Review: Laughing Boy

I Am the Man From Space (Persistence of Vision)

Review: Laughing Boy

So here comes Laughing Boy, that flash ginger formerly of NYC, Austin-based for decades, having leveraged the harsh downtime of Our Pandemic Situation to rap up a solo rodomontade in the form of 10-track album I Am the Man From Space. An audio array as self-released as it is redolent of iconic hip-hop inflections, the Brothers Cup expatriate's latest breaks orbit on rapid-fire multisyllabics, but with rhymes and reasons more attuned to LB's own intellectual and middle-aged milieu. Opener "Fridays of Sorrow" is a syrup-soaked sojourn through everyman's quotidian misery, while "Crocodile Man" starts with pomp and circumstances itself into beat-backed aural collage to limn a legend's life, abetted by vocals from Austin opera sensation Liz Cass. The hard-hitting title track explodes rap cliches sonically and mentally, dissing would-be detractors with lines like, "Remember that I'm coming from the second dimension/ It's flatter than your mater in the Latin declension," before invoking the quantum solace of physics: "You can't track me, you can't know both my hip-hop spot and velocity." By the time you hear Laughing Boy's earnest take on Coleridge's "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner," you'll know you've been more schooled than fooled, mauled by some true jewels, until it's all silence and sic transit gloria mundi.

***.5


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