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Old 01-22-2011, 10:38 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Astronautalis "Pomegranate" (2008)

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Originally Posted by sleepy jack View Post
I won't be on this week, so I hope there's no complaints that I'm going to make the second place album of last week's polls the album of the week this week. Sorry, I'll have the new nominations added when I'm back. Astronautalis' Pomegranate will be the next album.
That's why this is going ahead and being posted, again sorry.

Astronautalis "Pomengranate" (Eyeball Records)


1. The Wondersmith and His Sons
2. 17 Summers
3. Secrets of the Undersea Bell
4. My Old Man's Badge
5. Two Years Before the Mast
6. Mr. Blessington's Imperialist Plot
7. An Episode of Sparrows
8. The Case of William Smith
9. Trouble Hunters
10. Avalanche Patrol
11. The Most Important Track on the Album
12. The Story of My Life

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Stranger
Two minutes into Pomegranate, and a baby's already dead. Seattle rapper Astronautalis opens his third album with a gravelly, singsong murder yarn—like Edward Gorey tackling The Great Gatsby—while a live band contorts the burlesque, string-and-piano dirges of Nick Cave into a guitar-driven hiphop track. It's a bewildering collision, this catchy hiphop that converts a symphony of instruments into shameless, poppy hooks, and these strange stories rumbling under the dust of a history-obsessed bookstore.

But Astro's killin' it here. The former battle-rapper and Jacksonville, Florida, native has spent the past few years refining his musical perspective, and here he reaches a new rap-rock pinnacle, more aggressive and poppy than Why? yet darker and deeper than the Beastie Boys. Astronautalis's voice is the secret—deep and drawl-tinged, capably switching from Aesop Rock–ian speed-flow to prolonged singing passages often and seamlessly. There's nothing nasal or timid about this white boy, and even while shout-singing about drowning divers on "Secrets of the Undersea Bell," he still has a rapper's emphasis on flow: "The sea swelled like the ribcage of lions breathing/They pulled till you swore that the rope was bleeding/Ichor poured from the palms of gods and heathens."

Storytelling about the Opium Wars and courtroom sagas allows Astro to both flex his lyrical muscles and let loose on anthemic shouters—quite a few here, none better than "Trouble Hunters," a rumination on Southern pride that recalls "The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down" as a wild fist-pumper. But Astro can't help pointing the light back at himself and shining on the beautiful hidden track, which closes the album, fittingly, with rebirth: "She gave birth to my only son, a smokin' gun, blue-eyed, block chip/On the first warm day to end the ice age, frostbit."
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Ive seen you on muiltipul forums saying Metallica and slayer are the worst **** you kid go suck your **** while you listen to your ****ing emo **** I bet you do listen to emo music
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Old 01-24-2011, 08:28 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I just grabbed a copy so I'll be giving it some spins starting today!
Review sounds good, so I'm legit. excited about something new...

Ah, that's nice and unique. So far so good! Fairly different...
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Old 01-25-2011, 01:07 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I don't know whether I would classify this as rap, but its pretty cool so far.
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Old 01-25-2011, 05:50 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Abearmauledme View Post
I don't know whether I would classify this as rap, but its pretty cool so far.
I thought the same for a minute, but he lays down some verses on half of the tracks at least...
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Old 01-25-2011, 08:21 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Couldn't it also be considered talk-singing?
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Old 01-26-2011, 03:02 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Abearmauledme View Post
Couldn't it also be considered talk-singing?
Well, a lot more of the time, yeah, absolutely. But he still layed down a few verses...

I'm going for at least 5 full listens before I write any more about the album... I'll be back...
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Old 01-26-2011, 04:03 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Genre: Electro Indie-Rap-Rock?

1. The Wondersmith and His Sons
The opening track drags me right into Astronautalis' world. I had no trouble getting a feel for the guy's personality and what to expect from the album from this first track. While this is mostly sung, I'd like to argue that the fast bit in the middle was close to a solid verse... but whether or not he rapped at all on this track is questionable. That's not a disqualifier, at all.

2. 17 Summers
Really not my style of track right here, but this really reminded me of anticon crew, Why? or what not... That being said, this is the epitome of the indie side of the indie hip-hop, but it's so meh to me that I don't really want to hear it anymore.

3. Secrets of the Undersea Bell
I was starting to get concerned about whether I'd like the album or not, but this track restored my faith. Simply a fun track, and considering it's as repetitive as it is I'm surprised how much I enjoyed it. But it's not brilliant or spectacular. Just pleasant...

4. My Old Man's Badge
Bluh.... Seriously. Track 1 got it going, track 2 slowed it back down, track 3 tried to pick it up, and this. It slowly starts to increase tempo towards the end, and I enjoy his message... but... NEXT!

5. Two Years Before the Mast
Who's the lady, again, anyway? Same as on track 2.

First true, blue rap verses of the album as far as I'm concerned. I was kind of shocked but there it is! And what a relief. This is like ... the true beginning of the album. And it's all good from here on out I believe, so I'm not sure what artistic thing he was trying to pull with that stop and go on tracks 1-4...

Pleasant hook, digging his delivery on the verses. I'm just not necessarily a sucker for his slow indie parts which my flatmate over here is always drooling over. He's already liking it more than I, but I enjoy it as well.

6. Mr. Blessington's Imperialist Plot

The first track of the album I gave a perfect 10. Straight up sweet verses over a lovely beat. Like stomping trash can lids and a viola, and a piano? Snazzy and gruff. Highly contagious and meant to be replayed...

7. An Episode of Sparrows
Ah, for ****s sake. What a poet. Ah, that's better.

If anything, though, really love the beats on almost all these indie tracks. Pretty simple, but something I don't get enough of.

8. The Case of William Smith
And here we are again with another excellent track. Back on the upswing. Digging that echo, well, the beat in general. Here comes that horn.

Interesting first verse. This style... I'm hearing Aesop Rock's kind of flow, which is kind of...fun but also requires attention to be paid to rhyme scheme because he'll bounce off of weird patterns.

9. Trouble Hunters
A fun track, with a more of a rap-rock verse. It's noticeably different from the verses he did on 5, 6, and 8. Another fun track. Digging the instrumentation more than the lyrics on this track, but reminds me a bit of Modest Mouse vocalization... Not a bad or good thing for me. Interesting.

10. Avalanche Patrol
Meh, blah. Very slowly sung, and I'm just... why must you "keep us in rhythm". It's just such a depressing indie track... and then it turns around and warms up. Just never speeds up. He has a good pep talk, though.
11. The Most Important Track on the Album
Is just silence.

12. The Story of My Life
This track kind of reminds me of Flobots... this is some floetry right here. If the other non-rap tracks were more like this, it would've been a little better for me. Not really so much the hook on this track, but the verses. And whoever the guest appearance is on this track, he laid down a true verse but Astro. doesn't. This concludes the album in a redeeming light, though. It raps the album up nicely, I feel.


I find it to be a good album, and one that I will continue to play for a while. I was definitely expecting more from this album, but it's a fun album I can imagine giving to a couple lady friends of mine. I'll be back this way when a couple more reviews come back in.

72/100
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Old 01-26-2011, 09:30 AM   #8 (permalink)
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What an awesome album. Truly unique and original.
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