Aceyalone

A Book of Human Language

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A hip-hop concept album with a rather broad concept: the main thread seems to be that the song titles all begin with "The" ("The March," "The Vision," "The Hunt," etc.). If A Book of Human Language's 20 tracks drag somewhat at times -- and are weighed down by a bit too much THC-induced profundity -- this is easily forgiven, since it is a relief to hear a rapper rap about something other than his own greatness. Aceyalone wins major points for even trying to tackle weighty topics like life, death, time, and language. The production is organic and rich, but just ragged enough to sound honest. Add in a spoken word excerpt from "Jabberwocky," exceedingly deft rhyming, and a hip-hop answer to Pink Floyd's "Time" ("The Grandfather Clock"), and you have a quite ambitious and pleasing package.

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