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None Shall Pass

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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Marisa Brown
Aesop Rock has been impressing the backpacker crowd with his intricate lyrics and dark, dirty, melodic production ever since he self-released Music for Earthworms back in 1997, helping to define the East Coast underground scene and validate the presence of white rappers. And even though he moved to San Francisco in 2005, prompting some outcry from New York purists, all thoughts of bright, funky West Coast beats and lyrics can be put to rest, because None Shall Pass, the album being heralded as the true follow-up to the seminal Labor Days, is as powerful as anything the MC has ever created. Once again Blockhead takes responsibility for most of the production here, though ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Marisa Brown
Aesop Rock has been impressing the backpacker crowd with his intricate lyrics and dark, dirty, melodic production ever since he self-released Music for Earthworms back in 1997, helping to define the East Coast underground scene and validate the presence of white rappers. And even though he moved to San Francisco in 2005, prompting some outcry from New York purists, all thoughts of bright, funky West Coast beats and lyrics can be put to rest, because None Shall Pass, the album being heralded as the true follow-up to the seminal Labor Days, is as powerful as anything the MC has ever created. Once again Blockhead takes responsibility for most of the production here, though he's helped out both by Rock himself who showed off his skills, as well as those of his guitar-playing wife, on the Nike-commissioned Original Run series back in February 2007 and Def Jux labelhead and near-legend El-P, who also adds vocals to "39 Thieves," one of the few tracks on the record that has a fairly comprehensible message "Money is cool, I'm only human/But they use it as a tool to make the workers feel excluded/Like the shinier the jewel the more exclusive the troop is/Bullets don't take bribes, stupid, they shoot shit," he rhymes in the breakdown. Because despite, or perhaps more accurately, due to, Aesop Rock's verbal talent and his ability to combine complicated internal rhyme with innovative phrasing and metaphors, a lot of his couplets, and even entire stories, are fairly cryptic. "None Shall Pass," with its great keyboard sample and helium-voiced chorus, is vaguely about society having to pay for its sins, the fantastic "The Harbor Is Yours" tells the tale of a "pirate," and features some great vocal stuttering "And you should tell them where you situate the gold/That is unless you'd like a vacation with Davy J-J-J-Jones", and "Bring Back Pluto" is more than an appeal to astronomers, though to who else it applies to is a little unclear. This doesn't mean that there are a lot of empty phrases here -- Aesop Rock is clearly a careful, deliberate writer -- but he can tend toward the experimental school of rhyme, which can be a little alienating. Still, his cadence, sharp and accentuated, and his bitonal flow are strangely warm and inviting, and it's hard not to get sucked into at least trying to understand what he's saying, trying to make sense of it all. Plus, the talent, both of Rock and his guests which, besides El-P, also include Ron Sonic, John Darnielle from the Mountain Goats, Breezly Brewin', and Cage is impressive, and makes None Shall Pass an album that deserves a lot of attention, both inside and outside the hip-hop world.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 8/28/2007
  • Label: Definitive Jux
  • UPC: 600308814417
  • Catalog Number: 88144

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Keep off the Lawn (3:45)
  2. 2 None Shall Pass (4:03)
  3. 3 Catacomb Kids (4:07)
  4. 4 Bring Back Pluto (4:29)
  5. 5 Fumes (5:00)
  6. 6 Getaway Car - Breezly Brewin (3:15)
  7. 7 39 Thieves (4:15)
  8. 8 The Harbor Is Yours (3:58)
  9. 9 Citronella (4:53)
  10. 10 Gun for the Whole Family (3:53)
  11. 11 Five Fingers (4:06)
  12. 12 No City (4:28)
  13. 13 Dark Heart News - Rob Sonic (3:58)
  14. 14 Coffee (9:34)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Aesop Rock Primary Artist, Track Performer
El-P Vocals
Derek Layes Bass, Bass Guitar
Camu Tao Vocals
Rob Sonic Vocals
Carson Binks Bass, Bass Guitar
Allyson Baker Guitar
Hollis Vocals
DJ Big Wiz scratching
Technical Credits
Ken Heitmueller Mastering
El-P Producer, Audio Production
John Darnielle Producer, Engineer
Aesop Rock Producer, Audio Production
Derek Layes Engineer
Blockhead Producer, Audio Production
Rob Sonic Engineer, Audio Production
Jeremy Fish Illustrations
C. "Cage" Dalko Producer, Engineer
P. "Breezly Brewin" Smith Producer, Engineer
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    A reviewer

    I bought it for one song. And after listening to it fully, I have no regrets on my purchase. I own all his other albums love this one. The lyrics are pure Aesop Rock through and through and the beats are perfection. Intense.

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews