It’s not going to be easy to write a review on this album. You see, Atmosphere are my favourite group and have been for many years, so the worry of bias is hanging over me. Yet when I press play on the record and hear the first twinkles of glockenspiel opening what has been my most hyped album ever, I know it’s not the bias talking, but simple fact.
Atmosphere have never catered to what’s fashionable or what’s likely to sell them more records and this trend continues on Lemons, with typically brilliant story telling from wordsmith Slug and that snappy snare drum that we’ve come to know and love from beatmaster Ant. However, the Minnesotan duo have changed it up on their sixth album.
Tracks like You give the group a poppier dynamic, the inclusion of a sung chorus, something which happens a few times on the album, bringing a dimension to the listener that has never before been released. The album is much more stripped down than usual, they’re trying different things, the fuzz and bass of Shoulda Known and Can’t Break, the beatless Guarantees and the haunting backing vocals on Me.
Don’t fret though, this is still undeniably an Atmosphere album, the bass line on Waitress reminiscent of Pour Me Another and Dreamer showing they can still rock a happy but punchy vibe. To finish off the album with their unique and beautiful happy/sad In Her Music Box [which you can hear by clicking the player] is a fitting end to what is without a doubt the album of the year.
When life gave Atmosphere lemons, they painted it gold both sonically and lyrically. Untouchable.