The characters given life by MC Slug on Atmosphere's new album have unenviable situations, but they're not all painting that shit gold (whatever that means). Vagrants, single parents and dope-addled fiends, they all work, fuck and wallow in their misery, giving the emotional indie rapper a chance to traffic in someone else's self-righteousness and self-loathing for a change. That said, the album feels just as personal as Atmosphere's previous works, while showcasing a bit of artistic evolution. Producer Ant chops up the bass, guitar and synth parts recorded under his direction, resulting in Gold feeling more groundbreaking than the boilerplate, sample-driven indie-rap albums Atmosphere has threatened to retire on. Though pockmarked by clichés and listless tracks like "Guarantees" and "Like the Rest of Us," Gold nonetheless hints at good things to come for Slug and Ant — provided they continue in this style.