Songs of the Ungrateful Living
(Martyr Inc Records)
The winning allure of Everlast’s sound has always consisted primarily of staunch moody strums of acoustic guitar chords layered over hip hop beats. Songs of the Ungrateful Living uses this same formula and matter-of-factly addresses the grueling uneasiness that faces most Americans. It speaks to the diminishing of the American dream; the erosion of the notion that hard work yields success and financial freedom. Songs of the Ungrateful Living addresses the subjugation of that dream. It speaks to all facets of society including the middle class struggle as well as the anxiety and pain of those operating below. With a winnowing fork, Everlast’s lyrical bounty profiles the affliction of greed and poverty.
This new album is Everlast’s sixth release and features a more gospelized country feel. On “Even God Don’t Know” Everlast raps through a world of corruption accented with a bleary riff of electric guitar and heavy bass beats. “Long at All,” for all immediate purposes, is a country tune that describes the tireless working man’s plight of defeat despite a lifetime given to working for The Man with little to show for it. Earlier in his career, Everlast was a member of the raucous rap group House of Pain. He then went on to release several albums as Everlast and won a Grammy for a duo vocal track with the legendary Carlos Santana. The brighter “I’ll Be There for You” is an upbeat rock tune where the characteristic deep bass raps of Everlast’s run sweet. More brazen is “The Rain,” a funky gritty piece that tackles crime, politics, health insurance and fake boobs while “Sixty-Five Roses” deals with love and pain after infidelity.