Skelethon (studio album) by Aesop Rock
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Aesop Rock bestography
The best album by Aesop Rock is Labor Days which is ranked number 2272 in the list of all-time albums with a total rank score of 709.
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Skelethon track list
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This album is rated in the top 6% of all albums on BestEverAlbums.com. This album has a Bayesian average rating of 76.5/100, a mean average of 75.1/100, and a trimmed mean (excluding outliers) of 77.0/100. The standard deviation for this album is 17.0.
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Tons of fantastic songs among Aesop's best. The album starts so strong, but I feel it could have been cut shorter because it drags towards the end. Tracks 1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, and especially 11 (Homemade Mummy) are essential to me. The ones in between are still good, but with an exception for Gopher Guts with it's self analyzing/defeatist lyrics, the last 5 tracks could have been cut completely in my opinion and the album as a whole would have been stronger. I'm more a fan of "The Impossible Kid" because of just how strong it finishes, getting much darker than the tone set earlier on.
The production is definitely the strong point of the album, reminds of his earlier work but still far from conventional hip-hop. In contrast to his most acclaimed album up to that date (that would be Labor Days), where he produced only 4 tracks, here he is in full charge, which definitely helps the cohesion of the album. Considering he followed the same route for his next album, being again the producer, we can safely assume he was also happy with the outcome. One could argue that it hurts variety, but I don’t think that’s the case here, there are songs like Ruby ‘81 which signify a welcome change of pace. Moreover, as his name already suggests, rock music has been an influence (“Led Zep staring daggers down page mill”), something that is apparent on songs like 1,000 O'Clock, Grace, or Saturn Missiles, which help spice things up.
Despite running so smooth, I have to point out that you can tell it's 17 tracks, especially after repeated listenings. On the other hand, there is no track I would consider skippable or too long, so I can’t quite put my finger on what bothers me. 55 minutes isn't that long for a hip hop album anyway. Also, not sure how I'm feeling about the female vocals in Crows 1 , in theory you'd expect them to fit the overall sound and spirit of the album like a glove, but I can't say they do it for me. However she delivers one of the most memorable quotes “And they call to let you know your friend is dead in a box The crows have the tools to get the meat out of the box”. In Tetra it’s even worse, they are distracting and sound somewhat out of context. Finishing with the downsides, I’ m not a fan of the outro of Cycles to Gehenna, without it I would consider this a candidate for best song of the album.
Being a producer also helps when it comes to rapping. His delivery is neither spectacular nor below par, it’s dictated mainly by the beat, which is no easy task when you have to fit so many words, but it works just fine.
The lyrics are what I like to call "randomly sophisticated", at times leaning more towards randomness and at times towards sophistication. Even when the former is the case, it still works. It can be because it helps approach some deeper themes in a lighter way, for example in Fryerstarter spirituality and donuts go together ( “Picture if you will a witching hour on a weak night in the trenches Where paranoia dead-ends in a bright florescent heaven With sprinkles, I know right yum”) or in “Racing Stripes”, where there’s more to a visit to the barber shop than having your hair cut (“Crudely, some say to praise the lord I say you wanna feel saved baby shape the orb And I will see you all in Helven Read he fled a panic room pissed”). After all, some silliness balances out the overall dark tone. Or it simply provides some great storytelling (for example in Grace, who can’t relate to being forced to vegetables as a child) or contribute to some funny wordplay (see the second verse of Homemade mummy), that along with the production and the delivery save the day.
Best song: I would go with Zero Dark Thirty and Racing Stripes would be a close second. Other highlights include the first verse of Fryerstarter, the third verse of Leistureforce (“Grace of a misled teen who prefers his scenes with a little Wilhelm scream”), the wordplay – or dare I say letterplay – in ZZ Top and the outro of Gopher Guts, no matter if I’m prepared, I never see it coming.
Favorite line: “The scarf thank Mom's new hobby, kssssht! Copy”
All in all, an album that can be appreciated and enjoyed by pretty much anyone no matter your general attitude towards hip-hop.
Very intriguing hip hop album. Aesop's production and lyrics are very good.
Excellent work, very consistent project, as always
I really enjoyed this album, it's maybe a bit more accessible to non-alt-rap listeners like me.
Great album, as expected.
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