Bazooka Tooth - Aesop Rock
Metascore
74

Generally favorable reviews - based on 16 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 13 out of 16
  2. Negative: 1 out of 16
  1. It helps to enjoy Aesop's oscillating growl simply as an instrument, considering it may take months before his endless, seemingly im-parse-able, might-be metaphors start making sense.
  2. Even if it won't hit you on the first listen, Bazooka Tooth remains a strong outing from one of underground hip-hop's most talented, thanks to its unprecedented wealth of lyrical depth and truly individual production style.
  3. Regardless of his less than subtle studio technique, Bravitz remains one of the most resourceful and bracing artists in his field.
  4. There's no question Aesop Rock makes essentially no sense half the time. The other half, he's painting abstract art all over fractured soundscapes. The music is smart and progressive; it's also pretentious and challenging.
  5. 80
    [His] loquacious, dizzying delivery and disjointed imagery paired with the abstract soundscapes of [El-P and Blockhead] make for occasionally uneasy listening. [Nov 2003, p.108]
  6. An album as dense and uncompromising as his native New York. [Nov 2003, p.116]
  7. Bazooka Tooth not only gets better as the disc goes on -- the beats get thicker, the songs come together more fully and Rock stops proselytizing long enough to let your head bob and relax -- but it actually improves with repeated listens.
  8. Perhaps the producers have toned themselves down a bit just so Aesop can rock harder. Maybe they don’t want to steal his thunder. Whatever their motivation, the beats feel somewhat restrained, lethargic and lazy. But they are perfectly suited to Aesop’s limpid down-tempo rhymes.
  9. 70
    Every time you think you've got to the bottom of a particular song, another layer of intrigue presents itself. [Oct 2003, p.118]
  10. 70
    In small doses (songs, verses, lines), Aesop's latest is a brutally great argument that hip-hop's new-new-new-new-new-school is as creative as its oldest. [Nov 2003, p.88]
  11. He doesn't offer an alternative to mainstream rap so much as operate in another world altogether.
  12. 70
    The flows may be lacking in precision, but precision isn't always necessary when you've got a bazooka growing out of your grill. [#7, p.88]
  13. It radiates with a confidence fuelled by acolytes and its fun is infectious. But... the angry cynicism coursing through the album creates a distance between its maker and the listener. [#237, p.53]
  14. Bazooka Tooth simply pushes too far.
  15. It’s just a shame that the lack of soul in his rotating rap deliveries tends to undermine his masterful storytelling capabilities.
  16. Way too much of Bazooka Tooth is purely ego nonsense.

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