track “Lovely” is another funky romance anthem while the song “Son of Abyss” talks about how he can’t believe he used to love this chick over a gloomy beat. The penultimate track “You’re Gonna Go” talks about this chick who he’s not afraid to admit he loved over a piano instrumental & then there’s the closer “The Ceiling”, where Slug talks about working his whole life over a ghostly instrumental.

This was a pretty solid effort from the duo. Ant’s production is really mellow & the album’s theme of reclamation is invigorating. Really looking forward to see what the 2 are gonna be doing going into the new decade.

Score: 3.5/5

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