Jean Grae has been putting out music since the mid-90s and, since then, her unique scathing flow hasn’t got nearly the attention it deserves. Quelle Chris began releasing work more recently, but has quickly established himself as one of the most interesting lyricists in the supposed 'backpacker' scene. Chris' album Being You is Great, I wish I could be You More Often. offered a quirky but personal look into his life over a subdued layered set of beats. But it's through collaboration - freshly engaged, with romance in the air - that the duo has released perhaps their best work yet.

Everything’s Fine starts with a faux gameshow skit, a string of terribly misfortunate individuals, answering boldly to the most deceptively simple of questions, “How are you doing?” with the familiarly deceitful answer “Everything’s Fine.” A sense of denial of the constant dread of our modern world is the basis for all else that follows here. All this is delivered to us through jazzy experimental hip-hop (with the album bearing a clear To Pimp a Butterfly influence, down to Anna Wise featuring throughout) that is mixed with dream pop and piercing bass to create a dream like quality from song to song. After the intro we are treated to 'My Contribution to this Scam'. An electronic vocal hook is intercut at first with increasingly depressing statements combated immediately by Jean Grae’s response and Quelle Chris’ signature monotone flow. This is the most simplistic song on the album on, with a dreary repetitive beat and occasion electronic refrains. From here the album only becomes more entertaining and complex.

'OhSh' Was the first single released and the 3rd track. It boasts a comedic rap turn from Hannibal Burress and is the first of many interesting features on the album. It continues the dreary theme but this time with eccentric intricacies and a jazz bassline; Jean Grae steals the track with a savage final verse. The weirdness is ramped up on tracks like 'House Call' and 'The Smoking Man', two colourful cuts that stand out even glancing at the track listing. However it is 'Gold Purple Orange' that leaves the biggest impression in the first half of the album. Beginning with a long noir inspired horn instrumental and verses that seem to contradict each other, with Quelle Chris offering off a satirical list of stereotypes (in perhaps his strongest verse found here) and Grae offering context and clarity. “'Cause you can be the things they say to be and get killed”: the track plays out as a plea to embrace the uniqueness of your own personality against a world that simplifies and overlooks so much. It is the clearest and strongest demonstration from the album.

Everything's Fine refuses to lose that momentum, though, with a solo turn from Jean on 'Peacock', as well as the Gnarls Barkley reminiscent 'Breakfast for Champions'. The song plays like low-fi gospel that is some-how subdued and uplifting all at once. The next interesting feature comes with 'A Scoop of Dirt' which begins with one of the album's many cinematic samples, boasting a great turn by New York rapper Your Old Droog. This flows smoothly into the next single released from the album, the chiptune inspired 'Zero', another solo turn from Jean. It begins with a tension building instrumental over a sample of a corporate seminar, setting up the most infectious and hard-hitting track on the album, culminating in a bombastic chorus with Grae declaring she has “zero fucks to give.” Showcasing her cutting lyrics yet again as she combats the monotony of our current time with a rebellious audacity.

This track is followed by an interlude that features a performance from Nick Offerman of Parks and Rec fame reminding you that “everything’s fine” in various tones that sounds like a late night infomercial. It's the rare perfect rap album skit, adding to the hazy dream-like stage built by the album. The album is concluded by the sombre and potent 'Waiting for the Moon' and the nearly seven minute finale 'River' which builds to a Flying Lotus like crescendo with luscious vocals from Wise. It is an appropriate ending to the album, a mission statement from the duo summing up the views of two people fed up with this world.

All in all, Everything’s Fine lays bold claim to being one of the most unique rap albums in recent memory. It cuts through the repetitive commercialism of the modern experience with dryly comedic lyrics over a vast collection of beats influenced by decades of hip-hop, r’n’b and jazz.