Hail Mary Mallon
Are You Gonna Eat That?


4.0
excellent

Review

by Cognautic USER (2 Reviews)
June 2nd, 2011 | 25 replies


Release Date: 2011 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Aesop Rock returns with Rob Sonic and DJ Big Wiz to release one of the more interesting hip hop albums this year.

Well, guess who’s back? Aesop Rock with his less notable emcee protégé, Rob Sonic and DJ Big Wiz on the turntables together making Hail Mary Mallon. For all those who aren’t aware who exactly Mary Mallon is, she was the first healthy carrier discovered for the typhoid, and is somewhat famous for refusing to cooperate with the authorities when they attempted to quarantine her. She worked as a household cook, and after getting several households inflicted with typhoid and refusing tests from doctors because of her beliefs that they were discriminating against her because she was Irish, she was forcibly quarantined for three years. Once she was released, she worked as a laundress for a short time before changing her name and going back to cooking and infecting twenty-five more people before being caught once more and quarantined for the rest of her life.


What does this have to do with the album? Well, knowing Aesop Rock and Rob Sonic, under layers and layers of convoluted and obscure metaphors, it probably has something to do with something, most likely either the state of the music industry or some other cynical rant of that nature. But, you know, figuring that out will take repeated listens with close attention being paid and reading lyrics. And all made more difficult by the louder, more melodic, and gritty at the same time version of El-P’s production that Aesop Rock has picked up. It’s also probably the more defining characteristic of the album.



Aesop sets a chaotic and dystopian sonic setting throughout the album, rough electric guitars and heavy drums leading the way along with various other layers of sound in every song, save two puzzlingly underproduced tracks compared to the rest of the album, one of which is “Breakdance Beach,” driven completely by the hitting of drums, seemingly discussing an imaginary place “away from the streets, the cops, and the heat, and the fakeass beats, where the waves, and the sands, and the spray cans meet,” the other being “Grubstake,” seemingly talking about ‘played out’ subject material. Truth be told, they don’t really work with the rest of the album, which paints angry atmospheres I might liken to a futuristic and crime-ridden setting. “Grubstake” and “Breakdance Beach,” however, seem like a jump back in time, the former sounding like an electronic and idiosyncratic version of a southern beat, the latter like an African drum beat type composition. Aside from those two, all the beats are hectic and heavy, with Aesop and Rob rapping while varying between flows every track and making memorable hooks.



However, that’s not to say their performances are flawless. Aesop Rock’s drawl has started sounding even more nasal, if possible, and will begin to get annoying on certain tracks after repeated listens. He’s started to less clearly enunciate his words (or perhaps that’s the result of the gritty production?), which makes the way he raps sound more rolling, and for much of the album when he’s rapping he’s actually, for the most part, completely outperformed by Rob Sonic in terms of flow and delivery, and it seems Rob’s lyrics’ meanings are equally as convolutedly hidden as Aesop Rock’s. Neither are really deficient in any particular area, except perhaps the enjoyability of their voices, which isn’t really their fault, and when Aesop lays down the angry and complex beats, they actually complement their voices, though not in ways that some might find enjoyable.



In summary, this album may or may not be for you. It’s a huge depart from any of Aesop’s previous works sonically, and frequently quite enjoyably so. Neither emcee’s performances will ever really jump out at you as having ‘ripped’ the beat, but the raps are certainly enjoyable, and the production isn’t totally consistent, though pretty close to being so. If you feel like trying something new and weird, like, say, trying to be friends with that smart kid who’s interesting but happens to be the fear of everyone around him because of his idiosyncrasies, then this album might be for you. However, he’s not the most fun kid, and if he’s not your type, you’ll probably hate his guts. In any case, for what it is, the album’s good.


user ratings (38)
Chart.
3.4
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
Tupik
June 2nd 2011


673 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Nice review, not sure if I'll check this out though, I'm not too big of an Aesop fan and I've got billions of albums to listen to.

Review wasn't flawless, but I like how you pointed out the LP's flaws, pretty good job overall, I pos'd.

daIceman
June 2nd 2011


404 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

i am going to listen that LP soon...


Maniac!
June 2nd 2011


26257 Comments


I WANT THIS SO BAD

Maniac!
June 3rd 2011


26257 Comments


Well this was disappointing

Tyrael
June 3rd 2011


20946 Comments


Surprise surprise...

Digging: Azealia Banks - Broke With Expensive Taste

Maniac!
June 3rd 2011


26257 Comments


wanted it to be a 4.5/5

Cognautic
June 3rd 2011


17 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks all for the compliments, criticism is welcome. Sorry for not responding, year's coming to a close and I've got a couple last assignments to complete.

Urinetrouble
June 3rd 2011


5764 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

yay someone finally reviewed it. album is pretty good but not a 4. heard this before all you jelly hayders did

231090
June 9th 2011


20 Comments


This album is so disappointing. I was expecting something the likes of "Dark Heart News" for Aes' None Shall Pass, or "D-Up" -- instead, this sounds like outtakes from far less excellent albums. It's not terrible, it's just that these 3 guys have made far better colaborations in the past.

Cognautic, though I completely disagree with your rating, I'm actually glad to see that someone love this album :- ) The review was pretty great and very comprehensive. Good job!

Maniac!
June 9th 2011


26257 Comments


^^^ agreed

daIceman
June 10th 2011


404 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I disagree with you guys. This album isnt dissapointing at all. At first I feel same as you but after week and listenined it over and over again i found love to almost all songs.
For me Aesop on that LP perform ridicously great and chemistry between him and rob sonic is great. I think for most people could be disapointng that because its really creative hiphop you can hate it or love it, I love it. Who loves underground hiphop music and has open ears for creative beats and flow must to love it that LP "are you gonna eat that?" is definetly one of the best record in 2011...
TOP5 songs from best to worst: Meeter Feeder, Church pants, Knievel, Garfield, Mailbox Baseball


Inveigh
June 12th 2011


25106 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I like this a lot less than I did at first, I think it's because good beats get old quicker than good rhymes.

not that the raps don't sound good, but neither guy has the flow or wit on this disc to keep it that interesting.

Digging: Hail Mary Mallon - Bestiary

Cognautic
June 17th 2011


17 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

@231090 - Thanks for the complements!

Yeah, I said that this album's weird at the end...it may work for some and others it won't.

TomAkaVeto
October 14th 2011


1687 Comments


I just want a new Aesop Rock album. This is good but Aesop Rock alone is much better.

qwe3
December 25th 2011


21369 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

bet this sucks

AtavanHalen
December 25th 2011


17927 Comments


fuck off this rules

qwe3
December 25th 2011


21369 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

if aesop rock is the best rapper in a project that shits in trouble

AtavanHalen
December 25th 2011


17927 Comments


hate on hater aesop is king

qwe3
December 25th 2011


21369 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

: D

Maniac!
December 25th 2011


26257 Comments


Aesop rules, but this is boring



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