Album Review
P.O.S. - Never Better Album Cover

P.O.S. - Never Better

Reviewed by
P.O.S. - Never Better
Record Label: Rhymesayers Entertainment / Doomtree
Release Date: February 3, 2009
“Sorry I took so long” are the first words you hear from Stefon Alexander, more commonly known as hip-hop anomaly P.O.S., on his latest album Never Better. Well, while it’s been three years since his fourth album Audition, it’s immediately clear that it was well worth the wait. “Let It Rattle” kicks the album off in a straightforward way, but P.O.S.’ rhymes are incredibly fluent over such a simple beat. In fact, the whole album is fashioned in a similar manner. No where is it overdone, but every word, every beat finds a way to strike you as the listener.

If you don’t already know, P.O.S. is not your typical rapper. In fact, he’d probably be more comfortable at a punk rock show circa 1989 than on the same bill as the Kanye’s and Wayne’s of the mainstream hip hop scene. His raps – no, lyrics – are best described as thought-provoking, heavy, and sometimes even almost splendid. Lines like: “And we all save face in the face of our friends, and we all bend backwards to make amends, and we all take chances that change us” (from “Goodbye”) set the tone of the album: undeniable optimism in the face of fear.

The truth is I can’t find a song on Never Better that I don’t like. There are standouts, including “Goodbye,” “Optimist,” and the all too brief “Savion Glover,” but there aren’t any songs that I would, or have, skipped when listening front-to-back. This is the first album to be released so far this year that I’m still listening to very regularly.

The further I find myself into Never Better, the better it gets. Even now as I sit here and attempt to write this review, I’d rather just listen to it. The production is flawless, thanks to both P.O.S. and fellow Doomtree member Lazerbeak. Paper Tiger is worth noting as well for his production on “Low Light Low Life,” which features Doomtree collective members Sims, Cecil Otter, and Dessa, and is probably my personal favorite song on Never Better.

The strongest aspect of P.O.S.’ music however is in his words. The content and the delivery, he’s more a modern troubadour than a rapper. Many hip hop artists today utilize vulgarity to an unprecedented extent, which there is nothing wrong with, when it’s in ‘good’ taste. But as I listen to my copy of Never Better, I still don’t know if I have the uncensored or clean version. P.O.S.’ vocabulary is unbelievable, but he could get along with your grandmother while just as well maintaining the same abrasiveness exhibited on his albums.

However, if you’re looking for the next big thing, the next rapper to take number one on TRL or whatever garbage MTV is running nowadays, P.O.S. is not your man. Never Better It’s something different that has to be appreciated for just that. Don’t expect to see it on any “Best Rap Albums of 2009” lists, but is it too early to say one of the “Best Albums of 2009?” No, and as of right now, it’s certainly on my list. This is not standard hip-hop.

Recommended If You LikeDoomtree; Atmosphere; Brother Ali; non mainstream hip-hop

This review is a user submitted review from -ben. You can see all of -ben's submitted reviews here.
Displaying posts 1 - 11 of 11
01:38 AM on 03/31/09
Metal Now
Talking about the second and third
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Metal Now's Avatar
Love this album, nice review.
03:35 AM on 03/31/09
You've never seen it look so easy.
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TachyonEvan's Avatar
Rating is too low.
06:46 AM on 03/31/09
You Will Always Have My Attention
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cscwell107's Avatar
This album is amazing.
08:42 AM on 03/31/09
Regular Member
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zombie!pirate!'s Avatar
I don't think so. Very un-biasd review, and realistic, While the album was really good, it isn't as PERFECT as people are making it out to be.

great review
09:39 AM on 03/31/09
Let's Go Pens! And Yanks!
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lenard27's Avatar
Absolutely love this album. Very nice review of it.
07:33 PM on 03/31/09
Registered User
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MNlukeMN's Avatar
hmm, personally i would have given the musicianship much higher than 7.25... especially for a hip-hop album. right up there with "life gives you lemons" musicianship, although they are very different styles.
09:06 AM on 04/01/09
Finally here.
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-ben's Avatar
hmm, personally i would have given the musicianship much higher than 7.25... especially for a hip-hop album. right up there with "life gives you lemons" musicianship, although they are very different styles.

I would've liked to, but I really can't plead it's case for anything higher. There's nothing like, incredibly different. It's still unique; for instance, I'd give Tha Carter III (or just about any other hip hop album) a five tops on musicianship. The beats are impressive, but there's not much more there.
09:08 AM on 04/01/09
Finally here.
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-ben's Avatar
btw, I have my own blogspot that I post all my reviews (album and concert) at: http://attheendofallthings.blogspot.com/
02:10 PM on 04/03/09
Registered User
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No Avatar Selected
great cd. doomtree rules
02:16 PM on 04/04/09
Don't give me no hand me down love.
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Klatzke's Avatar
Overrated album. Huge disappointment in my eyes.

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