5 Songs, 17 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

For as long as people enjoy July, Sad Clown Bad Summer will have a home. Atmosphere’s 2007 five-song release is one of the rare EPs that functions as a complete album despite its abbreviated length. In tribute to the titular season, Slug and Ant embrace the prototypical themes of summertime rap music — warm beats based on vintage disco, combined with nostalgic memories of good times — but as with all of Atmosphere’s music, there is a subtext to the music. Of course, these work as bright, beautiful cruising songs, perfect for the dog days of summer, but listen closely and you’ll hear Slug rhyming about hangovers (“Sunshine”), the fear and nervousness of a first crush (“The Number One”), and the illicit thrill of a joyride (“Don’t Forget”). The songs offer something deeper than warm weather tunes — you get a true taste of memory, sadness and regret and odors included. Without relying on simple sentimentality, Sad Clown Bad Summer Number 9 offers a sense of what lies beneath the summertime experience.

EDITORS’ NOTES

For as long as people enjoy July, Sad Clown Bad Summer will have a home. Atmosphere’s 2007 five-song release is one of the rare EPs that functions as a complete album despite its abbreviated length. In tribute to the titular season, Slug and Ant embrace the prototypical themes of summertime rap music — warm beats based on vintage disco, combined with nostalgic memories of good times — but as with all of Atmosphere’s music, there is a subtext to the music. Of course, these work as bright, beautiful cruising songs, perfect for the dog days of summer, but listen closely and you’ll hear Slug rhyming about hangovers (“Sunshine”), the fear and nervousness of a first crush (“The Number One”), and the illicit thrill of a joyride (“Don’t Forget”). The songs offer something deeper than warm weather tunes — you get a true taste of memory, sadness and regret and odors included. Without relying on simple sentimentality, Sad Clown Bad Summer Number 9 offers a sense of what lies beneath the summertime experience.

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