Atrocity Exhibition (studio album) by Danny Brown

Atrocity Exhibition by Danny Brown
Year: 2016
Release date: 2016-09-30
Overall rank: 304th   Overall chart historyOverall chart history
Average Rating: 
83/100 (from 642 votes)
  Ratings distributionRatings distribution   Average rating historyAverage rating history
Accolades:
Award Top 5 albums of 2016 (5th)
Award Top 50 albums of the 2010s (38th)
Award Top 500 albums of all time (304th)
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DANNY BROWN ATROCITY EXHIBITION [LP] * NEW VINYL
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Danny Brown - Atrocity Exhibition [VINYL]
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Atrocity Exhibition is ranked as the best album by Danny Brown.

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Atrocity Exhibition track list

  Track ratingsTrack ratings The tracks on this album have an average rating of 85 out of 100 (all tracks have been rated).

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Average Rating: 
83/100 (from 642 votes)
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This album is rated in the top 1% of all albums on BestEverAlbums.com. This album has a Bayesian average rating of 83.5/100, a mean average of 82.1/100, and a trimmed mean (excluding outliers) of 83.6/100. The standard deviation for this album is 15.4.

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Atrocity Exhibition comments

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Rating:  
80/100
From 12/23/2021 14:45
Genial, fez escola e deu aula nesse álbum!
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Rating:  
85/100
From 11/02/2021 23:55
This is one of the most progressive and experimental rap/hip hop albums I have ever heard. To start with there is the lyrics which are dark and introspective and really help drive home the message of the artist. Furthermore, with every listen you spot new things in the lyrics that make you want to keep coming back and uncovering new lines or nuances you missed. The instrumentals are fantastic as well and really create this rich soundscape which is multi layered and allows for exploring. I love the vocal delivery as well as it suits the atmosphere and beats of the album perfectly. The consistency of the record completely stunned me on my first listen as well because with the large number of tracks that are all around 3 minutes I thought that at least one of them must waver from the tone, lyrics or atmosphere and not a single one did. Overall, this record really impressed me and is in my opinion one of, if not the, best hip hop/rap albums of the 2010's.
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Rating:  
95/100
From 10/09/2021 23:34
The story goes that Danny Brown blew about $70,000 dollars on sampling rights for his 2016 magnum opus, 'Atrocity Exhibition'. The Detroit native longed to make something enduring and uses time as his analogy. Brown says, "I wanna make timeless stuff, so you're gonna have to spend a couple dollars; You could have a Rolex or you can have a Swatch." The rapper's fourth studio effort employs samples from Cut Hands, Giovanni Cristiani, Guru Guru and Pink Floyd's Nick Mason to name a few. Not conventional sources by any means but it goes without saying that Brown, fitted with an undeniably distinct ear, puts them to good use. It's safe to say it was money well spent. Perhaps the most noticeable influence lies with the album's namesake. Beyond just sharing monikers, the prose between Brown's monument and Joy Division's 1980 swan song, 'Closer', share many fatalistic tendencies, such as nihilism and desperation. 'Closer' itself was a outstretched hand, albeit a more subdued one. Curtis' demons were well documented and Brown's are now public knowledge as well. Many say that the record is a cry for help or a scathing, uncompromising self-critique. However, it safe to say that the architect of the best hip-hop album of the decade said it best, "This is Danny Brown." Despite a disposition for sonic and thematic isolation, Brown is accompanied by some of hip-hop's most forward-thinking artisans. Names like Kendrick Lamar, Ab-Soul and Earl Sweatshirt put their heads together to aid Brown's manic, unique vision on 'Really Doe', the album's final single. However, at the end of the day, this is Danny's show through and through and it's fair to say that his creative stamp riddles the track list. The end result is a Danny Brown that produces formless, proudly unorthodox and honest parables. It's a task that the majority of MCs misfire on, or reduce to cliché, but Brown's journey of emotional examination and detoxification has put him among rap's elite.

The LP is a revolving, reoccurring nightmare of self-inflicted wounds to which there is no detectable method of course correction. Track one, 'Downward Spiral', creates a tangible atmosphere of dread and paranoia coupled with drum hits that narrowly tether Brown's rhymes together. The song feels like it could unravel at any given moment, expertly mirroring its narrator. Periodic, gleaming guitar is the ray of sunshine that provides brief respite. Even that feels diluted by the blackout curtains of Brown's poetry. He remarks, "Been grinding on my teeth so long it's swelling up my jaw, Nothing on but my bathrobe and pinky ring, Your worst nightmare for me is a normal dream." It's a viscous, slow-moving start to the LP that subverts expectation and prepares the palette for a serving of experimental hip-hop. Subsequent track, 'Tell Me What I Don't Know' eschews the use of Danny's routinely coarse cadence in favor of a baritone, subdued vocal approach. Synth injections of bass that wouldn't be out of place within a 1970's Giallo picture lower the track into a dark abyss as Brown hastily raps above it. Third track, 'Rolling Stone', is as languid as the record gets, with the presence of Petite Noir creating a soothing atmosphere amidst an ocean of prose which resembles a fiery shipwreck. Brown declares, "Bought a nightmare, sold a dream, happiness went upstream, blame myself, I had no control, now I'm living with no soul." Fourth Track, 'Really Doe', is a hip-hop super collaboration of epic proportions as a baton passes from verse to verse ushered by traditional, yet hard-hitting production. Earl Sweatshirt's final verse is an apropos coda to the track, as he himself would embrace aural reinvention. Earl professes, "You've been the same motherfucker since 2001; Well it's the left-handed shooter, Kyle Lowry the pump, I'm at your house like, "Why you got your couch on my Chucks?" 'Really Doe' is a rap alliance deftly done and supremely executed.

Fifth cut, 'Lost', re-bathes the LP in its elixir of overt abnormality. Playa Haze's production is the crown jewel on the track, interweaving elements of 'Flame of Love' performed by Bai Guang that behave like a murmuring, beating heart pumping blood through the beats. It remains one of the album's most creative, earworm-inducing moments, toting the line between buoyant hip-hop banger and bleak, introspective fever dream. The record's cornerstone, 'Ain't It Funny', embodies the spirit of 'Atrocity' better than any, pulsating with brass lungs reminiscent of the sonic motifs of the reformed Swans records of the 2010's. 'Ain't It Funny' is crunchy, coarse and agitated like a charging rhinoceros. Brown laments, "I can sell honey to a bee, in the fall time make trees take back they leaves; Octopus in a straight jacket, savage with bad habits, broke serving fiends, got rich became an addict." The track lives as the lynchpin for the thematic DNA of the record while flourishing the finest production and lyrical flexibility present within its 15 songs. Side two commences with 'White Lines', a skittering, subterranean excursion that outlines the subject's love/hate relationship with cocaine. Sonically, it's dingy, unfettered and unwashed. It acts as a descent down a staircase by way of inebriated stumbles, punctuated by pervasive, staccato twinkling. Here, glorification and degradation flow equally, contributing to an album of faux emotional highs and rock-bottom lows. Twelfth track, 'When It Rain', is undoubtedly the most aggressive of 'Atrocity's' offerings, detailing the pugnacious nature of his hometown of Detroit and it's clear how his surroundings helped carve out the motifs of the record. Bass returns in a big way on the track with a Delia Derbyshire sample, 'Pot Au Feu', used to genius effect in order to conjure an atmosphere of fear where safety is far from reach. Brown concurrently creates a sense of horror from manning the street corners of his origin while expressing pride in being a product of it and having survived its urban hazards. Brown explains, "Cause everybody hungry in them streets, nigga rob ya grandma for something to eat; Know it's fucked up, that's how it be growing up living everyday in the D; And it don't seem like shit gon' change; No time soon in the City of Boom, doomed from the time we emerged from the womb." Danny skillfully paints a picture of nurture at the hands of a city by linking together moments that bred tomorrow's scars but are recollected by way of hazy dreams.

Some MCs never find a quintessential vehicle for their voice, sonically or thematically. Danny Brown had to make friends with vulnerability and stare death in the face in order for 'Atrocity Exhibition' to materialize. Hip-Hop is littered with examples of exuberant characters seemingly fitted with armor invulnerable to breakage. Brown proudly displays his imperfections here, without the need for exaggeration. His voice itself is the finest metaphor for his approach to his fourth record. It's unconventional, grating and even a bit ugly, however, it's what draws you in. It's initial homeliness gives way to pride-swallowing enjoyment with Danny's self-exposure opening the floodgates to an approach that champions the phrase "all bets are off". Unconventionality is beautiful, the unorthodox is tradition and staccato sounds unmistakably like legato. On 'Atrocity Exhibition', Brown crafts a visage of himself as a Detroit-based King Midas, saddled with a fortune of alcohol, stimulants and women in lieu of gold. He doesn't do this to inspire envy or raise street-cred as seen in other rap symphonies. Rather, as an act of confession in an attempt to pull his own soul from the fiery wreck of his crumbling, metropolitan castle. He just so happened unlock his artistic potential and produce a hip-hop masterpiece in the process. The Devil went down to Motown and lost. I guess this means Danny's salvation was a success.

"Say ya need to slow down
Cause you feel yourself crashing
Staring in the devil face
But ya can’t stop laughing
Staring in the devil face
But ya can't stop laughing."

-Ain't It Funny

Standout Tracks:

1. Ain't It Funny
2. Really Doe
3. When It Rain

92.8
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Rating:  
95/100
From 09/14/2021 16:37
If you don't like his voice, I can understand why someone might be turned off by this album. I personally love it, and I also love his lyrics. The production is also really great, abstract and off-kilter.
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Rating:  
100/100
From 08/13/2021 10:30
Highlights:

- Downward Spiral
- Really Doe (Feat. Kendrick Lamar, Ab-Soul & Earl Sweatshirt)
- Ain't It Funny
- Golddust
- White Lines
- Pneumonia
- Get Hi (Feat. B-Real)
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Rating:  
80/100
From 02/02/2021 20:53
Right off the bat you get the main idea, it's gonna be a trip down some of the darkest paths of the human experience, namely drugs. ("I'm sweating like I’m in a rave Been in this room for 3 days Think I’m hearing voices Paranoid and think I’m seeing ghost-es, oh shit Phone keep ringing but I cut that shit off Only time I use it when I tell the dealer drop it off"). The frenzy of his delivery -matched by the production that likewise follows the same direction - showcases how it can make you totally lose control. There is the exception of Tell Me What I Don't Know, which comes with a different delivery, maybe he's getting numb and he's lost his energy - again due to the same reason. One has to mention the guests when talking about this album, especially Really Doe. It comes with its own all star lineup, though it has to be said that Kendrick comes dangerously close to stealing the show ("The rev undid, the all day madness Got it off the wipe it off, the evidence, the blood on mattress Big power, big stages My zoo cannot fit the cages This booth is not used to fakin'") and Earl is not half bad either ("Good, hood I wish you motherfuckin' would Listen, wish a motherfucker would, Brown I had to put my foot down It's like I'm popping a clutch Your hate palpable, your jaw full of dust You gon' keep talkin' or are we lockin' it up? And I'm the type of nigga it ain't never been an honor to judge You a mouse that the falcon picked up So disrespect will get you checked like the top of the month"). 15 tracks in about 45 minutes may seem like too many, but I guess that's the point, they go by too fast and they leave you with a hazy recollection of what happened, just like a hangover.
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Rating:  
100/100
From 01/28/2021 14:54
One of the greatest albums of the 2010's.

Sidenote: The album art is incredibly unsettling
Helpful?  (Log in to vote) | 0 votes (0 helpful | 0 unhelpful)
Rating:  
80/100
From 05/01/2020 02:44
Very good work from Danny, the best of him so far
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Rating:  
95/100
From 03/31/2020 23:36
This album is incredible and a true testament to Danny Brown's ability to evolve and experiment. This is a top three rap/hip-hop album of the decade.
Helpful?  (Log in to vote) | +1 votes (1 helpful | 0 unhelpful)
Rating:  
80/100
From 03/01/2020 21:21
Highlights:

Really Doe (Feat. Kendrick Lamar, Ab-Soul & Earl Sweatshirt)
Ain't It Funny
When It Rain
Rolling Stone (Feat. Petite Noir)
Tell Me What I Don't Know
Pneumonia
Helpful?  (Log in to vote) | +1 votes (1 helpful | 0 unhelpful)

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