It’s not easily digested, that’s for sure. P.O.S.’s 3rd album, Never Better, is and will be the most abrasive piece to make the list of albums you need to hear before you die. I know it’s not for everyone; P.O.S. does too and therein lies the beauty. Best characterized by his lyrics in one of the albums most palatable songs, “Optimist”: “We make our own and if they don’t feel it/then we are not for them/and that’s cool.”

Never Better is the album that P.O.S. wanted to make. Riddled with personal stories and introspection, seasoned with clever wordplay and sneaky pop culture references (“You’re out of your element, Donny!”), it’s a grower. But, once you become comfortable with the heavy-use of middle rhymes and hard-hitting asymmetrical beats, it’s difficult to deny this album. Even if  you don’t enjoy it, you should recognize its merit.

Absolutely P.O.S.’s finest effort to date, Never Better should be held as gold standard for any musician trying to walk the thin line between punk rock and rap, few have done so with such dexterity and balance.

Good places to start: “Optimist”, “Low Light Low Life”, “Goodbye” or “Purexed”