Atmosphere’s Sean Daly, AKA Slug, proved his wily, clandestine, and flatly, bare-bones promotional campaign for When Life Gives You Lemons, You Paint That Shit Gold a pure act of genius, dropping the album straight into number five on the charts on it’s release date (April 22, 2008).
Daly dictated a frustrating and elusive promotional campaign that allowed absolutely zero promotional copies of When Life… to be released—not even to his own publicist, who had to fly to New York City and sit in on a private listening session in a bar. That session, another the same in Los Angeles, and one at the top of the Hilton in Austin Texas were the only opportunities anyone got to here the record prior to it’s drop; and this is precisely why you are reading reviews of the album a week after it’s release rather than a week prior. Most publications had no idea what to review. But clearly the public did.
When Life… takes atmosphere and friends on a whole new adventure, boasting all live instrumentation (with the exception of beats), a guest appearance from TOM FREEKING WAITS, and a phenomenal packaging design that emulates the classic Little Golden Book of any 70’s kid’s childhood collection—forty pages of lyrics with cunning illustrations from MK Larada. (The disc even comes with a blank space, “This album belongs to ________________. If you recall the Little Golden Book series, they had the same feature in the first page so you could dedicate your copy of Hansel and Grettle er whatnot to yourself.)
Besides the intense curiosity that Daly garnered from his non-promotion, the disc itself earns its credibility without a doubt. It brings a tear to the eye and a clinched fist to any parent who grew up in the 80’s, came of age in the 90’s, and created a family in a rock-and-roll world with the wholly new set of values that we face being the first generation of functional forward-thinkers who don’t spank they kids for putting manic panic in they hair. We the generation that buys it for them, and puts ‘em in studded belts for they first day of Kindy-garden!
Daly tackles serious topics of street shit, relationships and the realities of parenthood in the real world with all the finesse of the flashy Snoop and Biggy big ballin’ set. But, it’s truly a breath of fresh air and an inspiration to hear somebody get on this real shit with such talent and flat realness.
There’s really little more to be said about this masterpiece. You either buy it and hear it or you live a slighted life and you fucking lose.