Commissioned by Nike for part of their Original Run series, MC/producer Aesop Rock
lays off his typically verbose rhymes and focuses on the beat during his 45-minute, one-track album (those being part of the requirements, along with certain bpms), entitled All Day: Nike + Original Run
. An iTunes-only release, the record is meant to act as accompaniment to a workout, and for the most part, fulfills that objective well. The rapper's lines, when he does spit them, are often to hard to decipher, behaving more as driving, rhythmic components rather than conveyers of insight or reflection. Instead, it's the production, which is quite excellent, that pushes the music forward, the kind of thing that revisits itself without seeming repetitive, interesting and connected but not unapproachable. It's a step in a different direction for Aesop Rock
, who's generally known for his complicated stories and fancy wordplay, and shows he really paid a lot of attention to the task at hand. It also shows that he's as talented a producer as he is a rapper, because All Day
is interesting enough to function as a piece not
to run to, to just listen to instead. Scratches and heavy bass drum mix with a live guitar playing deliberate, yet not overly heavy, lines, the MC's voice comes in, keyboards move from somber to near-new wave, but everything is meant to be there, everything makes sense, phrases exit only to enter in sometime else. All Day
may not be the record for a casual fan of Aesop Rock
, or for someone who only wants to hear his rhymes, but it's an accomplishment in mood-setting, darkly urban production, and certainly worth it for that.