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Labor Days

Rate It! Avg: 4.5 (509 ratings)
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Labor Days album cover
01
Labor
2:32
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02
Daylight
4:26
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03
Save Yourself
4:59
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04
Flashflood
3:54
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05
No Regrets
4:31
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06
One Brick feat. Illogic
4:32
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07
The Tugboat Complex pt. 3
3:46
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08
Coma
3:56
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09
Battery
5:07
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10
Boombox
5:05
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11
Bent Life feat. C-Rayz Walz
4:49
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12
The Yes and The Y'all
4:04
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13
9-5er's Anthem
4:38
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14
Shovel
4:45
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Album Information
EDITOR'S PICK

Total Tracks: 14   Total Length: 61:04

Find a problem with a track? Let us know.

Wondering Sound

Review 19

J. Edward Keyes

Editor-in-Chief

Joe Keyes writes about music.

11.18.05
Aesop Rock, Labor Days
2001 | Label: Definitive Jux / The Orchard

So many musical crimes have been committed in the name of "conscious hip-hop" in the years since Labor Days was released, it's become impossible to consider this gloomy forerunner with anything other than mounting skepticism. You've been in this situation before — returned to a book you loved in college only to find it hamfisted and overwritten, stared at your once-beloved Beat Generation box set with a mixture of dread and shame.

The good news I… read more »

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Punchy storytelling

fleem

On this album, Aesop Rock delves into dense tales of everyday life, anchored in the reality of bad jobs, apartment buildings, noise, crowds and the battle to not lose control. The beats are muggy and weird, yet simple enough. Another standout album from a man who really knows how to write.

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hip hop fans

NJbrilla

check out DUNCE-SONGS FOR SHADOWS

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Worth checking out

Greezy

Not usually my thing but I picked it up out of the cheap bin. Glad I copped it. "No Regrets" is a song that has made an indelible mark in my mind.

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Not as good as None Shall Pass, but close

ancho26

Unlike None Shall Pass there are a few tracks here I usually end up skipping. No Regrets is an interesting story but grows old over time, and Save Yourself just falls short of the rest. The problem with these songs is that they're just too straightforward and simplistic, which is not why I listen to Ace. Fortunately, the rest of this album is just mind-numbingly good. There's just so much to chew on here I can listen over and over and it never gets old.

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Dense is a great word to describe...

JimU

..the music and the words. After 2 years and probably 100 listens, I'm still working my way through this.

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whoa.

hopkinak

this is so good. i can't believe i just heard it for the first time.

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Keeps with Time

Sort

First, I'm no fan of mainstream hip-hop or rap, but this guy has some great lyrics, style, and musical vision. It's a long-term album for me, not a flavor of the week. You can come back for more, and while his other albums are great, this original slice of his consciousness outshines the others. If you want just one, try "No Regrets".

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Gets Better, and Better, and BETTER

singapore_walker

Just wanted to drop by hear and say, that EVERY time I listen to this album it (you guessed it) gets better!! Just for example the horn section on 'One Brick' is so haunting and exotic - sounds like something from the far east. Every track has it's own intricate, intimate moments which you may not pick up until a few listens in. Absolutely stella piece of work. This is the ART of true Hip Hop.

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Download All

boygriv

Every review of this record on eMusic is accurate. But just in case you want some actual reasons: Daylight is one of the best hip hop songs of all time. The lyrics are ridiculous, the flow is unique, and the beat and melody are timeless and instantly classic. His lyrics are abstract throughout, but few have imagery more vivid (I'll take my seat atop the Brooklyn Bridge with a Coke and a bag of chips, to watch a thousand lemmings plummet just because the first one slipped). The producers (mostly Blockhead) created tracks that all flow together insanely well and give the album a distinct and memorable feeling, and the samples are all inspiring and contribute lots. It's about work, man! Work sucks, but we're all in it together, but at least once we get off we've got our music right there waiting. Why are you still reading this? Just download it. All of it!

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Essential Brainrock Beauty

Appleseeds

Step 1: Quit the boring corporate job you hate. Step 2: Pursue passion. Step 3: Starve a while. Step 4: Prosper.

eMusic Features

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Band Aid

By Hua Hsu, Contributor

On September 7th, a federal appeals court in Cincinnati, Ohio, all but closed the book on sampling in hip-hop. A three-judge panel ruled that recent federal laws pertaining to the piracy of digital recordings also apply to the recycling of old songs by producers. Deviating from previous agreements that set up limits and tests for "legal" usages, the new decision aims to tighten the clamps on all lengths and types of samples, from entire riffs… more »

They Say All Music Guide

After finding an eager online audience for his dense soundscapes and even more complex rhymes, New York MC Aesop Rock released his most potent combination of words and music on his Def Jux debut. Crammed with references to history and mythology, as well as the usual pop-culture name checks, Aesop’s lyrics remain unusually verbose and intelligent here, but he’s also able to spin them into compelling stories. The best example is the bittersweet, follow-your-dreams saga of “No Regrets,” which chronicles a woman’s sacrifices for art from childhood to old age. Besides the wealth of detail, the song doesn’t sugarcoat the loneliness of its subject, even as it shows her at ease with her choices. And on “9-5ers Anthem,” Aesop — who still works a day job himself — allays any concerns about him being a hip-hop elitist, offering a shout out to the blue-collar masses. There are still instances where he gives his listeners simply too much information to process for a pop song (“The Tugboat Complex, Pt. 3″), but, overall, he does his best job yet at balancing smarts and accessibility. Of course, with such a focus on lyrics, it’s easy to ignore the beats behind them — but while the sampled backing is sometimes on the plain side, Labor Days contains some inventive bites from classical music, and more than a few tunes will grow on you, if given the chance. – Dan LeRoy

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