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Atmosphere – You Can’t Imagine How Much Fun We’re Having

Slug from Atmosphere has always been honest about what’s on his mind. He’s built a reputation on it; from his “god loves ugly” attitude to his female escapades and the pain they’ve caused. Through the years fans have seen Slug and Ant grow, from two guys trudging from city to city in a van to selling out large arenas and standing face up on the cover of a magazine.


Yes, there’s been the booze and bitter songs about woman and all that, but 2005 is a new year and the new album shows just how much the two have been through since Seven Travels was released in 2003. Back then, Denver got a shout out on “Denvemolorado,” including a line about making out with girls in the backstage of the Ogden. Today, it’s a different story, it’s another volume from the Atmosphere encyclopedia of life – and it’s a keeper (as well as a fabulous stocking stuffer for the holiday season).

Slug has been the spokesman of sorts for the duo, but with You Can’t Imagine How Much Fun We’re Having, Ant shows his force more than ever before. Production, scratching, and sampling of a jazz lick to a bit-o-Bill Cosby is quite simply, and if I can get technical for a moment – off the friggin’ hook. The punch is spiked with Munchins from Dorothy land to street sounds and Cliff Claven discussing the concept of Atmosphere, getting you drunk with pleasure.

The beats all around are heavy, harsh, lush and loving your body and ears like a warm, wine buzz; slapping hands high and loud with the analytics flying furiously from Slug’s brain. “Watch Out” is a perfect example, paying ode to the old school hip-hop groove and showing their love of this music. Fact and observations mix with humor as Slug spouts about others with a mic that really don’t having anything to say or to offer, that are more bling than boom bang. I couldn’t help but giggle at the line “Cars drive by with the booming system / I must be getting old ‘cause the bass sounds ridiculous” ‘cause I always get the rolling eyes, scrunch face when I hear the same thing.

Taking a look at society’s dependence on pharmaceutical drugs, they mock this growing trend, where people can only to survive with the help of a pill to “make yourself feel better” or to “look younger, thinner, with energy to burn.”

Angelic choruses that seem to step from a Bronx gospel choir provide the intro and compliment to “Say Hey There.” But where the emotion really hits the heart is on the song every journalist will ask and write about, “That Night.” It was the night when a young girl lost her life at their show in Albuquerque, and one many will not soon forget. And with “Little Man” he gets even more personal, talking to his family, his son, and to himself as he takes a look in the mirror to see the world outside of the world of Sean (Slug’s birth certificate moniker).

It may have been the 2004 SXSW Rhymesayers showcase where Slug got the inspiration for “Pour Me Another,” but the title to this album says what they’ve been through over the past few years, in a very sarcastic fashion, which is very much Atmosphere. You can tell they’ve poured their heart and soul into very syllable, drum beat, guitar lick, and into all 13 tracks. This is a strong trait of the duo and of the band that accompanies them on the road, and the reason why so many fans adore them.

If you haven’t seen Atmosphere live – do it. If you don’t have their music or this album – get it, all of it. You will be a better person for it, feeling refreshed and with energy to burn, but without the nasty side affects.


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