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.
Across Old Ramon's sprawling 70-minute set, Kozelek is still a master of his sly charade, disguising sprawling webs of complex guitar chords and considered narratives as humble, simple acoustic ditties.
Whatever the lyrical content, though, the pleasures of N*E*R*D ultimately come down to their exhilarating production, flush with the breathless energy of rock and starry-eyed with the psychedelic potential of the studio.
They don't always sound consistent on this debut, occasionally misfiring with underworked material, but overall the strengths overshadow any weaknesses, and when they truly hit their stride they're devastatingly effective.
Written with some basic, inviting rock structures, the album replaces the hyper energy and angst of older material with slowed-down, complex textures and delicate grooves -- but still rocks out intermittently.
They combine the angular dread of Joy Division with the slow burn of the Velvet Underground (circa the third album), underpinned with some sinuous rock dynamics and topped off with laconic, sometimes languid vocals.
The Super Furries have indulgently embraced a collision of musical elements; what we hear is a jarring, yet surprisingly seamless, mix of sounds and exceptional songwriting.... Their best work to date.
The most shocking aspect about You Forgot It in People is just how easily everything seems to be accomplished. Every note and transition is smooth and effortless, and there is such a wealth of brilliantly executed music.