ALBUM REVIEW: Aesop Rock’s The Impossible Kid
ALBUM REVIEW | By Alandra Peabody
Aesop Rock has long been pushing lyrical boundaries and using his unmatched vocabulary to delight and challenge avid listeners. His newest release, 'The Impossible Kid', takes this skill to new heights while also unlocking accessibility in his otherwise nearly academic style. The album is his most personal and introspective to date, and that raw honesty breaks down some of the barriers of prose Aesop has come to be known for.
On his track, ‘Rings’, Aes takes an introspective look at the choices he made as a young man, reflecting sullenly on drifting away from creating visual art over time as apathy and the demands of the day-to-day grind got in the way of artistic pursuits. The swift changes in cadence and the somewhat melancholy feel of this song (and really, the whole album) make for a delightful sonic experience. Aes has toyed often with creative sampling and intricate beats. The Impossible Kid takes this to an enchanting and cohesive new level.
Though he is not quick to jump on the “rapper beef” bandwagon, ‘Dorks’ is a punchy track that disparages the “posturing and pageantry” in today’s mainstream rap. With skill supplanting the need for harsher language, the aptly-named track quietly but firmly establishes Aesop Rock as above the silliness often found in the current, popular hip-hop scene.
In ‘Defender’, Aes recounts a rabies scare in his neighborhood and the subsequent overreaction from residents. While ultimately describing somewhat mundane experiences in the song, Aes still manages to create an interesting story that touches on several subjects - the oddity of overly oppressive neighborhoods, his own feelings of apathy and ageing, and exaggerated claims of imminent danger.
Though every song touches on more serious themes throughout the album, not all of the tracks on The Impossible Kid are heavy. In ‘Kirby’, Aes sings about his small kitten in a way that is far more head-banging than a song about adopting a cat should rightfully be. Aesop has ability unmatched when it comes to turning common phrases on their head or making seemingly inane subjects fascinating simply by his impressive vernacular and lyrical sorcery.
An album best experienced rather than just thrown on the stereo, The Impossible Kid is a fascinating and expertly crafted journey through the mind of “the future of abominable imagery”.
Rhymesayers Artist Page: https://rhymesayers.com/artists/aesoprock