When Life Gives You Lemons You Paint That Shit Gold

Rhymesayers • 2008

Alright, alright, I get it: stagnancy is the devil and repetition is at least Stalin, but can’t I still be a little irritated when at the beginning of When Life Gives You Lemons, out of a sudden minimalism is being declared? Especially after the bomb-squad-like predecessor? It starts out with a lot of piano, discreet claps and Slug close to whispering – and it almost comes as a relief when it finally kicks off after a good six minutes. Then, the next surprise: Ant has apparently listened more closely to the young and wild and has put bulky drumbreaks and Boards-of-Canada-synths under The Skinny. But it shouldn’t be the last trip into the freshly marked territory of Rustie, Hud Mo and Flying Lotus: also the album-highlight Shoulda Known shows that Ant is to be counted amongst the versed representatives of the producers’ guild, even though his El-P-imitation Can’t Break fails due to being over-ambitious. In contrast, Yesterday, Wild Wild Horses and The Waitress are typical Atmosphere-tracks: the samples so nice and Slug’s flow so relaxed that the 17-year-old small-town-girl in the front row will yet again drool all over the dude in his mid-thirties, who still isn’t embarrassed about lines like »You don’t need to know what’s wrong with me/unless you think you’re gonna come home with me«. Following up, there’s some aiming at goosebumps and some betting on campfire-cheesiness. Hence, it turns out to be a much more diffuse album than the coherent predecessor, rather an option than a commitment.