Sunday, 8 February 2009

NASA - 'The Spirit of Apollo' - album review

if i could invite anybody i wanted to a dinner party, i'd invite barack obama, homer simpson, a porn star, and einstein. the conversation would flow, and a few of the world's more pressing problems would be set to rights. on the menu would be baked potatoes and wine.

in the background, i'd play NASA's guest-list-heavy fantasy-dinner-party past-present-and-future-of-critically-approved-rap-rock-and-pop debut album, the spirit of apollo. i've no idea who these NASA folks are, except that they're two middle-aged chaps with silly names, as if gnarls barkley didn't put them off. i do know that they've got a massive, retro-looking rolodex, from which to make hip musical alchemy and shit. hence: collabos :-
NASA - 'Hip Hop' (feat. KRS-One, Fatlip & Slim Kid Tre)

tom waits makes great records by prentending to be mad; kool keith makes mostly-awful records, possibly because he is mad. david byrne is gawky, white and likes gadgets; chuck d is shouty, black, and likes terrible puns. ol' dirty bastard is un-self-conscious, drunk and dead; karen o is hip, sardonic and possibly past it. so it goes on. will they make musical magic, fuelled by baked potatoes and wine? or will it be more like that dreadful movie starring raekwon and bijou philips?

of course, reader, it's neither of these. the spirit of apollo pitches its pretend-united-nations tent somewhere between an above-par jurassic 5 record with a more singing, and a woolly-minded-liberal version of neon neon. "money is the root of all evil", sings someone who might be seu jorge. "you can be whatever you want to be", wails david byrne. "hip hop", declares KRS-One, king of say-what-you-see. "sizzla", replies sizzla. "strangling the monkey with the hands of a clock", suggests tom waits. all civilised repartee, at least until scarface arrives.
NASA - 'Money' (feat. David Byrne, Chuck D, Ras Congo, Seu Jorge & Z-Trip)

ten years hence, this won't look a shabby monument to late-00s mash-up hipsterism, especially if you skip over santogold's contributions (or leave them in as a warning to future generations). then again, this exactly the record the beastie boys could have made in 1999 with their grand royal roster and friends. nor does it look that far removed from 1989, when chuck, KRS, del tha funkee homosapien, kool keith et al were more than just list fodder, and when another daft-named white hip hop act was pushing things forward.

so, to break the ice, whatever happend to peanut butter wolf?

No comments: