13 Songs, 51 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Granted, in Asher Roth’s DNA there are traces of white rappers past — one can hear the lackadaisical flow of early Beck crossbred with Paul Barman’s Caucasian annunciation and Eminem’s mischievous punchlines — but in the end Asleep In the Bread Aisle has less to do with hip-hop than it initially appears. Despite the presence of club beats like “She Don’t Wanna Man”, Roth’s major-label debut is a laid-back, feel-good affair — the kind of music that would fit in easily between Ben Harper and Sublime in a dorm party playlist. The collage-like sounds are reminiscent of Beck’s Mellow Gold and Odelay, but Roth is nowhere near as much of an art school eccentric. If anything, his style seems to update the ideas of Nineties bands like Cake and the Fun Lovin’ Criminals, although Cee-Lo’s presence here is a quick reminder of Roth’s affinity for Gnarls Barkley. So what if Asher Roth is not the new Eminem, and is instead just making party tunes for his likeminded collegiate peers? He hosts a good party, and is right at home as the highly-quotable master of ceremonies.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Granted, in Asher Roth’s DNA there are traces of white rappers past — one can hear the lackadaisical flow of early Beck crossbred with Paul Barman’s Caucasian annunciation and Eminem’s mischievous punchlines — but in the end Asleep In the Bread Aisle has less to do with hip-hop than it initially appears. Despite the presence of club beats like “She Don’t Wanna Man”, Roth’s major-label debut is a laid-back, feel-good affair — the kind of music that would fit in easily between Ben Harper and Sublime in a dorm party playlist. The collage-like sounds are reminiscent of Beck’s Mellow Gold and Odelay, but Roth is nowhere near as much of an art school eccentric. If anything, his style seems to update the ideas of Nineties bands like Cake and the Fun Lovin’ Criminals, although Cee-Lo’s presence here is a quick reminder of Roth’s affinity for Gnarls Barkley. So what if Asher Roth is not the new Eminem, and is instead just making party tunes for his likeminded collegiate peers? He hosts a good party, and is right at home as the highly-quotable master of ceremonies.

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