Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

Aesop Rock: Labor Days [Def Jux, 2001]
Like most alt-rappers, he's got the logorrhea bad, and although he's figured out a lot for a 25-year-old, only a 21-year-old is gonna get that much smarter parsing every last detail of whatever the fuck he's talking about. But sometimes his meanings are there for the taking, as on the thematic "9-5ers Anthem," and the self-fulfilling "No Regrets," about an 87-year-old outsider artist on her obscure and happy deathbed. The beats have a subtle logic of their own, like the medina saxophone on one cut that sets up the heavenly houris on the next. And anybody (well, this being alt-rap, any heterosexual male) can use this Inspirational Verse: "Life's not a bitch/Life is a beautiful woman/You only call her a bitch because she won't let you get that pussy." A-