This album was released on April 4th this year. I’m really looking forward to this project. Honestly, I’m expecting it to be one of the best albums of the year. For those of you who don’t know, Ceschi is the head of the Fake Four Inc. label. He’s a pretty interesting rapper. His music is like a fusion of Indie, Folk & Hip Hop. I’ve always been intrigued by him, but he didn’t really completely win me over until 2015 when he dropped Broken Bone Ballads. I think that’s one of the better albums that came out that year. It’s a really great, borderline amazing project. The two albums he released before that were pretty solid. The only one that I just don’t really care for at all is his debut, Fake Flowers. I’ll post my rating of his discography on Monday. Anyway, just like with Broken Bone Ballads, this album is completely produced by Factor Chandelier. Ceschi’s been on an upward trend in terms of quality ever since he put out his first album, so I’m hoping this’ll be his best album yet.
1. Lost Touch
Damn. I’m about a minute into this song, and the one thing that’s really standing out so far is the production from Factor. I enjoyed his production on Broken Bone Ballads, but it didn’t stand out as much as it does here to me. This beat is fantastic. The first verse is really dope. This song is pretty much about how American culture places a lot of importance in work to a harmful degree.
I’ve seen good men lose everything
From retirement pension to each hair on their head
They may say make lemonade
But it’s hard when your boss
Wouldn’t piss on the flames that engulf you
Let alone give a nickel in change
For your grave when the job’s through
The hook is pretty good too. The second verse was dope. This is a really entertaining song. Ceschi’s always had a knack for crafting really well written songs with catchy melodies. This is a great example of that. I think this track is spectacular. It’s dope af.
Wow. I really was not expecting to hear something like this from Ceschi. Sonically, it sounds like Ceschi pretty much made a Mumble Rap song. I mean, he’s not mumbling at all, but I feel like most mumble rappers these days aren’t actually mumbling. My comparison just comes from the way it sounds. He’s singing each bar with autotune. I’m not crazy about it. I think it’s an interesting song lyrically though. The production’s good too. He definitely pulled this song off. It’s just not exactly what I want from him. I still enjoyed it to some extent though. I enjoyed it much more than the average mumble rap song. That a cappella outro was pretty interesting too. This is a pretty good song. Definitely not my favorite, but I enjoyed it to some extent. It’s cool.
3. Sad, Fat Luck
Whoever did the artwork for the singles from this album did a hell of a job. That shit is awesome. Anyway, the vocals on the intro of this song sound amazing honestly. The way the vocals are layered is so good. The production from Factor is exceptional too, and Ceschi’s flow on the first verse is stellar. Goddamn. This song is incredible. That second verse is stunning to say the least. The way he switched to his signature double time flow for the last portion of that verse was awesome. Goddamn. This is one of the best songs I’ve heard all year. His flow on that last verse was crazy too. This song is… uh… magnificent. I’m trying to think of positive adjectives that I haven’t already used. I feel like you guys have a good idea of how I feel about this song by now though. I love it. It’s dope af.
4. The Gospel
Man, the production from Factor on this track is fucking exceptional. This beat is amazing. This song sounds kinda poppy. Not in a bad way though. It sounds great. I love the beat, and the hook is catchy too. Ceschi’s singing the entire first verse. The lines in the intro indicate that this song is about addiction to opiates—particularly oxycontin. The way he’s singing about it almost makes it sound like a love song though. I love this shit. The first verse is awesome.
It can make even tame dogs violent
It’ll stare you in the face and laugh
Take away your pain then bring it back
It’ll kiss you on the lips so fast
Revert you to a kid then stab your back
Man, this hook is fucking fantastic. This shit is so fucking good. The second verse was really good too. This is another incredible song. I love this shit. He sang the entire time. This track doesn’t have any rapping. That’s fine with me. It’s a really polished, well made song. This shit is dope af. The music video is pretty cool too.
This is the shortest song on the album. It’s just Ceschi singing over an acoustic guitar. Well that’s not completely true. The instrumental gets a little more fleshed out as the song progresses. This and the previous track aren’t really Hip Hop. This is more like Indie, Alternative, Folk, Singer-Songwriter music. One of those. I like it though. Ceschi’s a very competent vocalist, and the lyrics were sweet.
By daybreak I will have grown old
Just hope to God you know that I still loved you
Even when it didn’t show
And I will love you after everything erodes
I enjoyed this track quite a bit. It’s dope.
6. Take It All Back, Pt. 1-4
As you can see from this track’s title, it’s split up into four parts. The first part is called Cormac, as in Cormac McCarthy. It’s got a much harder beat than most of the other tracks so far. Ceschi’s actually rapping again. Cormac is just one verse, but it’s really nice. He utilizes his aforementioned signature double time flow. It’s really good. Cormac is dope. The way it transitions into the next part is really cool. Part 2 is called Straight Edge Youth. I like the production on this part more than that of the previous one, but I’m not crazy about the vocals. He sounded fine when he was singing about being straight edge, but the part with autotune where he’s singing about how he wishes he could “take it all back” sounds a bit too robotic for me. It’s not that bad though. I still enjoyed it overall. Part 3, Lion’s Mouth, is definitely my favorite section of the song. It basically turns into an Indie Rock song, and it’s really good. The way it transitions into the final part of the track sounds kinda rough to be honest. It’s not as smooth as the other transitions were. The final part, Failing Our Best, is pretty similar to Cormac. It’s just one rapped verse. The verse is pretty dope though.
I’ll go a little bit insane
With a nine millimeter to the brain
Every other rap is another bad attempt to redefine pain
Teen angst never left these veins
I enjoyed it. The autotuned vocals on the outro sound legitimately terrible to me. It’s not bad enough to ruin the whole song though. Overall, this is definitely one of my least favorite tracks on the album. I still enjoyed the track as a whole, but it kinda just sounds like four unfinished song ideas spliced together. It’s a double edged sword. On one hand it feels really unfocused, but on the other one it prevents the track from getting old too quickly, and you don’t really know what’s gonna happen next. Overall the song is kinda rough, but I enjoyed it. It’s certainly not one of my favorites, but I think it’s pretty good. Lion’s Mouth is my favorite part.
7. Say No More
I have a slightly interesting story about this song. It’s the only single I’d heard from this project before checking the album out. I watched the music video when it came out, and shared the following tweet…
Then, later that month, Lou the Human dropped the lead single from his upcoming album. I listened to it, and wasn’t really feelin’ it, so I tweeted this…
A few minutes later, all hell broke loose. I guess Lou the Human was searching for mentions of his name on Twitter, and he just so happened to stumble upon my humble opinion. Keep in mind, I didn’t even say his single was bad. I literally just said I was disappointed by it. In a now deleted tweet, he responded to my comment about the Ceschi video saying “If this is your song of the year how could I care what you think lol.” Needless to say, I was taken aback. I asked myself, “if he really didn’t care, would he feel the need to tweet at me?” I figured it wasn’t that big of a deal. It was just weird to me how he seemed to throw Ceschi under the bus for no reason. I have a feeling he didn’t even listen to the song I was talking about. However, he eventually proved that he DID in fact care because he continued tweeting about me.
I mean, he’s not exactly wrong about the whole masturbation thing, but I don’t really see how that’s relevant.
So yeah, as you can see, he was very hurt. I don’t really get how me rating Aesop Rock’s discography makes me a loser, but that’s what Lou says. One other interesting thing you may see is that he told me to “make ur own art loser.” This is another example of artists claiming that you have to be an artist in order to share your opinion on music, which I don’t agree with at all. I wonder if Lou the Human has ever had a negative opinion about a movie. If so, did he keep it to himself because he’s not a filmmaker? I guess that’s possible. I do make my own art though. It’s visual art, but he didn’t specify that it had to be music, so I guess it still counts. Anyway, I don’t really have a point to make. I just thought it was funny how emotional Lou got about what I said. It’s interesting that he seemed to have a problem with me thinking Ceschi had the best song of the year at that point too, especially considering the fact that I made that comment less than 20 days into 2019. It’s not like there was a lot of competition. Anyway, the song itself is dope as fuck. I love the production from Factor, and the singing on the first verse was great. The hook is really catchy too.
Oh, Lord, teach me differences between right and wrong
Oh, Lord, show me that you exist at all
I love the way he comes in on the second verse. This is where he starts rapping, and it’s fucking awesome. I know I didn’t say much about the actual song itself, but that’s because I honestly don’t have any serious gripes with it. I think it’s an amazing song, and it was a great choice for a single. This shit is dope af.
This song is fucking incredible. I hadn’t heard it when it was initially released as a single. Honestly, it seems like an odd choice for a single. It almost sounds like more of an interlude than a traditional song. It kinda reminds me of Kendrick Lamar’s For Free? interlude from To Pimp a Butterfly. The tone is completely different, but the way the song is structured is similar to me. It’s just one verse over some very loose free-form instrumentation. There’s not a consistent percussion pattern that he raps over. It’s almost like it was originally a Spoken Word piece that someone decided to play music over.
Sweet poisonous kisses
From the lips of priests or devils’ daughters
Precious vixen mistresses quick to spit the venom
In sync with several sicknesses
Severing heads with liquid sedatives
Sentiments slide like sedimentary mud
These fuckers won’t take me alive or touch what I’ve done
The lyrics about being a Puerto Rican child around a bunch of ignorant American kids are really dope. It’s a really powerful verse. I love this shit. It’s dope af.
9. Middle Earth featuring Sammus
I was really happy to see Sammus featured on this project when I saw the tracklist for the first time. I haven’t heard from her since 2017 when she was featured on Open Mike Eagle’s last album. I hope she drops another project soon. Anyway, I really love the production on this track. It sounds like it’s driven by a ukulele. The sung hook is fantastic. Factor really put his ass into this album. These beats are phenomenal. The first verse from Ceschi is amazing. The way he raps about being a starving artist is really well done.
Just wasn’t made for these times
Realize I will never blow up and that’s fine
I’m not Cobain or Cornell or Layne
I’m just floating inside my own lane
Every word that I’m singing is plain
Just hoping that someone out there can relate
Sonically, this is more of what I typically expect from Ceschi. It’s that signature blend of Folk music & Hip Hop. It doesn’t sound very good on paper, but it works surprisingly well. Man, this is so fucking good. It’s gonna be hard as hell to choose a favorite song from this album. This shit is amazing. Sammus killed that second verse.
I have to be fucking with something I love
If I’m burning both ends of my candle stick
And even then I’m a little carp
Busy giving birth to a great tale
To my biggest fans I am Joan of Arc
Walking middle earth in my chain mail
I just noticed that Sammus kinda sounds like Token. I’m not saying they’re similar as rappers. Her voice just kinda reminds me of Token a little bit. She’s a way better rapper than him though, so don’t get it twisted if you’ve never heard of her. She’s dope as hell. Anyway, this is another one of the best songs on the album in my opinion. This shit is dope af.
10. Sans Soleil
This song is a spiritual successor to one of my favorite songs from Ceschi, Beyond the End. The vocals on the intro are pretty good. The production from Factor is dope as hell too. It doesn’t really sound like a Hip Hop instrumental. I guess that could be said about most of Ceschi’s songs though. This one has a really emotional sounding, piano-driven beat. The first verse is great. The sung hook is really nice too. The second verse is where things really pick up though. That’s what put the song over the top for me. This song is emotional as fuck. It’s pretty much just him mourning his dead friends, and maaaan…
Niles and I talked death
About the times we felt numb enough to make life end
A year ago he wrote he had a year left
Still didn’t want to believe it when I received the text
Cleaned his house spotless, fed the pets
Wrote a short note, put a rope around his neck
This song is fucking incredible. Jesus Christ, man… I don’t know how I’m gonna choose a favorite track. This shit is absolutely dope af.
11. Any War featuring Astronautalis
Astronautalis is an artist whose name I’ve seen floating around the internet before, but I’ve never actually heard any of his music. This track opens up with a child yelling, “THIS IS THE HARDEST ONE!” which is very accurate. It’s got one of the hardest hitting instrumentals on the album. I feel like it’s still pretty subdued compared to a lot of other Hip Hop these days, but it definitely stands out from the rest of this album. The beat is dope af. The hook is really good too. This sounds like the most traditional Hip Hop song on the whole project so far, unless I’m already forgetting something. This is one of the only tracks without any singing. I mean, the way some of the lines during the hook are delivered is kind of melodic. He’s rapping throughout the whole song though. His flow on the first verse was great. Astronautalis did a decent job with the second verse. It wasn’t amazing or anything, but he did his thing. I think I would’ve preferred another verse from Ceschi though to be honest. Anyway, this is a pretty good track. It’s not as amazing as a lot of the other songs, but I enjoyed it quite a bit. This is dope.
This track is a cover of a song originally performed by a now defunct Indie Pop band called Majical Cloudz. I’ve heard the original version, and it was pretty cool. Nothing amazing or anything, but I definitely enjoyed it to some extent. Anyway, I definitely prefer Ceschi’s version. His singing is much more impressive in my opinion. It probably has something to do with the fact that he chose to do a falsetto version. It makes it stand out a lot more. This version is just a lot more gorgeous. It just sounds really pretty. His singing sounds kinda beautiful to be honest. This is way better than I was expecting it to be. It’s far superior to the original. I love this shit. I think it’s amazing. This is dope af.
13. Bona Drag Tape
The production on this song is fucking fantastic. It pretty much sounds like an instrumental from an Alternative song. Ceschi surprisingly doesn’t sing over it at all though. He’s rapping the entire time. That is, until the bridge towards the very end of the track, which is absolutely marvelous by the way. It’s some of the most beautiful singing I’ve heard all year. Jesus Christ, man. I have no idea how I’m gonna choose a favorite song. I didn’t really say much about this song. It’s incredible though. Both of the rap verses are fantastic, and the singing on the bridge is amazing. I love the production too. This shit is dope af.