Saturday, December 22, 2012

We Don't Even Live Here

by P.O.S.

I've been a fan of POS for years - since I first heard him on Audition, his second album, and I am constantly impressed with the way he refines and refocuses his vision and his approach to each new project.

We Don't Even Live Here, his fourth solo album, is a very tight shot across the bow of the zeitgeist.  This is a post-Occupy album, which has Stef stating plainly his position on 'stuff', and the materialism and greed of North American culture.

At first, it seems that Stef is good and pissed off throughout the album, but I don't think that's really true.  I find it clear that he doesn't like where things are going, and he's refusing to accept it, but I don't hear a lot of anger in his tone - it's more like frustration.

Stef uses this album to call a lot of groups out.  'Bumper' the fantastic opening track, contains a screed against clueless rappers who continue to support the money-making aspects of music to the detriment of using their voice to spread a message.  'F*** Your Stuff' could be a post-Occupy anthem, as he proudly proclaims his freedom from materialism.  The beautiful 'How We Land', featuring Justin Vernon of Bon Iver, mourns the ease with which people accept things they don't like as inevitable.

Other tracks continue these themes of self-reliance and change from below.  There are tracks with titles like 'Lock-Picks, Knives, Bricks and Bats', 'Fire in the Hole/Arrow to the Action', and 'Wanted/Wasted', which all neatly sum up Stef's position.

POS continues to be a stunningly talented lyricist, and he is joined on this album by Doomtree crewmates Sims and Mike Mictlan, as well as his Marijuana Deathsquads bandmate Isaac Gale, and rapper Astronautalis.  Production wise, this album is fuzzier than his last, with beats by Stef and his usual Doomtree collaborators Lazerbeak and Cecil Otter, but also by new collaborators Andrew Dawson, Patric Russel, Ryan Olson, Housemeister, and Boys Noize.

This is easily one of my favourite albums of the year.  It's hard not to listen to it and think about Stef's current medical predicament.  If you are interested in supporting one of the truest voices in hip-hop, and an all-round great person, head over here to do you part, or learn more.

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