[18 October 2011]
His raspy voice evokes the image of eyeballs rolling back in the head. His delivery is all blood-and-thunder. Though Astronautalis is typically aggressive, his voice can sound reserved on lighter tunes like “Secrets on Our Lips” and “Midday Moon”, but even then it’s emotionally extravagant. Hip-hop is the map on the journey of This Is Our Science, but it detours to rock and pop without losing direction. Best are the songs that, like Astronautalis, cannot be pinned down, like the folk-rap exorcism of “Holy Water” and atmospheric pop rants of the titular, “This Is Our Science”. As a rhymer, he’s good: “I wasn’t born in a boxcar / When I die bury me with crossed arms / Underneath the tree up in the backyard / Flip the coin in my pocket it’s a lost art / Living what your given ‘til it finally stops hearts,” but as a thinker, he’s great.
That’s the thing about This Is Our Science. It’s easy on the ears, but hard to digest. The beats, music and vocals sound so damn good that the album is a candidate for mainstream attention, but the lyrics are about something of which mainstream society knows little: living life to it’s fullest—taking it on as adventure and coming out with a story to tell. This is philosophy rap and if you’re only enjoying it on a superficial level, you’re missing the best parts.