Astronautalis “Cut The Body Loose”
We have to be honest and admit that rap/hip hop related acts aren’t heavily featured on this site. Mainly because it’s a genre that we’re not familiar with. However, every now and again a release catches our attention, mainly because it offers something a bit different. That’s the case with this release from “Astronautalis”. We, perhaps naively, would put it in the rap genre but as its press release states “at any point he touches upon shoegaze-laced indie rock, pulsating electronic, swampy Southern-influenced blues, and more”.
Having an opening song called “Kurt Cobain” peaks our interests even more. The fact that the song talks about the fact that Astronautalis is 33 and the issue of scene hipsters may also explain why this release appealed to us. Like other tracks on this album, such as “Boiled Peanuts”, it has a more laid back sound which contrasts with the lyrical delivery. “1515 Washington” adds an almost soul background to the rapped lyrics, before hitting an anthemic mid-section.
The track “Running Away From God” is a particular high on the album. It takes an Eminem (excuse our ignorance!) style rap but builds in to a big indie chorus. It actually reminds us of the feeling we had when we first heard our own Jamie T’s early stuff. The other key thing that makes this album so good, is the more downbeat and laid back style that is adopted. Songs like “Kudzu” and “Forest Fire” have a melancholic quality which is like the brilliant last release from Ghostpoet.
The other joy this album brings is a willingness to just throw in the unexpected. “In The Tall Grass” has an almost Deep South Americana vibe to it. Whilst, out of nowhere, the fantastic “Attila Ambras” is all electro swing. Then, “Cut The Body Loose” has an old time blues and almost gospel feel to it. It’s an overused term in music reviews, but this album is genuinely eclectic.
Our first love will always be rock n roll music, all be it delivered in many different styles and forms. However, every now and then, you need to try something new. This is an inventive and fresh album which really transcends the need to be pigeon holed in a particular genre. It’s not a case that you need to love rap, hip hop, urban music or anything like that. If you enjoy great music then you will enjoy this.