Aesop Rock
The Impossible Kid


4.0
excellent

Review

by VirtualBlaze USER (22 Reviews)
May 2nd, 2016 | 500 replies


Release Date: 2016 | Tracklist

Review Summary: "In your 30s, you can kinda still pretend to be young, but there’s not much pretending at 40...so yeah, this is the sound of me sliding into 40."

Aesop Rock is quite the unique musician. In a genre that has been characterized as being predominantly political, as well as being associated with black culture, Rock doesn’t write his rap music about either of those things. He is a 40-year-old white man from New York named Ian. It seems like he doesn’t have a lot of conditions that are grouped alongside the culture of rap and hip-hop, other than being raised in New York perhaps. So what would Aesop Rock do with his music, given that his qualities separate him from the majority of other rappers"

Rock’s latest effort, The Impossible Kid, is an album that nearly everyone can relate to. While a lot of rap albums coming out these days feel like collaborative projects, with features on every track and the production handled by so many different people, he creates his music largely by himself. Rock produced all 15 tracks on this record. There are no other vocals on this album other than ones that come from him, and the samples ripped from vinyl that are sprinkled throughout the tracklist. Just before this album started to come together, Rock actually moved out of San Francisco to live in a barn in the woods, following the death of a friend. During a period of grief and sadness, The Impossible Kid was produced, and it is beautiful.

The album mixes together songs that can get a chuckle out of the listener with songs that can cause an existential crisis. An example of a song that might make you smile is ‘Kirby.’ It’s a three-minute-long song about a cat. This titular feline is doing all the things a normal household cat would do. Shredding earbuds, for example. The lyrics and the beat in this song provide a playful environment to describe a young, innocent pet. It takes a bittersweet turn at the end, however, when it’s revealed that this cat only came into Rock’s like after his psychiatrist (discussed at length in the previous song ‘Shrunk’) was at her wit’s end. After years of getting mental advice and taking medication and nothing seemed to help, the psychiatrist said “I don’t know, maybe get a kitten.”

Songs like ‘Kirby’ that are mostly harmless and inviting are juxtaposed with songs like ‘Lotta Years’ that can be quite scary. This song documents Rock's trip to a Baskin Robbins in the first verse, and a "juice place" in the second. He sees young people working behind the counter at each of these places. But he looks at the Baskin Robbins man and thinks that this 22-year-old guy serving him ice cream is already so much cooler than him. After that, he looks at the girl in the juice place and thinks "I bet you clone your pets and ride a hoverboard to work". This song is heartbreaking, because Rock has spent nearly 40 years working to be who he is today, spending time around artists and other rappers, and he was beaten by a couple millennials. He realizes how out-of-touch he is with the rest of the world.

The Impossible Kid seems to have a central theme, and that is 'childhood'. Whether it's retelling stories about his brothers, or digging up the immaturity within us all, or even reflecting upon how much better he could've turned out if he just kept painting, he always talks being young. The joy and nostalgia involved with growing up. Some songs can get stale a bit quicker than others on this album, but the amount of work that Rock put into it really shines. Even though some pain and turmoil was necessary during the creation of this album, it manifests itself in some pretty amazing ways. 4/5



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user ratings (455)
Chart.
4
excellent
other reviews of this album
olimar (4.5)
"Alex up the street called/Said he saw a bobcat..."...


Comments:Add a Comment 
PostMesmeric
May 2nd 2016


702 Comments


I can't stop listening to this record.

Tunaboy45
May 2nd 2016


15609 Comments


Great review, this seems to have a good amount of hype around it.

Digging: Converge - The Dusk in Us

VirtualBlaze
May 2nd 2016


654 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This album was released on my birthday, alongside Drake's 'Views'. This is definitely the better birthday present.

Digging: Squarepusher - Hard Normal Daddy

LotusFlower
May 2nd 2016


12002 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

"In your 30s, you can kinda still pretend to be young, but there’s not much pretending at 40...so yeah, this is the sound of me sliding into 40."




really funny coming from the guy with an album cover that would fit in right at home with 2007 Hot Topic.

Anthracks
May 2nd 2016


6054 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Aesop's best album. Easy probability that this will grow to a 4.5.

Digging: Anima Damnata - Nefarious Seed...

LotusFlower
May 2nd 2016


12002 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

best album eh?

guess ill have to take a looksee at this one.

Anthracks
May 2nd 2016


6054 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Album art reminds me of those cool 24 hour shirt sites, maybe you guys need to spend less time in Hot Topic.

LotusFlower
May 2nd 2016


12002 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

i havent been to a hot topic for a while, but the cover looks like something you could put on a Day To Remember record.

FadedSun
May 2nd 2016


1751 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Better than Labor Days?!

ConcubinaryCode
May 2nd 2016


4036 Comments


This isn't better than labor days. But it's still pretty great.

Calc
Contributing Reviewer
May 2nd 2016


15792 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

better than labor days

JigglyPDiddy
May 2nd 2016


3225 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I need to listen to this.

Digging: Fever Ray - Plunge

torts
May 2nd 2016


4300 Comments

Album Rating: 1.0

go awa y

MyCarandMyGuitar
May 2nd 2016


2344 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

ppl asking if it's better than Labor Days implying that's best Aesop

TheSonomaDude
May 2nd 2016


5653 Comments


Did Aesop go deathcore or something

LordePots
May 2nd 2016


38255 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

labor days is objectively his best tho so yeah. aes sucks tho so who cares really.

Digging: Blondes - Warmth

Keyblade
May 2nd 2016


25013 Comments


yea

Digging: Summoning - With Doom We Come

LordePots
May 2nd 2016


38255 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

'smart' rap for dumb people.

JigglyPDiddy
May 2nd 2016


3225 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

torts told me this was his AOTY last night

LotusFlower
May 2nd 2016


12002 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

this guy should be arrested for thesaurus abuse tbh



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