On the key cut "Never Work," politically minded rapper Sole spits a real-estate report that's full of woes, and offers up the idea that "Libertarians are Anarchists that just got greedy," before flat-out admitting he has none of the answers. It's the kind of stuff Goldwater Republicans and Tea Party members will feast on, as this 2012 release certainly is A Ruthless Criticism of Everything Existing that comes at the capitalist society like a coup with no solid aftermath plan, but Sole, at the very least, knows things used to be better. The fascinating hook here is his belief that the leaders of the "new normal" chop away at society so surely and slowly that they rely on people with short memories because they are easy to deceive. Ask him why he does this, and "Animal" declares that "I don't want to live in the cold dumb dead," while "Definition of Slave" lays it on the line, spitting "Take it from me, I have died a thousand times/Came back, only to forget what it was I was fighting for/Is it sovereignty?/Is it free everything for all humanity?/Moving to the finish line only to find I have a million miles more to go" before bitching about false prophets in the liberal community and Occupy Movement, those who are interested in changing the world but more interested in selling T-shirts. Below all these modern problems are attractive and innovative beats from the likes of Man Mantis, Alias, and Busdriver, along with the return of Skyrider, who gives the synthetic stomper "Assad Is Dead" a beat somewhere between Devo and UGK. It still helps to have a Chomsky book or two on the shelves, but with an open mind, more of an open heart, and much hope for a better -- but not necessarily perfect -- tomorrow, Sole's 2012 effort is more connectable than his early work and worth a listen if alternative observations hold more attraction than easy answers.
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AllMusic Review by David Jeffries