Time and AwareNess have been collaborating for years. Though the two MCs are somewhat obscure in Denver, they've earned a dedicated following across the country, even counting members of the Anticon collective as fans. On Anti-Smiles, released under the Calm moniker, the pair explores themes of existential uncertainty. Instead of providing answers, Time and AwareNess ask thought-provoking questions and make poignant observations that linger long after each song has ended. Time's words go beyond being merely clever; even his jokes are filled with sharp social critique and penetrating self-examination. Anti-Smiles boasts a litany of thoughtful literary and cultural allusions, including an especially evocative use of a sample from Thomas Newman's "American Beauty" that serves to dissect and expose the general malaise that has plagued America in recent years. Although Anti-Smiles reflects the dark side of our collective psyche, it's also a statement of hope in the face of fear and self-doubt.

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