After a strong sophomore release, the expectations were huge for k-os' third full-length Atlantis. k-os' second album Joyful Rebellion went platinum in Canada and several of the songs received heavy rotation on top 40 stations and MuchMusic. With Atlantis, k-os successfully shifts gears and branches off musically and lyrically.
Fans of Rebellion may be disappointed by the lack of some of the more pop-ish tunes that populated it, but on Atlantis k-os has improved musically. Songs like "The Rain" and "The Equalizer" are among the best k-os has written, yet there seems to be something missing. Rebellion was criticized because k-os harped on the state of hip-hop, and some felt it was overly-preachy. Yet, with Atlantis, the lack of strong emotion is evident, and most of the songs feel passive rather than aggressively attacking eardrums, like the best moments of Rebellion. Ultimately, the passive and personal nature of Atlantis is what sets it apart from Rebellion, the emotional highs and lows are sacrificed for a more consistent middle ground.
Atlantis is great for it's own reasons, but it doesn't reach the level set by Rebellion. As much as Rebellion will be remembered as a classic album of Canadian hip-hop for reasons beyond its commercial success, Atlantis will be remembered as a successful musical shift and for an artist still able to grow.