Aesop Rock
Float


4.0
excellent

Review

by Marko Polovina USER (90 Reviews)
July 11th, 2009 | 40 replies


Release Date: 2000 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Lets sit down and listen to Mr. Bavitz tell us a story.

Growing up as a Jewish Caucasian in America around hip-hop can’t be all that hard nowadays since that barrier was broken early on with once punk band Beastie Boys (initials B.B. homage to Bad Brains). There’s nothing like a great support structure to hold onto when entering the underground hip-hop scene and Ian Bavitz (Aesop Rock) was truly happy to sign to much cultivated Definitive Jux after the release of Float. Commonly in the world of hip-hop you won’t get noticed by major labels unless you have a huge fan base and/or you’re just a carbon copy of the entire mainstream definition. Luckily, some use their abstract lyrical talents or interesting approaches in any genre to stretch the boundaries (Buck 65 comes exclusively to mind nowadays). Fortunately for all of us Aesop Rock decided to use his influences into broad, abstract lyrical talents associated with interesting beats to boot. So much so, that he was immediately on many well-known labels radar after only releasing one proper album. His first two self-financed releases (the plight of many legitimate hip-hop artists) Music For Earthworms and Appleseed EP both were drenched in his hyperbole ridden stories and poor production due to the less then favorable income. So the question really comes to the forefront. Does Aesop Rock’s really show the progression and refined style that was obviously missing in his self-released albums?

The common thread that develops between underground hip-hop artists nowadays would definitely the type of lyrical focus or lack thereof in their songs. Aesop Rock like many contemporary hip-hop artists love adding metaphorical statements and stream of consciousness storytelling, much like Sage Francis, Aesop Rock too tends to be a bit overlong on the wordplay. Much of his work is open to interpretation despite being focused on actual personal events (most of the time) and thus can get on your nerves if you aren’t used to it. There are some amazing moments that flesh out on Float despite this obvious problem. You really can’t say “Basic Cable” is lacking in anything. The flow meshes perfectly with the appealing atmosphere as Bavitz discusses the problems associated with the doom generation glued to their TV tubes ‘til the AM. Other tracks, most notably the featured track with the fantastic Cannibal Ox called “Attention Span” is addictive as it is hilarious.

Basic Cable Lyrics
“Blue be the propaganda banners, well, sure I'll be a Marine
with a clean sword and blue uniform, it only takes a dollar and a dream.
And I abide, great idiot box power-supply, fuzz vapor,
blackout of New York. Hey honey, get the generator,
I'm in a doom, doom generation, pacin', ancient electric secret
never sleepin' to miss the AM oasis”

Easily the root of the problem with Float can be seen on “Fascination”, as it can be either astonishingly amazing or astonishingly boring for some listeners. The no-pause stance Bavitz decides to throw at you really can put you off if you can’t stand it. There is a threshold that some can take and Bavitz does cross at times on Float, which can become annoying to many. Although this can be seen here and there on Float it is usually kept under control; with “Oxygen” Bavitz brings his non-stop string stories within the beginning, but soon adheres to the beat(somewhat). Aesop Rock is properly one of those artists that you’ll either understand and admire or become frustrated both with his voice (a bit odd) and lyrical flow in general. His style has jumped leaps and bounds from his early self-released material and the better production is an extreme positive. It’s obvious why he was signed to Def Jux after Float, as his general direction of material and sound streamline well with the hip-hop artists already signed on the illustrious label.



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user ratings (229)
Chart.
3.8
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
handoman
July 11th 2009


2386 Comments


Aesop Rock rules

illmitch
July 11th 2009


5429 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

excellent review. very un-fanboyish and provides a good rationale for the rating. i'm not much of a fan of this album, or aes rock as a whole - i think he just gets kinda old and is pretty overrated.

MassiveAttack
July 11th 2009


2688 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Not so much on the review, eh?

Thanks Ill

SeaAnemone
July 11th 2009


20534 Comments


Great album but I like None Shall Pass better. great review... agree with most of the sentiments.

Digging: Pharmakon - Bestial Burden

MassiveAttack
July 11th 2009


2688 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Where the Aesop Rock fans at - say "yeah!"

scyther
July 11th 2009


1606 Comments


I strongly disagree that Music For Earthworms had poor production but other than that good review.

MassiveAttack
July 11th 2009


2688 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Really I think its extremely noticeable, the vocals aren't well displaced. Given it is a good album, but its a bit too much "in the cellar" (if you understand what I'm trying to say).

scyther
July 11th 2009


1606 Comments


Well the beats are top knotch. His vocals weren't his strong suit at that point like his lyrics were, and he would stray off the beat every now and then because of his inexperience. And that "underground" sound is really appealing imo.

MassiveAttack
July 11th 2009


2688 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Can't really argue with some of points you make, but I feel like his vocals weren't really pushed. Abandon All Hope, Merit, Coward of The Year, and Antisocial were all great, but some of the others just don't really work. Especially the whole radio track, waste of time =(. Considering it was self-financed though it is pretty good. Kinda reminds me of Nirvana's Bleach (something like $600 to make!).

Minus The Flair
Emeritus
July 12th 2009


862 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

love this album

doubletake
July 14th 2009


6 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

'Garbage', 'No Splash', 'How To be a carpenter', '6B Panorama', 'Basic Cable', are my favorite songs, I agree he can drone on at sometimes but I think i got the fanboy syndrome which uses selective hearing, but ah well; great album.

MassiveAttack
July 14th 2009


2688 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yea totally agree love the opening to "How To Be A Carpenter" and "Basic Cable" remains to be one of my top 3 favorite songs by Bavitz. Like you said his audience is quite selective or unique since his vocals and approach is quite odd and takes time getting used too.

Maniac!
August 3rd 2010


26250 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

needs moar luvzes

Counterfeit
August 3rd 2010


17819 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

awesome album. maniac. geswut.

Maniac!
August 3rd 2010


26250 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

still thinking of an album to compete on

Inveigh
August 3rd 2010


25025 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

yeah album rules

Counterfeit
August 3rd 2010


17819 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

kk. but guesswut. i get to sse MEGADEEETTTTTTTTTTHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH live.

Inveigh
August 3rd 2010


25025 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

been there.

done that.



got the t-shirt. literally.

Maniac!
August 3rd 2010


26250 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

congrats. hope you enjoy the show

























lucky bastard

Counterfeit
August 3rd 2010


17819 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yeah its gon be with Slayer and Testament so im super pumped.



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