The Family Sign - Atmosphere
The Family Sign Image

Generally favorable reviews - based on 20 Critics What's this?

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Universal acclaim- based on 13 Ratings

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  • Summary: The Minnesotan hip-hop group is back with a new album released through Rhymesayers.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 13 out of 20
  2. Negative: 0 out of 20
  1. Apr 21, 2011
    There are some tracks on this record I don't appreciate much now as a college student in my early 20s, but I can guarantee as I get older and more mature, I will find this album more relatable and more enjoyable.
  2. Apr 12, 2011
    "You outgrew the sum of your parts," he raps at one point; that line describes the mature and masterful The Family Sign, as well. [May 2011, p.92]
  3. Jun 21, 2011
    The Family Sign is a strong continuation and addition to a powerful series of modern rap albums. It's bigger than past records and heavier, a nice combination that genuinely puts the listener into an emotional flux.
  4. 70
    It has already been proven that serious topics are not beyond Atmosphere's grasp, and The Family Sign takes a second or third listen to fully absorb, but this album is certifiable proof that the dark side has a melody.
  5. Apr 18, 2011
    While Sean Slug Daley's heartfelt lyrics, reflecting humorously on fatherhood, love and loss, are given full vent by producer Ant, the addition once again of keyboardist Erick Anderson and guitarist Nate Collis brings Atmosphere's trademark sound to another level.
  6. May 20, 2011
    The Family Sign could break your heart, but you'll be happy it did.
  7. Apr 7, 2011
    No longer the self-obsessed antihero, Slug continues his shift to serious storyteller, but the narratives here lack coherence and detail, while the music - ominous piano, lonely guitar - feels sketchy, like partial demos.

See all 20 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 3 out of 3
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 3
  3. Negative: 0 out of 3
  1. Apr 22, 2011
    Longtime fans may be disappointed, but that's just because they know how good Atmosphere is. With two full-time instrumentalists brought on, the production is great, and usually appropriately somber. The lyrical content has drastically changed, and I think Slug intends for Atmosphere to now be synonymous with storytelling rap. If you come in expecting that you'll be pleased. Don't expect another introspective, wordplay-filled album though, I fear those days are long gone. Expand
  2. May 2, 2011
    Pretty good record. I expect nothing less from Atmosphere at this point. It's not as awesome as some of his other records, but it's better than a few, too. Kinda depressing on the whole; nothing like "You Can't Imagine..." I'd recommend it, though--especially if you like his other stuff. Expand
  3. Dec 23, 2012
    It's a good album, yeah, but he's reached his climax. Slug knows that, so he's settling down with this album. It's a good storytelling perspective and I believe it's still a good album, but not on the levels of Overcast! or God Loves Ugly. It is of course an album to add to the collection though. Expand