Every Monday, Ghettoblaster is looking back to new albums released the previous week. Below you’ll find several albums released on Friday April 29th that we believe are definitely worth a listen.
Aesop Rock – The Impossible Kid (Rhymesayers)
Aesop Rock never intended to be a rap artist when he began making beats in his bedroom somewhere near 20 years ago, it was just a hobby to pass the time. His true passions were creating art in a different form, mainly by drawing and painting. Yet, here we are, a couple decades and several classic albums later, with another Aesop Rock album. It has been four years since his last album, and a lot has happened in that time, culminating in Aesop leaving his home in San Francisco and moving into a barn in the woods, where he would begin working on The Impossible Kid. The past four years has found Aesop Rock collaborating a lot with other people for not strictly his own work. For the new album he decided to take total control. There are no guest rappers, singers or producers, this is truly a singular voice saying what he wants to say. The Impossible Kid is the most personal record Aesop has made, delving into dealing with depression and attempting to mend strained family relationships, while also focusing on mundane aspects of everyday life with fantastic surrealistic wordplay. Not only is The Impossible Kid Aesop Rock’s most personal album it is also one of his strongest outputs yet. Aesop Rock’s production is mostly post-apocalyptic boom bap, murky and somewhat mechanical with a strong breakbeat. There are some variances on that theme, but overall the production is solid and complements the vocal performance perfectly. Hearing that Aesop Rock was a drawer and painter before his hobby of hip hop took off is not a big surprise. He brings an artistic approach to his version of hip hop, and paints vivid pictures with his lyricism instead of paints or paper. The soul of the artist never left Aesop Rock, he simply changed canvases.
King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard – Nonagon Infinity (ATO Records)
Nonagon Infinity is being billed as the “world’s first infinitely looping album,” which at first sounds like some sort of strictly promotional technique. Yet, despite all that could go wrong with an album that loops over on itself, King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard pull something truly original and fresh off and deliver an incredibly solid album in the process. Nonagon Infinity starts in the middle of something already in progress and ends abruptly out of nowhere and if you put the album on repeat it will seamlessly continue playing in a stream of never-ending chugging metal music. This is like Mad Max: Fury Road in album form, all pedal to the floor car chase that somehow produces an emotional, wonderful and truly original piece of art in the process. Overall this is riff heavy metal music, yet the more you listen the more diversity you find in the music: there are recurring riffs that could act as musical themes throughout and Eastern influences give way to some psychedelic shifts. King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard have packed a ton of great music over the course of just 41 minutes, or is it 82 or infinity?
Pity Sex – White Hot Moon (Run for Cover)
White Hot Moon is an emotional ride, dealing with love and loss with harshness and beauty. Ann Arbor band Pity Sex make shoegaze music that also reads as pop punk. These are catchy songs with walls of heavily distorted guitars, sung by a tandem of male and female vocalists. The male and female vocal dynamic works especially well with Pity Sex as Brennan Greaves performance is low and monotone, which plays off of Britty Drake’s higher and more expressive vocals. Thematically, the album covers the terrain of being in love and also what it’s like to lose those people that you love. Overall, this is a loud and catchy album, which covers universal territory we can all relate to.
Freeway – Free Will (Babygrande Records)
Freeway rips and roars his way through Free Will, mixing his aggressive rapping with huge beats to result in one of the most fun hip hop albums of the year. Freeway’s vocal delivery is reminiscent of Ghostface Killah circa Fishscale in the best possible way. Free Will features production from S. Frank, Scholito, L.E.S, Money Alwayz, Girl Talk and Tryfe, resulting in a varied yet cohesive set of hard hitting bangers, which complements Freeway’s intense vocals well. Freeway summed up his new album perfectly in an interview with XXL: “I feel real good about the project. I feel like it’s probably my best album to date. I put a lot into it and I was in a good space when I recorded it. This project, the fucking beats are incredible, the energy is incredible. Free Will sounds and feels like where I’m supposed to be.”
Other Noteworthy Releases
Chuck Inglish and Blended Babies – Ev Zepplin (BBMG)
Kyle Craft – Dolls of Highland (Sub Pop)