Tuesday, September 11, 2007

What's New In Dart's iPod #5 AKA 1nce Again

Hello, true believers! I’m back to review three more albums. Today’s selection includes Aesop Rock’s None Shall Pass, DJ Muggs and Sick Jacken’s The Legend Of The Mask & The Assassin and to round things out, KT Tunstall’s Drastic Fantastic. Let’s get started, but first let me once again explain my three point “Cop It Or Not” ratings system (smile when you read that, kid...it’s trademarked!):

Oh No! This CD is a drink coaster/table balancer/doorstop/gerbil/hamster room divider/frisbee/discus/makeshift shield/last ditch choice for a visor/alternate shuriken choice. Sell this shit to whoever's dumb enough to buy it from you.

Maebe (Maybe)! Depending on your own set of personal preferences you might like this joint. Give it a listen first to see if it's your lane or not.

Mos Def! Cop the album when it drops...'Nuff said.

I’m the living circle circle dot dot...none of y’all can touch me © J Treds

Break out your dictionaries, encyclopedias and thesauruses kids (Oh wait, it’s 2007...all you need is your Google bar now)! It’s the time to review Aesop Rock’s new offering None Shall Pass. Aesop Rock is one of the best examples of the divide between the mainstream and underground Hip Hop scenes. The underground has cats like Aesop Rock, Sage Francis (not a fan), Immortal Technique and the like and the people that listen to Souljah Boy (Superman that hoe!) would rather blow Chewbacca with a mouth full of bubblegum than listen to this album. I’ve been a fan of Aesop since I heard his Appleseed demo on a MiniDisc player back in early 1999 (his Float album cover graces a spot on my blog) so this album is in my listening wheelhouse. I am well aware that homey is pretty much unlistenable to the greater music consuming public, though. Ironically, as underground as Aesop Rock is, he’s easily one of the most popular indie artists out with a loyal following. Let’s play the damn CD already!

The album opens with “Keep Off The Lawn”, it’s a great opening track punctuated by Aesop’s signature “rhyme like a history professor with a fresh outta the microwave Hot Pocket in his mouth in a hurry to get off the phone so he can finally take a piss” style. Oh yeah, I’m not sure he ever even said “keep off the lawn” once during the song. “None Shall Pass” is straight fire, the beat’s on point and Aes (huh?) kills the track. Next up is another banger in “Catacomb Kids”. “Bring Back Pluto” I enjoyed but the average Rap fans head would surely explode during or after this track as Aes laments because Pluto was kicked out of our solar system. The track “Fumes” is an enjoyable listen (for me at least) but by clocking in at 5 minutes he’s clearly not trying to make anyone dance.

The Weathermen mini reunion “Getaway Car” featuring Cage and Breeze of Juggaknots brings back memories of 1998. This joint is bananas and everyone murders it (Iwish I had a plutonium powered Delorean so I could go back to 1998 to tell myself that Cage turns emo...and explain to myself what “emo” is/means). Next up is “39 Thieves”, another song shitting on the crooked politicians and businessmen that impede real progress in our world. Deep shit (if you can actually decipher what he’s saying).

That brings us to “The Harbor Is Yours”, a beast of a track that some motherfuckers may think is about Jack Sparrow while listening to it (who am I kidding? That’s who I thought it was about!). This song is followed by “Citronella” , easily another of the highlight songs of this project. “Gun For The Whole Family” featuring El-P is dope and it sounds like it could’ve been a bonus track on “I’ll Sleep When You’re Dead” . “Five Fingers” is cool but it’s “No City” that gets you to nod your head cuz your neck knows it’s def. The Rob Sonic featured “Dark Heart News” is okay but it’s overshadowed by the album’s closers “Coffee” which sounded like Aesop spit over live instrumentation with John Darnielle on vocals and “Pigs” another banger about the assholes in power that keep the status quo in effect.

In conclusion, this is another dope ass Aesop Rock album and I enjoyed it. For most (85%) people/Rap fans that I know, this album is a dude spitting fast gibberish over pots and pans being beaten together while vocal samples of emcees and movies they never heard of get played occasionally during songs. Since it’s Aesop Rock and he ain’t for everyone I suggest it gets a maybe. This album falls just short of El-P’s but is a must buy for Def Jukies. Knock ‘em out the box, Aes! Knock ‘em out, Aes!

I’ve been waiting for this album for almost two full months now since I heard one of the tracks on DJ Muggs MySpace page. The album is the out of left field release “DJ Muggs Vs. Sick Jacken The Legend Of The Mask & The Assassin”. I tore into this album immediately and the ominous opening “The Initiation” lets you know that you’re about to her some classic DJ Muggs production on this project..say word! ‘The Mask & The Assassin” is a banger fresh outta the gate as has me hoping that there’s no letdown coming. Sick Jacken is spittin’ fire on this joint. Next up is the all Spanish banger “Cicllon” which leads into the ill “Land Of The Shadows” that kinda sounds like a reworking of the classic single “Stone Garden”. Next up is the beast, “God’s Banker” that tells the story of Roberto Calvi. This album is on some real Illuminati, Masonic Order, esoteric knowledge/Book Of Revelations shit so far...I’m likin’ it.

“Reptillian Renaissance” has me wondering if they can make a Cypress Hill album that I’d actually want to buy. “Praying Mantis” is ridiculous and has me worrying that the new Wu Tang Clan album “8 Diagrams” will sound as much like the classic Wu that this track does. “El Barrio” is yet another dope ass jam in all Spanish. “Unorthodox Blocks” is another banger...my neck is starting to hurt for real. Could this album end up a sleeper contender for Album Of The Year? “The Hole (P.O.W.)” has me thinking “hell yeah!”. “Stairs To The Beast” has me asking myself about what could’ve been if Call O’ Da Wild could’ve released their album back in 1997 and what is Baron Ricks doing right now? When did Sick Jacken get this nice on the mic?

After nodding through “Black Ships”, “Rebel Angel”, “Silent Crimes” and “2012” which reflects on the fact that December 12, 2012 is the final day on the Mayan Calendar. I just realized that I hadn’t even though about press the forward button on my iTunes once while listening to this album. There isn’t a weak moment on it and I’m almost sure that Muggs has another classic on his hands with this one. If “8 Diagrams” doesn’t bang like this then RZA needs to sit down with Muggs and talk to him because I half expected to hear GZA, Deck, Killa Sin, Killah Priest or Hell Razah guest appear on this project. This album was like the 1200 Hobos “Presage” album but with lyrics. Cop this shit right now.

Since major record labels seem to be afraid to release any albums by a female artist because they might flop, I am at a loss to find a suitable album to balance out this review blog. Amerie’s new album is in limbo, the only promo available for Chrissette Michelle’s “I Am” only has 5 songs on it, Kelly Rowland’s “Ms. Kelly” is being re-released (it got released in North America?) and Nicole Scherzinger’s album will show up around here sooner or later. I decided to go ahead an review KT Tunstall new album, “Drastic Fantastic”.

KT’s last album “Eye To The Telescope” was a commercial success and you couldn’t watch a commercial for a product to didn’t use one of the songs off of that album for a good solid year afterwards. Well, she’s back at it again and at least 5 of these 11 songs will be used to sell you products or make you understand teen angst in a TV drama or longing in some upcoming indie movie.

“Little Favours” is a regular catchy pop song like the kind KT is known for making. The next track is “White Bird” in which she sings about a White bird with a black tail..for some reason I instantly start thinking about Jenna Von Oy (pictured below).

In the history of television since they started having Nielsen boxes and determining the watching habits of different Americans/recording ratings the Top 20 most watched shows in Black and White households are usually completely diferent save for Monday Night Football. Back in the 90’s, the show “Blossom” was in the Top 10 in both White and Black households for about 4 years straight and no one knew why because no other show with a predominantly White cast in the 90’s had done so. They never realized it was because of brothers watching the show to look at Jenna Von Oy’s ass. That ass will guarantee she doesn’t go broke anytime soon....Wait, what was I talking about?

“Funny Man” should be a single. “Hold On” sounds like one of those songs I’m gonna be hearing for years to come. “Hopeless”? Indie flick soundtrack material for sure. “I Don’t Want You Now” is a cool song. “Saving My Face” will become an anthem for distraught teen girls in ‘07. “Beauty Of Uncertainty” should definitely be a single. “Someday Soon” is a good listen and “Paper Aeroplane” is a perfect closer for a solid second album.

It was a breath od fresh air to not hear another album tht sounded like either Regina Spektor, Alanis Morrisette or Fiona Apple for a change but there was nothing earth shattering on here (at least to me). If I had space for only one more album on my iPod Nano and I had to choose between this or keeping Maroon 5’s “It Won’t Be Soon Before Long”, Candie Payne’s “I Wish I Could Have Loved You More” or Amy Winehouse’s “Frank” then this album would get the boot. I’ll give it a good solid maybe.

Albums I’m Looking Forward To Copping When They Leak...I Mean Drop:

I’m out like Buster Douglas..© Phife



Anonymous said...

I'm loving the new Aesop album--I've been a fan since "Float" and I think the new album is his second best after "Labor Days."

He just killed it, along with Cage, here in Philly last weekend at the first stop on his tour. If you've never been to an Ace show before, check him out when he gets to Beantown.

Army of the Pharoahes gets my vote for worst album cover of '07.

@slushygutter said...

great write up. Aesop Rock has really brought out the best in reviews on many blogs. He's coming to Boulder soon, I might actually sift my way through the backpacks and hipsters to catch it.

KIZ-ONE said...

Little Favours” is a regular catchy pop song like the kind KT is known for making. The next track is “White Bird” in which she sings about a White bird with a black tail..for some reason I instantly start thinking about Jenna Von Oy (pictured below).

I saw the spread in KINg and i remember her in blossom. man that white girl is the truth!! LOL LOL