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The Orion

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Chico State's independent student newspaper

The Orion

Review: The Underachievers’ new album shows lyrical progress


The Underachievers‘ sophomore album, “Evermore: The Art of Duality,” shows that the group has matured. Compared to their previous album, “Cellar Door: Terminus ut Exordium,” the captivating storytelling, underlying philosophy and developed concepts are more present than ever.

The first change that’s immediately different from previous Underachievers’ releases is the inclusion of reoccurring lyrical themes that touch on their past philosophical identities. These themes are then applied to specific moments in their lives growing up, resulting in a very high-concept, yet relatable package.

Stories are more direct and clearer in meaning. The lyrics represent the inevitably good and bad things in life and how they’re both necessary for learning and moving forward.

“Evermore: The Art of Duality” also focuses in large part on the philosophical theory of existentialism, which is essentially the focus of the individual on their choices and how their actions determine their own creations and developments.

The lyrics in “Chasing Faith” read, “Which path you gon’ choose / Both got they perks, but one is for the few / Other is bright and gold and shining too / Either one you pick, you win or you lose / One is for the dark and one is for truth / One will keep the voices, one is on mute.”

In “Cellar Door: Terminus ut Exordium,” the philosophical concepts are there but they aren’t as directly linked to themes of the songs. They seem to have been written in a more free-form construction.

For example, in “Chrysalis,” the lyrics read, “May the oath stay true, with the Buddha right beside me / Ignited poet I got it inside of my soul shinin’ / Came up from the gutter, the timer was synchronized / With the human evolution, we messengers of our time / They intrudin’ our medulla with foolish illusive lies In this revolution of weapons, we using minds.”

The “Chasing Faith” verse is about the proverbial fork in the road between a right choice and a wrong one. Each line describes two choices with more specifics as they move along. “Chrysalis”, however, is vague and purposefully obscure.

This album is also special compared to the previous one because of its concept. It’s divided into two sections: Phase 1 and Phase 2. Phase 1 is softer and more melodic with jazz influences.

Phase 2 is heavier and more sinister. It embraces power and solutions to ultimatums lyrically.

The new album has definitely shown how The Underachievers have grown with their lyrical content and they’ve done so in a very intuitive, methodical way.

“Evermore: The Art of Duality” is their strongest album to date and their level of maturity reassures one that there is still high quality hip-hop out there if you look for it.

Tom Sundgren can be reached at [email protected] or @tom_sundgren on Twitter.

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