Atmosphere – Sad Clown Bad Spring #12

4 out of 5

Label: Rhymesayers

Produced by: Atmosphere

The seasonal Sad Clown EP have been a great home for some amazing singles, as well as some casual experimentation, both of which might not’ve fit exactly right on a full album. Sad Clown Bad Spring is one of the most consistent and strong of that set, if still suffering from some of the slightness of the format – Good Daddy is a good narrative of the duality of family and street life, but it’s pretty much just a single verse, exiting after its hit its punch line and cheapening it a little bit as a result; Happymess is a cheesy love song that probably could’ve used that brevity, instead, repeating its chorus too many times to make it past 3.5 minutes.

Elsewhere, though, Slug demonstrates peaks of one of his styles: observational tales, feeling relevant and emotive even 10+ years after the fact. And carrying all of this is some of Ant’s best work, swishing his soul samples with more aggressive beat work and some really fantastic group vocals / vocal layering that I don’t feel like Atmosphere often employed.