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The New Old Friend

By Emmanuel


I bought the new Atmosphere cd today, “When Life Gives You Lemons You Paint That Shit Gold.” It was my first and only musical purchase of the year. I’ve been apprehensive, because there is not a whole lot of luxury I can afford these days, but I heard the album in full on a long backseat trip to Northfield at 2 in the morning. I also happened to have been awake for three straight days on said trip, so I was busy being glassy eyed, listening intently and ignoring the front seat conversations. Just me and disgarded fast food wrappers and old rapper friends.

It seems to me that Atmosphere is one of those hometown bands where they were so in that they became out. It became everyone’s favorite game to hate everyone’s favorite semi-underground rapper. Now it seems that it’s all come full circle. The people like me who were so enthralled with Overcast! and Headshots Se7en when it came out and were the perpetrators of hate from that point on were really just getting our feelings hurt, because you feel like your love is cheapened when it’s on everyone’s lips. So we came up with all sorts of validations for our hate by attributing personal and artistic growth as “falling off.” We were sick that there were no more back to back free association metaphors and battle raps.

Now it seems this generation has passed on the hate to a new generation. But we’ve all turned around, and started loving again. Now everyone has jobs, trying to kick cigarettes, dealing with interpersonal turmoil for the hundreth time, and settling down from crackling snares into the heartfelt delivery of singing. It’s much easier for me to relate to hitting the slopes and the turmoil of growing into adulthood, about the addictive nature of everything that’s bad for you, about paying rent and losing friends and losing family.

So why this seemingly random musing? Well, this was what came into my head in the back of that car past those dark corn fields. So in a way this is my album review. For anyone who wants to look beyond the popularity contest and sit down and sift through boxes of old papers and read old letters from friends, old notebooks doodled on in class, and remember what “Deer Wolf” sounds like in a snow storm, this album is the grown up version. And it’s very appreciated. I recommend it highly.

Oh, and holy shit, Tunde Adebimpe from TV on the Radio on Glasshouse? Jesus. That reminds me I Netflixed “Jump Tomorrow” just to see if he was a good actor, and it turned out to be very funny.

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