On one hand, ignore that I only gave this 4 stars, if you're interested enough to be reading this review you should definitely buy the album, it contains greatness. But I also want to provide a different opinion to the other reviews.
Firstly, the production is not slick, it's pretty raw, I like it raw but don't expect it glossy, expect dirty and loud (whenever a song from this comes on my shuffle it always sounds louder than my other music). This is not say the production is bad, the beats are cool (somebody else said they were simple, but it's hip hop, what were they expecting?) and the loops are atmospheric and set a template for the sound of Anticon followed by the mcs present for their respective solo work. Secondly, I love half of this album, the other half is okay. It always provides lyrical ingenuity and hits similar chords all the way through but some tracks just don't kill the way the best ones do, but there is still plenty worth spending your cash on.
Theme Song is dark and heavy, and is full of Slug, Sole, Alias and Dose trading lines and rhymes, which is one of the album's strongest points. The Candle has a sunnier piano loop and a funkier beat. The Scarecrow Speaks has each of the four taking turns to riff on life and philosophy in front of an unsuspecting "audience", and I Am Hip Hop has them taking four different perspectives on a club stabbing (Sole as the stabber, Slug as the mc, Doseone as a bystander, and Alias as the victim). Heavy Ceiling is laden with abstract imagery and unique lyrical flow. June 26th 1998 is the centrepiece for me, the lyrics that pose big questions backed up with the string loops giving a timelessness and sense of urgency.
If you dig this, look out for cLOUDDEAD's first lp, Alias' through the looking glass, and Sage Francis.