A garishly odd but ultimately rewarding record
In more than a decade’s worth of work, Busdriver has exhibited amazing poise while balancing himself on some perilous margins. His delivery, singing or rapping, pushes harmonies close to the edge of deliberate dissonance. His subject matter careens between monomaniacal ego-tripping and self-aware humility. And his lyrics conflate abstract depth and arch comedy in ways that defy irony. Beaus$Eros maintains his singular personality-crisis voice, dials his flow back a bit and reflects on a series of personal troubles, disillusioning relationships with significant others (“Utilitarian Uses of Love”) and indie-rap scenester orthodoxy (“Here’s to Us”) and the whole othering-fueled social framework (“No Blacks No Jews No Asians”). Belgian producer Loden boosts Busdriver’s mania by reconfiguring funk, electro and synth-prog into something just a bit more nervous, and hearing that voice erupt over those beats in multitracked widescreen is one of the biggest thrills of a garishly odd but ultimately rewarding record.