Asher Roth’s Discussion Section Is Full Of Opinionated People

Apr 20th, 2009 // 5 Comments

Our look at the closing lines of the week’s biggest new-music reviews continues with a roundup of reactions to Asleep In The Bread Aisle, the debut album by the undergrad-loving MC Asher Roth. It comes out today. Because it’s 4/20. (Eh oh el, right?)

• “And though he makes good use of street-accredited guests like Cee-Lo (the soul-slicked ‘Be by Myself’) and Jazze Pha (syncopated goof ‘Bad Day’), Roth never floats sham tales of suburban hardship here. Instead, he just wants to have a good time—and for the most part, he provides one as well.” [Leah Greenblatt, EW]

• “Roth’s skill clearly lies as a storyteller rather than a vérité rapper, something he doesn’t seem to have realised yet. When he does, he might well be a force to be reckoned with beyond the confines of the fresher’s bop.” [Alexis Petridis, The Guardian]

• “Lacking the lyrical gymnastics and personality of his mix tapes and freestyles, Roth’s debut boasts a laziness that borders on contempt. Unburdened by Kanye’s melancholia or Eminem’s vertiginousness, Roth is perfectly likable, and perfectly bland.” [J. Gabriel Boylan, Spin]


  1. Wait, so apparently this isn’t godawful?

  2. @Thierry: DId you see Jon Caramanica’s shockingly uncynical profile of Roth in this Sunday’s Times? He takes great pains to treat “I Love College” as an aberration (I’m surprised he didn’t compare it to “Fight for Your Right,” the Beasties’ now-regretted Top 10 hit/albatross). And he calls Bread Aisle an “excellent, versatile debut album,” which made my jaw drop, because while I don’t always agree with Caramanica, he’s no slouch/shill. So I’m probably going to have to hear the record at some point, but I’ll be damned if I’m going to pay for it.

  3. Am not willing to give Asher Roth ‘the benefit of the doubt’.

  4. @Chris Molanphy Yeah, I was surprised by the article too. But isn’t Paul Barman really the first post-Eminem white rapper?

  5. All I can say is: I have the unfortunate displeasure of seeing him this weekend (free show, headlined by the Decemberists), and I am not looking forward to his set.

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