Half comedy, half tragedy, Atmosphere's Lucy Ford suggests what Eminem's Marshall Mathers LP might have sounded like had Eminem worked through his homophobia, violence, and misogyny in therapy, read more books, and stuck around a Midwest college town for way too long. Combining the Technicolor surrealism of Blood Of Abraham with the sarcasm of Foreign Legion, Lucy Ford covers subject matter generally associated with whiny college rock: the coffee-fueled, nicotine-stained life of a rootless white neurotic. "Between The Lines" eases listeners into the disconcerting world of Atmosphere rapper Slug, chronicling the anguish of three outcastsan overworked cop, a high-school misfit waiting to explode, and a frustrated indie rapperwith compassion and empathy. The next track, "Like Today," covers a typically aimless day in the life of everyslacker Slug, as the Caucasian MC starts off his day with a little morning masturbation, bums around the record store and park, and dreams about hooking up with a woman at the local coffee shop. A 'zine-like intimacy permeates the rest of the album, whether Slug is pouring out his heart to a girl from the suburbs ("Don't Ever Fucking Question That"), coming to terms with his peers ("Party For The Right To Fight"), or waxing surreal about a middle-aged lesbian ("The Woman With The Tattooed Hands"). "Nothing But Sunshine" ends Lucy Ford on a downbeat, confessional note, as Atmosphere's hip-hop Holden Caulfield relates a traumatic Gen-X childhood wracked with parental suicide, nuclear anxiety, and the oppressive emptiness of the Upper Midwest, before finding solace in the slaughter of cattle. The beer-soaked ennui of the hip-hop depressive hasn't been captured this evocatively since before Basehead found Jesus, but hopefully these hip-hop iconoclasts will neither burn out nor fade away.