Album Review: Atmosphere – So Many Other Realities Exist Simultaneously

4.5/5

Atmosphere have an uncanny way of connecting with listeners, akin to reading a meme that hits really close to home. There is a familiarity to Slug’s words, as it sometimes seems like he’s speaking directly to me. Some serve as a pep talk, while others get me thinking about things, bringing forth feelings of comfort and awkwardness (depending on the song).

Relatable lyrics aren’t the only strength of Atmosphere. The production of Ant is stellar. He lays down tracks that are deep and intricate. There are a lot of layers and new things to discover with each listen. Like Slug’s words, Ant makes listeners run through the gauntlet of feelings and emotions. “Thanxiety” is a minute and 38 seconds that sounds like a panic attack. Like a roller coaster, the tension is extreme, but the rush is exhilarating. “Bigger Pictures” is beautiful with its acoustic guitar, piano, and twang. He seemingly takes a heavier approach to some of the tracks. They experiment with a lot of different sounds, giving So Many Other Realities Exist Simultaneously a different feel while not straying too far from the rest of their catalog.

“Okay” is a near-perfect opener for an album. It’s a positive message that reminds listeners that there can be light at the end of tunnels. The chorus, “It’ll be okay/Even if you’re feeling like there ain’t no way/You’re still with us today,” truly makes the world feel good. It makes for a nice buffer to the more intense moments that are to follow. “Alright (Okay Reprise)” circles back to bring back the ease of warm feelings that started the album. It works well as an uplifting emotional palate cleanser.

So Many Other Realities Exist Simultaneously clocks in at over an hour. This becomes taxing to get through in one sitting, especially in a world that is impatient and constantly on the go. While the songs are all above average, it’s harder for the ones in the second half to really stand out. Despite the length and my short attention span, the album doesn’t drag and never feels boring. This is a testament to their song-crafting ability. The idea of spending an hour doing something is much tougher than actually doing it.

A quarter century in and Atmosphere are strong as ever. They pull a lot of punches and hit the listener with a lot of different themes, both musically and lyrically. Buckle up, and get ready for a sonic adventure.

Follow the band at Bandcamp or get the album at Rhymesayers.

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