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P.O.S. - Never Better (Cover Artwork)

P.O.S.

P.O.S.: Never BetterNever Better (2009)
Rhymesayers

Reviewer Rating: 4
User Rating:


Contributed by: AubinAubin
(others by this writer | submit your own)

Indie hip-hop has emerged as a force as powerful and influential as any other subgenre of independent music in the past few years, with labels like Epitaph/Anti-, Ipecac, Definitive Jux and Rhymesayers embracing the genre and giving it the kind of independent credibility that it deserves. Musicians.
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Indie hip-hop has emerged as a force as powerful and influential as any other subgenre of independent music in the past few years, with labels like Epitaph/Anti-, Ipecac, Definitive Jux and Rhymesayers embracing the genre and giving it the kind of independent credibility that it deserves. Musicians like Dälek, Atmosphere, El-P and P.O.S. are definitely among the most interesting musicians working in independent hip-hop right now, and are those most able to bring the oft-maligned genre to non-hip hop fans.

Like El-P's I'll Sleep When You're Dead, P.O.S.'s Never Better stands to represent the absolute best of the genre; embracing rock and punk rock but remaining far, far away from the tacky hip-hop/rock crossovers of the `90s, Never Better has more of a spiritual connection to punk rock than an obvious musical one. You'll find songs like "The Basics" and "Drumroll" using drum'n'bass, but providing more of the driving urgency of punk and hardcore without ever really sounding like it. P.O.S.'s Stefon Alexander is certainly aware of this connection, peppering the lyrics with references to hardcore and even chanting "This one's ours let's take another" from Fugazi's "Five Corporations" and featuring guests like Kid Dynamite's Jason Shevchuk.

Part of the appeal of the album is how decidedly different it sounds from other hip-hop and how distinctive the musical voice of Stefon Alexander has become since 2006's Audition. The album is relentless, with even slower songs like "Purexed" letting up only briefly before layering rolling drums over a memorable and melodic bassline. Samples are tasteful and diverse, with even guitar licks processed and sprinkled judiciously for effect, but not to provide a backing track.

Without a doubt, P.O.S.'s Never Better is one of the first highlights of 2009 and will definitely end up on many lists when the year is wrapped up.

 

 
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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
johnnyawesome (March 3, 2010)

dude's got style, can't be denied.

gotsmuch (February 28, 2009)

I lstened to Limp Bizkit "Significant Other" and then the new P.O.S. and the drop off in talent/beats was staggering

overdefined (February 24, 2009)

"Kid Dynamite's Jason Shevchuk? I love KD as much as the next guy but he's had 2 and a half bands since then. It's like saying Slapstick's Brendan Kelly."

Actually, it's not like that at all. That's a bad analogy and you're wrong.

DreeeamWeaver (February 23, 2009)

speaking of great punk-influenced rap records that people on the org just can't get enough of, where's the Crazytown review?

slowstupidhungry (February 23, 2009)

"I lstened to Jay-Z "Reasonable Doubt" and then the new P.O.S. and the drop off in talent/beats was staggering"

You're comparing one of the flagship albums of hip hop to the new P.O.S. record. Come on.

SporadicPunk (February 23, 2009)

I love this damn record.

SydBarrett420 (February 23, 2009)

I lstened to Jay-Z "Reasonable Doubt" and then the new P.O.S. and the drop off in talent/beats was staggering

damnitsderek (February 22, 2009)

I meant to copy the MC Lars bit, but my general response remains the same.

damnitsderek (February 22, 2009)

score is for the taste in rap amongst what appears to be a majority of the org

Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahah ahahahaha

blanktapesemptybottles (February 22, 2009)

my one complaint is some of the beats are two minimal otherwise, solid gold.

gotsmuch (February 21, 2009)

this record kicks ass.

droptheneedle (February 21, 2009)

this album's a real pos, lol

dante3000 (February 21, 2009)

cheesetits: immortal technique sucks ass. now mc paul barman? that's the real shit.
LOL best joke account since Eazy2D
-Dante

R3vengeTherapy (February 21, 2009)

laughable. you guys probably think that mc lars is a good rapper. this cd is a joke.

Cool man. I love the attitudes people get when they think they're above everyone else. You get a gold star.

This review doesn't say much at all, which is a stark contrast to this album because it says a hell of a lot. Love this record, it's so good. I can't get into much hip hop at all but this bridges the gap nicely between punk and hip hop. I've tried listening to El-P and Lyrics Born and artists that P.O.S. gets compared to...I just can't find anything else that I like. Frustrating.

But yeah, this record is fantastic.

DreeeamWeaver (February 21, 2009)

cheesetits: immortal technique sucks ass. now mc paul barman? that's the real shit.

skolarx (February 21, 2009)

i love that there was a Mitch Hedburg reference in the first song that took me 2 days to figure out what it was from

cheesetits (February 21, 2009)

I love the punk kids who dabble in hip hop, and when it's an artist they dislike, they project their holier than thou attitude into "you punk kids don't know know what real hip hop is, I know, I'm street raised, I know what's really real" and then list obscure shit or just Immortal Technique. Fuck off.

genebuonaccorsi (February 21, 2009)

fuck this shit, shoulda posted my review
considering that i actually listened to the cd

14theroad (February 21, 2009)

Kid Dynamite's Jason Shevchuk? I love KD as much as the next guy but he's had 2 and a half bands since then. It's like saying Slapstick's Brendan Kelly.

With that said, I'm going to have to check this album out further. I heard some of it in my friend's car the other day and liked it. Audition is great hip-hop record, so I have high hopes for this one.

DreeeamWeaver (February 21, 2009)

score is for the taste in rap amongst what appears to be a majority of the org

DreeeamWeaver (February 21, 2009)

laughable. you guys probably think that mc lars is a good rapper. this cd is a joke.

shrapnel (February 21, 2009)

I second that derek
DOOMTREE!

damnitsderek (February 21, 2009)

This album is fucking excellent. By far one of the best of 2009 so far. I swear, everyone affiliated with Doomtree can't produce anything bad.

cokeslurpees (February 21, 2009)

One of my favorites so far. Great year for music.

maverick (February 21, 2009)

This album's just a beast. Really, it's one hell of a disc. "Drumroll," "Savion Glover," "Low Light Low Life" and "Terrorish" are all mega-jams. ("Terrorish" features Jason Shevchuk, FYI -- it's a pretty sick guest spot, I think.)

The packaging is out of this world, too.

-Scott

royalblewitup (February 21, 2009)

Fuck Yes.

brett-nola (February 21, 2009)

Doomtree, time to let it be known
From the bottom of the bottom to the top of the throne,
I hear oooo's and aaaah's when I jump out my garage,
People treat me like I'm dying from a cause, cuz I believe in God
And Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny...

Scarysmurf (February 21, 2009)

Score is for the songs on the album.

CCSummers (February 20, 2009)

Pretty good shit. I have to say though, a great great deal of that has to do with the beats, not the rapping. But both are solid.

jamespastepunk (February 20, 2009)

I don't listen to hiphop normally, it's not been my thing, and I've enjoyed a couple of Sage Francis' darker tracks off of Human, the Death Dance, but every fucking song on the disc operates at an intensity that makes puts a huge smile on my face.

When Aubin talks, I listen.

IanIsSuperRad (February 20, 2009)

This is a shoe-in for my top ten, hell probably my top 5 of 2009. Incredible work.

mikexdude (February 20, 2009)

God has spoken.

drewxfishy (February 20, 2009)

dig more than atmosphere's when life gives you lemons...

thewayitshouldbe (February 20, 2009)

2nd best album out so far. Scrambles def takes #1.

d_bag (February 20, 2009)

it just sucks that all the songs are not nearly as captivating as the standouts like "Drumroll" and "The Basics." seems obvious that he should stick to really high energy stuff. and the female verse in "Low Light, Low Life" (which has a very nice beat) has a really annoying cheesed out vibrato thing going on that kinda mars the whole verse.

ffwoodycock (February 20, 2009)

Would be my favorite rap album of the year.
Except Gutter Tactics came out and took that spot easily.

Dante3000 (February 20, 2009)

Little short for my taste but I feel a review by Aubin caries a bit of weight, even if it's short.
Easily one of my favorite albums of the last two years. I enjoyed "The Audition" but didn't expect so much out of this album. It's the best work he's done and blows away most other rappers in this sub-genre.
P.O.S. can go from simple striped down beats and killer flows to full bombastic music and epic hooks in one track and make it all seamless. It's an all around amazing record.
-Dante

cheesetits (February 20, 2009)

Great cd, easily the best so far this year.

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