The Spirit Of Apollo

  • Record Label: Anti
  • Release Date: Feb 17, 2009

Generally favorable reviews - based on 24 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 11 out of 24
  2. Negative: 4 out of 24
  1. 90
    The Spirit of Apollo is what happens when the imagination is let out of its cage. Good things happen.
  2. Alternative Press
    N.A.S.A.'s dope beats and wet-dream collaborations make Apollo an absolute must-have. [Jun 2009, p.111]
  3. Naturally, Sam Spiegel (a.k.a. Squeak E. Clean, and Spike Jonze’s brother) and DJ Zegon’s attempt at album unity is flawed. The real question: Can The Spirit Of Apollo transcend its built-in Achilles’ heel? The short answer is yes, as there’s something to like on every song.
  4. The spirit of hip hop lives on in N.A.S.A. Investigate this album if you have any taste.
  5. All those guests have a lot on their minds--the economy, the history of hip-hop, their own skills--and the N.A.S.A. team makes sure no one wears out a welcome.
  6. They appear to have set out to make the world's trendiest record, and succeeded. The tracklist on their album of terrific party songs commands a kind of double double-take.
  7. LA producers bond over Sao Paolo funk.
  8. Filter
    N.A.S.A. is, like its government counterpart, bloated with potential and rife with inefficiencies, resulting in a record which is more impressive fotr its guest list than its track list. [Winter 2009, p.91]
  9. The beats are eminently funky, the rhymes tight, and the topics decidedly old-school: plain-spoken boasts, the rejection of greed, and an acknowledgment of our communal evolution indicate the overall tone.
  10. Under The Radar
    The Spirit Of Apollo manages to be almost as amazing as Clean and DJ Zagon's A-list wrangling abilities. [Winter 2009, p.81]
  11. They've gathered a dazzling roster of guest stars, including David Byrne, Chuck D, RZA, Karen O, Tom Waits, M.I.A., Kanye West and Lykke Li, but the way they've used them isn't inventive enough.
  12. That overstuffed guest list doesn't necessarily work to the exclusive benefit of The Spirit of Apollo, as sometimes the clutter makes it hard to hear precisely what kind of music Zegon and Spiegel are trying to make here.
  13. The album is occasionally brought to earth by mediocre hip-hop, suggesting the project would have been better with a smaller, more focused cast.
  14. On Apollo, L.A. scenemakers Squeak E. Clean and DJ Zegon pull in a wild roster of stars for what feels like a playful unity jam.
  15. It’s a party record with random hints of sci-fi. The challenges, though, of producing a truly inventive, kinetic collaboration with so many big names must have been massive--the expression “like a kid in a candy store” comes to mind--and N.A.S.A. shows no particular brilliance on this outing.
  16. Mojo
    The results are as scattershot as the guest list. [Mar 2009, p.106]
  17. Q Magazine
    It's by nature a patchwork, but boasts more hits than misses. [Mar 2009, p.98]
  18. The Spirit of Apollo is what happens when you pack 40 guest appearances onto a single album and expect their charisma alone to make something intriguing. It’s a huge gamble, and one The Spirit of Apollo lost.
  19. 50
    These ringers are lively, and complement one another surprisingly well. So why is the record so underwhelming? That’d be the men at the helm.
  20. Girl Talk succeeded by deconstructing pop hits; we heard every prerecorded sample in a new way. N.A.S.A., on the other hand, just slaps everything up there, and expects it to stick. It doesn't.
  21. Apollo is too much, too confusing, and too forgettable.
  22. The Spirit Of Apollo, a record boasting some of the most pioneering musical talent of the last three decades, does not sound "timeless" but nor does it seem an appropriate tonic, voices passing unheralded in a confusion of mediocre, glossy production, guests from the stratosphere reduced to faces in the crowd.
  23. Besides their inability to meet the very aims they set out for themselves, Clean and Zegon fail to do much of anything exciting with their all-star cast.
  24. These clusterfuck all-the-cooks experiments, more often than not, add up to way, way less than the sum of their parts.
User Score

Mixed or average reviews- based on 20 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 2 out of 4
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 4
  3. Negative: 2 out of 4
  1. Apr 14, 2016
    a little overrun by too many guest appearances. most of the featured guests shouldnt be featured on the same song with each other. in additiona little overrun by too many guest appearances. most of the featured guests shouldnt be featured on the same song with each other. in addition many of them dont seem to really bring much to the track their on. the ones we know little about dont blend well together either. hard to blend many styles into one hoping the result comes out good. Full Review »
  2. LeeH
    Mar 14, 2009
    If you are not an indie rock fan that digs hip hop, pass on this one. Not for everyone but I really dig it. Good energy.
  3. GavinB
    Mar 3, 2009
    A Massive album!