Murs and Atmosphere’s Slug have released their fourth Felt album, Felt 4 U, following an 11 year hiatus. The duo preceded the album’s release with “Name In Ya Mouth,” a standalone track. Ant of Atmosphere helped to produce the album.
Felt 4 U comes as the first Felt album not to have been dedicated to a celebrity, instead the album is dedicated to the fans. Blimes, The Grouch, Aesop Rock and Shepard Albertson all have appearances on the new album, a first for the rap duo.
“Name in Ya Mouth” helps to set the tone for Felt 4 U, Murs and Slug returning with their smart verses and swelling beats. “Somebody say that money is the root of all evil/ I guess it is/ That’s why I came to the party dressed like an exorcist,” the track begins. “I’m not perfect but I’ve got purpose,” is flown over the heavy synths which take listeners back to the roots of rap.
The album incorporates funk, soul, blues and country. The album takes on a summer feel, allowing each of Felt’s albums to take on one of the four seasons. Felt 4 U comes as the followup to 2009’s Felt 3: A Tribute to Rosie Perez. Previous Felt albums had been produced by The Grouch, Ant and Aesop Rock, with all three contributing to Felt 4 U in some way. Ant’s production creates a deeper layer within each track, perfectly encapsulating each song’s tone.
“Never’s Enough” introduces the album as Mars and Slug rap about how their lives have improved since their last album. Both started families over the past ten years, and explore themes related to their changing lives throughout the course of the album.
“Find My Way” takes a deeper tone from the opening track, mixing in soul as Murs and Slug explore difficult themes in searching for themselves and paying the price for all they have achieved. Ant’s production stands out as lyrics discuss driving away with their wives.
“Don’t Do Me Like That” comes back to the higher tones, lyrics portraying familial struggles and struggling with trust in a relationship. Both rap about arguments with their wives, highlighting the difficulties found in starting families.
“Trees” swings around as Murs and Slug reminisce on their childhoods, talking about how they have matured since them. They pull on violence in their lyrics and sing about smoking weed, parts of the production brining in slight psychedelic synths as record scratches highlight the end of the track.
“Through The Night” falls into a funky tune as it takes on a slow tone, Mars and Slug turning to romance. The instrumental matches the romantic undertones of the track, creating a transcending tone.
“Freeze Tag” pulls on blues in its beginning before the beat picks up. “I wasn’t born I was hatched on the moon,” Slug sings. Murs and Slug switch off on the lyric “Stop, hold it, freeze,” each flinging themselves into their verse. Ant’s production takes on a disco inspiration, pushing listeners to get up and dance.
“Sticks & Stones” brings in a smooth and heavenly tone as Murs raps about violence as a child. “Everybody with a heartbeat got beef,” Murs says as he speaks about having to protect himself as he was growing up. Slug comes in to talk about watching cartoons and football as he was a kid, the two giving a stark contrast on the way each grew up. He then discusses the amount of money currently poured into the military, questioning why.
“Underwater” lends an underwater bass feel, the track bringing back disco. Blimes’ feature flows and swirls as the track bubbles, Mars coming in to rap about wanting to be with a girl. “Just know if we ever split/ I am not mad.” The track marks the first love song on the album, Slug reminiscing on his relationship prior to having kids. “I love this house that we’ve built together,” he says.
“Alexander F’real” creates a harder sound, the booming beat bouncing underneath Slug’s raps. Murs and Slug speak of Chicago, rapping about running away. They both switch off seamlessly, sounding almost as if they have the same thoughts.
“Hologram” introduces The Grouch and Aesop Rock, all four artists switching off over a heavy beat and electric strums. They switch into a darker tone as each raps about how they don’t care about fame or those who come to try and grab their attention.
“Crimson Skies” slows the track down as they both rap about “paying full price for shit I didn’t really ask for.” They take on a melancholy tone, the track featuring Shepard Albertson. “Watching this apocalypse in real time/ It’s not at all how I thought it would be,” the lyrics state. The track could take many different meanings in reference to the current state of the world, from loss and personal struggle to the ongoing world events which have thrown much of the country into chaos.
“Borboleta” ends the album with strums of a piano and a positive summer feel. They take on sweet tones as the track ends with Murs and Slug’s children chanting, “my family, my family.” Their lyrics speak on their children, wanting to raise them in the best way possible and watch them grow up and make the world their own.
Felt 4 U tracklist:
1. “Never’s Enough”
2. “Find My Way”
3. “Don’t Do Me Like That”
5. “Through The Night”
6. “Freeze Tag”
7. “Sticks & Stones”
8. “Underwater” (feat. Blimes)
9. “Alexander F’real”
10. “Hologram” (feat. The Grouch & Aesop Rock)
11. “Crimson Skies” (feat. Shepard Albertson)