Is it worth me celebrating six year anniversaries? Not really but its worth me reminding you lot what’s good or even introducing you to some new oldish shit you never heard before. I had been an Aesop Rock fan since Labor Days but this album was a change of lane for him as far as I was concerned. It was the first project where I felt like his production came into its own; it all seemed less convoluted than on previous jawns. It’s also sounded a lot more reflective and personal than his earlier efforts. I think it was his first album since Camu died, which would obviously have an impact. Lines like “Here is how a great escape goes/When you can’t take your dead friends names out your phone” resonated a lot with me back then and still do today. Loss had been a big part of my life for the years leading up to that point and I found myself latching onto anything that gave me a semblance of unity – like I wasn’t the only one fighting these thoughts. Same as the entire end section of Gopher Guts – “I have been completely unable to maintain any semblance of relationship on any level/I have been a bastard to the people who have actively attempted to deliver me from peril…” (it goes on). Well I was in a dark place of my own making at that point and this was the first time in a long time where it felt like someone had made a song out of my thoughts; just scooped them out of the darkness and made something beautiful. All of this made me obsess over the album and six years later it remains in heavy rotation. I urge you all to give it a spin. Not saying you will find the same emotional investment as I did, but it is a stunning piece of art regardless.