Skelethon - Aesop Rock
User Score
8.5

Universal acclaim- based on 31 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 28 out of 31
  2. Negative: 2 out of 31

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  1. Nov 12, 2013
    10
    This album is freaking amazing. Aesop Rock kills it, and he is a great lyricist. I wished rappers like him would be out in the spotlight instead of all this trashy trap rappers these days.
  2. Mar 7, 2013
    9
    This is probably Aesop's most accessible album to date. He has mastered the craft of beat-making, and the intriguing but sometimes muddled productions of Bazooka Tooth have evolved into evocative, crushing, catchy ear-worms.
    This is also an accessible album lyrically, by Aesop standards. Still dense with poetry, metaphor, and 10-dollar words, these songs are nonetheless easier to
    understand than much of his early work. Right away, the listener can at least get a feel for the subject. It's a great album, full of crazy and awesome ideas about burial customs, haircuts, green beans, donuts, isolation, and much more.
    Recommended for any fan of Aesop, and as a very good starting point for new listeners.
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  3. Nov 15, 2012
    10
    This album is what is right with hip hop. It is creative and intelligent to the point of nearly being self aware. Listening to the album, one cannot help but hear in it the soundtrack of one's nightmares- but in a good way. Dark and obtuse but not off putting, Skelethon bears repeated listening.
  4. Jul 13, 2012
    10
    Skelethon is a beast of album with many faces ready to turn corners at break-neck speed and leave you with beads of sweat on your brow. This is not easy listening and if you aren't up to being challenged take a pass on it, no harm no fowl. If you are then you will be rewarded. Aes' wordplay and flow are top notch and turned up throughout. He took the helm of producing this one himself and it paid off. Tracks are tight and drums driving, nothing gets lost in the mix.

    A test of any piece of art, being painting, film, sculpture or music, is if can illicit an emotion that is unable to be conveyed in any other medium. "Ruby 81'" comes to mind immediately in this description, I do not believe that the emotion it communicates could be reached in any other medium; it is a mix of sadness, tension, relief and ennui. The same could be said about much of the rest of the album. Just when you think you are listening to a twist on your average banger filled with braggadocio (Tetra) it takes an almost delicate dip and back again. Lighthearted tracks are few but there are plenty of moments where you can enjoy tracks at face value. "Grace" is grin worthy from start to finish and "Racing Stripes" is downright joyful and jubilant.

    When Skelethon turns dark is is pitch pantone black. The album ender "Gopher Guts" is such a sobering slap in the face you might want to call your mom and tell her you love her, think about how you treat your friends and maybe write a letter to someone you miss. Despite it's variance, Skelethon is much more than the sum of it's parts. Taken together, it is a harrowing look into the mind of someone brave enough to let others in. Aesop Rock has produced and wrote and preformed an album that excels in every aspect of what art, not just music and not just hip hop, can be.
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  5. Jul 11, 2012
    10
    Skelethon is an album that contains multitudes. Much like they say about people. This is perhaps because it is the work of an artist truly coming into their own and giving himself fully to a project at the peak of his ability. On the album, Aesop Rock (a.k.a. Ian Bavitz) handles nearly all the production work (though he gets assistance from Rob Sonic, DJ Big Wiz, Grimace Federation and Dirty Ghosts Expand
  6. Jul 10, 2012
    9
    Production wise, this is by far Aesop's best work. He has found away to balance his impeccable vocabulary with a beat style that matches his weird, metaphor based, rhyme style. On the lyrics side, this is definitely his darkest, and possibly his most complex album to date. It doesn't have some of the large syllable usage of "Labor Days", but the level of deepness and subject matter is at its highest. There are certain songs that will bring Aesop fans back, songs resembling track beats on "Bazooka Tooth", but these beats are much more layered and change tempo and bpms throughout the tack. This is the indie rap equivilant of the mainstream rap's "My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy". "Tetra" is by far the biggest standout track on the album, changing up beats 3-4 times, and Aesop's lyrics at his best shouting "I wear the same hoodie everyday like Mumra!". Excluding "Tetra", my favorite tracks on the ablum would probably be "Gopher Guts", "Leisurforce", and "Homemade Mummy". I would give this a 9.3/10. Give it a listen; it is definitely his most accessible album to date, and will ease you into his strange style. Expand
Metascore
79

Generally favorable reviews - based on 27 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 23 out of 27
  2. Negative: 0 out of 27
  1. Nov 26, 2012
    90
    For Skelethon is the kind of record an artist only makes once in their career; the culmination of long-gestation, departing loved ones and having to innovate out of your comfort zone.
  2. Oct 3, 2012
    80
    His murky but upbeat productions augment this sensation, giving Skelethon a sort of B-boy gothic feel, an old school park jam recreated by Tim Burton. [Sep 2012, p.74]
  3. Sep 18, 2012
    85
    However challenging or confusing his rhymes can be, the songs still work with their combination of banging beats, rich lyricism, and twisted humor.