You can now read 10 articles in a month for free on BostonGlobe.com. Read as much as you want anywhere and anytime for just 99¢.

The Boston Globe

Music

CD Review | HIP-HOP

Aesop Rock, ‘Skelethon’

San Francisco-based Aesop Rock makes uncompromising, polarizing hip-hop and you either connect to his cerebral verbal intensity or tune it out. His first record in five years explores isolation, emotional healing, and self discovery (“ZZZ Top”). The songs contain enough clever wordplay that he’ll have other MCs scurrying for a dictionary. At times, he’s allusive and elusive and, while the verbiage can be dazzling, it also can be obscure. In “Zero Dark Thirty,” he offers: “Breakneck pulse over colors in a drain/ that emote sugar skulls in the rain/ flower eyes melting guided by a levy of bath tiles tilting/ quarter up and headed for the kill screen.” The set is shadowed by mortality, and there is an aching desire for clarity. His first solo production, the brooding music on “Skelethon” is often as intoxicating as the stentorian rhymes. (Out Tuesday)KEN CAPOBIANCO

ESSENTIAL "ZZZ TOP"

Aesop Rock performs at the Paradise Rock Club on Aug. 2.

Loading comments...

You have reached the limit of 10 free articles in a month

Stay informed with unlimited access to Boston’s trusted news source.

  • High-quality journalism from the region’s largest newsroom
  • Convenient access across all of your devices
  • Today’s Headlines daily newsletter
  • Subscriber-only access to exclusive offers, events, contests, eBooks, and more
  • Less than 25¢ a week