P.O.S. – Never Better

4 out of 5

Label: Rhymesayers

Producer: Various P.O.S. people

I dug P.O.S. previous album, Audition, quite a bit, but I have to admit that there was something about the constant “I’m punk rock” call-outs on it that gave it an amateur feel, a need to prove something.  This didn’t discount some of the awesome beats and tracks on there, and some of the slap-yer-forehead smart rhymes P.O.S. comes up with, but it still wasn’t quite a breakout album.  The first track on “Never Better” feels like a more back to basics hip-hop, and clears the palate, with P.O.S. muttering an apology for “being gone so long” before the beat kicks in and he just starts rhyming with less swagger, more confidence.  Such that when the rock comes back for “Drumroll” and he whips out some wicked fast lyrics and some gang-vocal hooks that just make you want to get up and yell along with him, you buy into the aggression, you believe in the fuck-off statement he’s going for, even if you were in a good mood when this thing started playing.

Alas, he ends up dipping into some sentimentality again when “Purexed” rolls around (some of this sappiness was on “Audition” as well, showing his ‘sensitive’ side, and it just felt like – SORRY P.O.S. – the jock showing he knows how to cry), and then falls back on his sorta de facto “it makes me angry” political rants, and the momentum gets ruined a bit.  Almost all of the beats are strong, but because these above-mentioned tracks sorta trouble the emotional flow of things, you find yourself sometimes just wanting to skip to the next song, which may be your favorite, and that keeps it from being a perfect album.

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