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Aesop Rock And Kimya Dawson Showcase Their Strengths

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Aesop Rock And Kimya Dawson Showcase Their Strengths

Aesop Rock And Kimya Dawson Showcase Their Strengths

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MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

Now a duo formed by musicians who hail from two very different genres. Kimya Dawson is a folk singer with a distinctive voice. Aesop Rock is an indie rapper with distinctive wordplay. Both artists have small but devoted fan bases, and the two have come together to form The Uncluded.

Music critic Robert Christgau has this review of their new album, "Hokey Fright."

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "TELEPROMPTERS")

ROBERT CHRISTGAU, BYLINE: Aesop Rock is a brainy alt-rapper, Kimya Dawson, a playful folk-punk, but both are headlong word-slingers. The difference is that Dawson overflows where Aesop overthinks. Hear how lucidly Dawson explains her volubility in a song on the Uncluded's "Hokey Fright" called "Teleprompters."

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "TELEPROMPTERS")

CHRISTGAU: Now, hear how Aesop takes Dawson's explanation to a denser, more metaphoric place.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "TELEPROMPTERS")

CHRISTGAU: I've loved Kimya Dawson's tiny voice and confessional candor since she surfaced with The Moldy Peaches in 2001. But her strophic stanzas and childlike tunes get repetitive enough that you could grump about her self-parody if you wanted. For me, that's more Aesop Rock's problem. He's so committed to his own IQ that he refuses to be humorous, clear or nice. As The Uncluded, however, the two cancel each other's weaknesses - Dawson gains heft, Aesop lightens up, and both let their freak flags fly. For instance, here's a first, a song about organ donation.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "ORGANS")

CHRISTGAU: Word-slingers, though, both artists are, the "Hokey Fright" album wouldn't mean much if it wasn't enticing as music: Aesop Rock's beats anchoring Kimya Dawson's catchy ditties, each comping vocally under the other's parts. Sometimes The Uncluded even join together in song. It's almost like they're two halves of a whole, a rare and welcome thing.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "DELICATE CYCLE")

BLOCK: The album from The Uncluded is "Hokey Fright." Our reviewer is Robert Christgau.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "DELICATE CYCLE")

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

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