I'm not trying to kick that same dead horse: "mainstream hype is their downfall" or "hipster kids are killing Atmosphere!!!1!" or blah blah blah. On the contrary, I enjoyed WLGYLYPTSG quite a bit. Showcased the duo's diversity while attempting something new and different. But I digress...
Fuck. Where was I?... Ah, back to the charts. Good songs, but not a good representation of the span of quality that Atmosphere has been pumping for more than a decade. My concern is this: these new listeners have not experienced the full potential that Atmosphere has to offer. Classics are being overlooked or ignored. That, ladies and gentlemen, is blasphemy!
I'd like to share some tracks that are underrated (where's the love?), under-appreciated, or utterly unknown by those joining the bandwagon late. (When I say they are underrated, I don't mean "they should be realistically be around 200 on the charts, not 220"; I actually think most or all of these 10 drops would be on the list of my top 20, period).
So, without further buildup, I present to you the dirrty 10:
Track: Get Depressed
Album: Sad Clown Bad Dub 6
Last.fm Chart Position*: 291
The positioning here might be due to the sheer rarity of some of these EPs, regardless this deserves more credit.
Track: The River
Album: Sad Clown Bad Dub II
Last.fm Chart Position*: 182
Such a personal song for Slug. There's an incredible live version on SCBD3 where Slug actually breaks down midway and can barely finish by the end. For our purposes, I lumped all versions into one. It's realistically some of Atmosphere's best work, yet clocks in way under the radar. No longer done at live shows, this song is retired...
Track: Body Pillow
Album: Sad Clown Bad Dub II
Last.fm Chart Position*: 171
Combination of the piano riff, the bass line, and the lyrics make for a great song. "Never knew punk rock could be so pretty".
Track: God's Bathroom Floor
Album: Sad Clown Bad Dub 7
Last.fm Chart Position*: 101
The backing track sets an atmosphere (no pun intended) so mellow and smooth... it's like a song you'd here on call-waiting or in a really badass elevator. "And check the floor God's got nice tiles".
Track: The Abusing of the Rib
Album: Headshots: Se7en (from Headshots tapes)
Last.fm Chart Position*: 99
A very hypnotic piano riff that aligns itself with the theme of the song as it crawls along, like the train of addiction. Most listeners are quick to just say "heroin" when thinking about what it means... but it's so much more than that. I've got my theories on it's meaning, but if you give it a listen you can find so many hidden nuances in the lyrics - heroin addiction, sex, hip-hop as a whole - all so general, yet all so powerful.
Album: Overcast! (with Slug and Spawn)
Last.fm Chart Position*: 92
Track: If I Was Santa Claus
Album: Lucy Ford (from The Lucy EP)
Last.fm Chart Position*: 60
Matter o' fact, the entire Lucy Ford release is underrated! Let's go!
Track: The Woman with the Tattooed Hands
Album: Lucy Ford (from Ford 2 EP)
Last.fm Chart Position*: 50
Pretty widely recognized as one of Atmosphere's best. Yet, at #50, somehow not living up to this designation.
Track: Little Man
Album: You Can't Imagine How Much Fun We're Having
Last.fm Chart Position*: 47
One verse begins "Dear Sean," and what follows is some of the most revealing, unabashed, self-deprecating lines ever rhymed. "The only women that love you are fans and family / Mom has no choice, but fans leave you randomly". One of the best from their more recent work.
*Charts as of 1/6/2010, ordered from lowest on charts to highest
If you have an hour sometime, turn off the lights, lie down, close your eyes, and take these songs in... Old fan or new, you won't regret it. PEACE!