P.O.S – We Don’t Even Live Here
If you read through this review and it starts to sound biased that’s because it is. Biased in the sense that P.O.S is one of my favorite emcees and, in my opinion, he can do no wrong. With that being said, the Doomtree co-founder’s latest album, We Don’t Even Live Here, is a new ride down a familiar road that’s probably cruising into many people’s AOTY list. And by cruising I mean driving a flaming oil tanker into the Federal Reserve with stereos on blast and no regard for Pacifists – cruising.
We Don’t Even Live Here is a slight shift musically for P.O.S. The Punk/Hardcore influence takes a backseat to more Electro and Dance inspired beats. But don’t let that scare you. Pissed Off Stef is just as pissed and he’s just as serious as usual. Some of the beats on songs like “Get Down”, or “Weird Friends (We Don’t Even Live Here)” are lighthearted but have just as much weight as earlier output. And the loud, heavy, angry stuff is still there. Tracks like “Fire In The Hole/Arrow To The Action” and “Piano Hits” have Stef screaming his lungs out over beats that are gnarlier than most Hardcore acts these days. The different styles, the club-esque production and the anger-drenched loud stuff, balance well. Although the album sonically sways and shifts, ebbs and flows through different musical territories the energy is ALWAYS there. Whether the beat is by P.O.S himself, Lazerbeak, Cecil Otter, or Andrew Dawson the passion and intensity remain constant.
The lyrical content also enters slightly different territory. Or maybe it’s not so much different territory as much as it is how prevalent the themes and ideas are. On previous albums Mr. Promise Of Stress keeps the lyrics personal, introspective, and abstract with a hint of social critique. Flip flop that last sentence and you have WDELH. The personal stuff is there, but the social/political views and ideas make up a bulk of the subject matter. Anarchy and anti-materialism, the overhyped election of Obama, and the Occupy movement are just a few of the topics covered. P.O.S attacks fake rappers, fake politicians, and whoever else stands in his way, all the while dropping some of his best lyrics to date. Some rappers who address Social and Political views lose the average listener, but P.O.S talks TO you not AT you constructing his ideas clearly and creatively. He spits with aggression and intelligence but doesn’t go over heads.
After all is said and done, once the smoke clears, the fires are put out, and the last of the anarchists leave the party, this is my Album Of The Year. Is it my favorite P.O.S album to date? No. Not yet. Never Better will be a hard one to beat in my book, but I’ve had years to grow with it. Maybe after a bit of time this newest one will grow to take that number 1 spot. But WDELH is an incredible album. From the upbeat and fun Electro/Dance beats to the razor sharp, witty delivery of brick through your window lyricism, P.O.S improves and expands on his musical arsenal.
This album should not be missed by any self-respecting Hip Hop fan. Like Stef says on “The Can’t Come”, “They sleep on us/ Don’t wake ‘em up/ We’re sneaking out/”. You snooze you lose.
- Always impressive, but easy to digest lyrics
- Production from different artists/backgrounds without losing album unity
- Danceable but serious, fun but intelligent
- 11 songs (13 on the Deluxe) leaves you wanting more – but is that really a negative?
Thanks for your time. You can find this album on iTunes, fifthelementonline.com, or doomtree.net.