It had been four years since Aesop Rock's 2012 album Skelethon, but if this 2016 LP sounds quite different, it's not just because of the time passed. All of the left-field rapper and producer's gear was stolen back in 2013, and even if these new tones and textures were previewed on the EP with Homeboy Sandman from 2015, LICE, this is the album where all that delicious "new new" comes on strong. The extremely esoteric and elaborate lyricist also tones it down just a bit in a winning effort to make this an autobiographical effort, with the nerdy "Dorks" being one of his most connectable cuts to date. His rocky relationship with his family is covered in detail throughout the album, but in contrast, "Kirby" concerns his recently adopted rescue cat who pukes anytime he eats cheap cat food. Lyrical prowess is never in doubt, and neither is the idea that the MC is an acquired taste, but this wordy, extroverted, and capricious effort is an alive whirlwind with more pride than usual. That last bit makes it one of the most persuasive Aesop efforts to date.
AllMusic Review by David Jeffries