None Shall Pass
|Price:||CDN$ 16.71 & FREE Shipping on orders over CDN$ 25. Details|
Order now and we'll deliver when available. We'll e-mail you with an estimated delivery date as soon as we have more information. Your account will only be charged when we ship the item.
Frequently Bought Together
Customers Who Viewed This Item Also Viewed
|1. Keep Off the Lawn|
|2. None Shall Pass|
|3. Catacomb Kids|
|4. Bring Back Pluto|
|6. Getaway Car|
|7. 39 Thieves|
|8. The Harbor Is Yours|
|10. Gun For the Whole Family|
|11. Five Fingers|
|12. No City|
|13. Dark Heart News|
Created over a 2 year period following his last release, 'None Shall Pass' unravels retrospectively, documenting not only much personal change that Aesop experienced over these years, but also scenes and stories indicative of all ages of life. Forgoing the typical stance of braggadocio everpresent in underground and mainstream hip-hop alike, Aesop Rock investigates and examines himself and others on this album; likening the title phrase to the inevitable judgment that everyone must ncounter by their peers based solely on their actions. The majority of production on 'None Shall Pass' is handled by Aesop's longtime partner BLOCKHEAD, labelmate and friend ROB SONIC and AESOP confidently producing a large portion of his own tracks, not including a trademark dystopian banger by DEF JUX label-head El-P ("Gun For The Whole Family") and features the MOUNTAIN GOATS' JOHN DARNIELLE on the album closer (and second single) "Coffee". DJ BIG WIZ also has a large presence on the album, appearing on 13 out of 14 tracks and offering a devastating rebuttal to those that say the art of scratching is dead.
Aesop Rock has always avoided courting mass appeal in favor of lyrically battering tomes and musically unrelenting blitzkrieg. With None Shall Pass, things have changed. There's nothing like a brisk jog to help chill out a few notches, so after the digital-only release All Day--an album in conjunction with Nike, meant to be heard while on a 45-minute run--it's no surprise that the following album from indie hip-hop's most aggressive MC is radically more accessible than his previously feral discography. Throughout, None Shall Pass supports the rapid-fire delivery and surreal world-view that longtime fans have come to adore, but finally, Aesop throws the masses a bone via backing tracks loaded with hooks aplenty and riffs to spare. "Catacomb Kids" spins a coming-of-age tale atop a guitar line worthy of the best in early '90s rap-rock. "Fumes" stutters forth on the most slithering, syncopated drum cadence in the whole Aesop archive. The ambling instrumental behind "No City" is a dead ringer for Portishead. All told, only a few of these songs sidestep a new commitment to accessibility that should mark None Shall Pass as Aesop Rock's breakout record. At last. --Jason Kirk
What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?
Top Customer Reviews
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
For me, at least, this latest album was going to be all or nothing. If it sucked, then it meant I would have to come to terms with the fact that there might not be another Labor Days, and that Aesop might have run out of ideas. If it was good, though, then his mediocre last two albums would be forgiven as nothing but a phase, a testing of a style that didn't necessarily work. Aesop would be back.
Fortunately, the latter was true. But don't take that to mean that this is another Labor Days or another Float. This album has a different sound, a different style, and a different direction than anything Aesop has done before. In my personal opinion, it doesn't quite reach the lyrical greatness of his pre-Bazooka work, but it succeeds where Bazooka Tooth failed in that it is actually fun to listen to. The production is absolutely stellar (with the exception of one sub-par track from Rob Sonic), with head-nodders and melodic masterpieces throughout. The guest spots are well-integrated, well-planned, and few enough to avoid the disjointed feel that plagues so many rap albums.
Aesop's lyrics are as cryptic as ever, a quality that has never really allowed him to be popular in the mainstream, but has made him an icon in the underground. His songs require patience and active decoding. Anyone familiar with Aesop's work knows that the true concepts and messages of his songs lie buried in a thick mesh of obscure cultural references, little-known slang, inside jokes, and complex metaphors. However, it has often been said that this is Aesop's most accessible work to date, a label that probably lies more in its production than its lyrical content.
Aesop has put together an album to be counted among the best hip-hop releases of the year, sure to please both longtime fans and newcomers alike. Welcome back, Aesop. We've missed you.
class A releases a couple amazing albums but then becomes artistically spent and sticks around as a hollow shell of their former selves selling albums on reputation and glimpses of their former glory: Nas, Eminem, 50 come to mind.
Then there's class B whom you have to wait ages for new material, but when it finally comes out they continue to amaze: Breeze Brewin, Dr. Dre, El-P.
Then there's Aesop Rock, who's in a class of his own. He doesn't let more than a couple years go between an EP or LP, and seemed to drop amazing versus on everyone else's album in between, and yet with every new release the quality is easily as good as the previous one, if not better. It blows my mind when a rapper is as prolific and inexhaustible as AR is. Aesop doesn't try to draw fake buckets from his empty artist's well, rather I picture his well overflowing nonstop and it's all he can do to attempt to frantically catch even half of it.
Although Blockhead is back I don't really see this as a step backward toward Labor Days and Float like others seem to. Everything is so refined and AR seems so comfortable and at home (almost in an "I'm dope and know it" sort of way) just as he was in Fast Cars and Bazooka.
One nice innovation that worked out splendidly was the live instrumentation including the guitar riffs his wife lays down. As soon as I heard it scorch into the opening track I was like "oh, no you didn't just tastefully share a track w/ block and Aes did you! yes you did!" It works perfectly and it's yet another new take/direction for AR musically.
All in all, the realist in me keeps waiting for Aesop to stop either dropping so frequently or become a hollow shell of his former self, but the fan wanting both quality and quantity has yet to be disappointed. Here's to having our cake and eating it too!
That's all gone on this record.
His older style makes its celebrated return, making for an album less incendiary than its predecessors, but still a very strong effort. For the stories Aesop wanted to tell, I suppose his old style was the only way to do it. I was a bit disappointed on first spin, but since then this record has really grown on me. Once the tales sink their teeth into your neck, these tracks deliver some of the most concrete ideas of his career.
To balance it all out, there are still a couple tracks where the message is typically cryptic (Popcorn, eh?). The Aesop faithful wouldn't have it any other way, but since this album is...a step backward in my book (no offense), I can't help but wonder what this album would be like if the songs were as self-explanatory as "No Regrets" (off Labor Days), as communication appears to be what he's going for. Some tracks are, others are not.
Hope this helps.
The opening track kicks us off indicating the album won't just be alive, but too alive. My personal favorite song, 39 Thieves, features Aesop showing off during a break down.
"We're not concerned with the community aloofness
Duke, we're animals, we just go where the most food is
Lower the toast, most formal etiquette is useless
Truth is you're equally expendable if spoonfed
Money is cool and I'm only human
But they use it as a tool to make the workers feel excluded
Like the shinier the jewel the more exclusive the troop is
Bullets don't take bribes stupid, they shoot s***"
He spits out while his voice and the music fades from one speaker to the other and back. The production on None Shall Pass is new and refreshing and fits nicely allowing Aesop to show his lyrical abilities. This is easily one of the best albums of 2007.
Catacomb Kids. Essentially speaking on his life & antics growing up in Suffolk County in Northshore, New York. Almost completely within the air of sarcasm throughout the entire track saying lines like "No hookie rookie, day trippin on visions of chickens that look like R. Crumb drew em", basically saying he was no stranger to skipping school and he would often day dream about rinky dink bitches (or chickenheads) that look like the artist R.Crumb drew them. I found that line ridiculously hilarious. Also the line "Crispy the god sender who thunk over a quarter plunk to local Mortal Kom venders" basically sarcastically making fun of the religious church kids going to be burnt to crisp in hell for spending all of their free time in arcades playing violent games like Mortal Kombat, etc. I found this funny because I myself grew around kids EXACTLY like this lol. Great track with also much sarcasm of neighborhood skulduggery and criminal mischief I could relate to.
Five Fingers. The story, evolution, and character traits of a crooked man. Aesop is insisting that a crooked life starts as early as toddler stages saying lines like "Two coke bottles adorn the rogue toddler Grapple a refrigerator, gaffle vanilla wafer" and the complete and utter neglecting of any remorse or scruples for stealing with the line "And no role model provoke him to shift focus, cause he noticed that a cookie tastes better when it's stolen". When broken down into several different ways this track can actually teach quite a bit about the psyche of a crooked person. Loved it.
And finally, No City. The more I listen to and decipher this song the more I feel like this is one of my top 5 favorite songs in hip hop history (yes I just said that). Basically in a very ROUGH nutshell Aesop is saying that man (people in general) is smart and hardworking but ignorance is bliss and blind to the power that be, and as long as he (Aesop) recognizes this, he can be ahead of the curve. Like the line "A is gullible you figure, all man equal, no brainer. Take it his friends and neighbors didn't cater." He is sarcastically saying everyone is naive to thinking all men are equal when we obviously are not. Another favorite line is "He's brazen but apparently inferno bound now. For when a man of cloth recite his wrongs he wouldn't bow down", basically saying a man can be bold and courageous standing as role model amongst rebels, but since he is going against grain, he is hell bound. And while a man who is higher up in society is busted for doing terrible things behind closed doors he is generally unpunished." There is much more depth to this track that I could almost write an entire article on. It is definitely a poetically brilliant song that resonates very deeply with me.
Aesop Rock, in my opinion is among one of the greatest lyricists I have ever heard. Each line he spits, after a careful analyzing, seems like he spent hours writing it, and it's that reason alone that makes him so prolific. Your thoughts should not be contemporary when engaging Aesop Rock, you should be thinking more along the lines of great poets in history like Edgar Allen Poe or Earnest Hemingway, even a few very light sprinkles of Dr. Seuss's style. His writings in None Shall Pass are at an absolute peak and even though I only lightly described 3, all of the tracks are incredibly deep and teach dozens upon dozens of lessons. Aesop see's things clear, very clear. And until I get enough time to decipher Skelethon, None Shall Pass will stand as the epitome of all that is Aesop Rock and his best album. Hope you've enjoyed the review. Thanks for reading.