Words About Music
Milo “A Toothpaste Suburb”
Milo is a rapper I’ve been following closely since early last year when he dropped his sister EPs “Things That Happen At Day” and “Things That Happen At Night.” I was floored by Milo’s monotone delivery, pop-culture-meets-philosophy flow, and airy beats. The music is highly referential and utilizes stream-of-consciousness to convey moods and situations in really interesting way. While not every Milo track is a win, a lot of his music sounds incredibly original and even catchy at times. Last summer, he dropped an EP called “Cavalcade” that was also pretty good, and I was highly anticipating his debut full-length album “A Toothpaste Suburb.” While Milo’s music sounds robotic, it is very driven by emotion and passion as well as a love for adolescent humor.
“A Toothpaste Suburb” is incredibly heady and can be tough to crack. There is so much being said and a lot of it doesn’t quite make sense, but he does have quite the ear for hooks. Milo’s flow is reminiscent of Aesop Rock’s, though Milo’s is much less off-the-wall and slightly more focused. This album is very psychological, and if you let it then it will burrow its way into the front of your mind. It’s almost hard to even talk about it because if you blink you’ll miss something important. It does stand as one of Milo’s more accessible works, which says quite a bit, and it features some excellent choruses and hooks.
What sets this apart from other hip-hop albums is that for the most part I’m not even thinking about the production, which I don’t think is a good thing. This album is very consistent, yes, but the beats are so consistent with each other that a lot of the songs end up sounding alike. Milo has his sound and he performs it well, but it can be easy to space out of this album when the beats aren’t engaging enough. Thankfully, Milo’s lyrics are well worth the production’s underwhelming nature. You’re likely to hear something that’ll make you laugh, something that’ll make you cry, something that’ll make you think. This album is definitely not something you put on unless you’re willing to focus and think for 47 minutes. But with lines like “You’re the guy from Clerks who got his hand stuck in a canister of Pringles,” you’re not likely to lose focus.
In comparison to Milo’s other work since I’ve been following his career, “A Toothpaste Suburb” isn’t very different stylistically. It’s his debut album but he’s making music like this for three years. Maybe we’ll get a change in the future, but for now what Milo’s doing is alright for me. I was a little bit underwhelmed, especially with the more annoying parts on the album (I’m so sick of the chorus to “A Day Trip to the Nightosphere”). But overall, I’m happy with the result. If you like experimental hip-hop, please give Milo a listen. His style is heavily lyrical and totally worth at least a listen. Also, Kool AD’s verse on “In Gaol” is one of my favorite verses of the year.
SCORE – 8.1
FAVORITE TRACKS – Salladhor Saan, Smuggler, Peanut Butter Sandwiches, In Gaol (feat. Kool AD), Fragrant Pee Farts, Ought Implies Can and I Cannot, You Are Go(o)d to Me, Objectifying Rabbits, Just Us (A Reprise for Robert Who Will Never Be Forgotten), May the Days Be Aimless (Sorcery)