This album is Lif’s 3rd full-length solo album, following up the stellar one-two punch of I, Phantom and Mo’ Mega. This album marks a departure of sorts, in that it is the first not released on Definitive Jux and it doesn’t feature any production from El-P. This doesn’t necessarily mean anything bad or good, just different. As I listened to this album a few times, I think I finally figured out why this wasn’t sticking as hard as Mega did. That observation is that this album doesn’t feature and singles that immediately hit you over the head and suck you in and stay with you long after you’ve turned the stereo off. There’s no “Brothaz,” or “Success.” And that’s not to say that this album is weak. Lif is lyrically very strong, tackling the fears of an American citizen in times of economic uncertainty, and dealing with the complex racial issues still continuing in America as police brutality and other issues have not disappeared since Obama took office. With production from Batsauce, Edan, Willie Evans Jr., and Lif himself, everything comes out sounding good but not great. There are plenty of interesting songs that are challenging to the listener that I appreciate, but I’m still waiting for the album to move me on the level that Lif has hit me before. Maybe I’m holding him to unfair standards, I don’t know. I’m not going to fault him for trying something different, and it’s not like there are any tracks that make me go “Really?” I just keep listening waiting to hear “Black Dialogue,” and it’s just not there. Who knows, though, in a few years I might claim this as my favorite Lif album and declare it misunderstood. In the mean time, I find this album just short of satisfying.