Posted by: Dave on March 4, 2009 at 9:24 pm

NASASpiritofApolloNote: N.A.S.A. (which stands for North America/South America) is the brainchild of DJ/producers Squeak E. Clean (aka Sam Spiegel, the producer of Yeah Yeah Yeahs excellent Show Your Bones (my #3 album of 2006) and brother of music video and film director Spike Jonze) and DJ Zegon (aka, the Brazillian-born, L.A.-based Zé Gonzales).
Also Note: The average track on here features at least three highly-respected artists from the worlds of rock, hip-hop, electronic/dance, dancehall and funk (see track suggestions below for sample of featured artists).
Sound: The eclectic assemblage of artists makes for one big happy global music party that jumps from electronic/funk/hip-hop hybrids to more straightforward breakbeat-and-turntable-driven hip-hop to sensual indie rock with some hip-hop flavor to electro pop, electro dancehall and more.
Look For: The album’s intro is a great cut-and-paste soundbite collage that announces their mission statement of bringing the world together through music. It actually serves as a good introduction, unlike the average intro track on the average hip-hop album.
Heavy Rotation tracks: “The People Tree” featuring David Byrne, Chali 2Na, Gift of Gab & Z-Trip; “Way Down” featuring RZA, Barbie Hatch & John Frusciante
Medium Rotation tracks: “N.A.S.A. Music” featuring Method Man, E-40, DJ Swamp; “Gifted” featuring Kanye West, Santogold & Lykke Li; “Strange Enough” featuring Karen O, Ol’ Dirty Bastard & Fatlip; “Spacious Thoughts” featuring Tom Waits & Kool Keith; “N.A.S.A. Anthem”; “A Volta” featuring Sizzla, Amanda Blank & Lovefoxxx; “Hip-Hop” featuring KRS-One, Fatlip & Slim Kid Tre
Recommended: The bold, cross-genre nature of The Spirit of Apollo could have made for a disjointed, annoying mess, but the sounds all work together surprisingly well. Somehow it feels like a cohesive album and not a random mixtape. But while nearly every bizarre collaboration is a success, few tracks are upper-echelon standouts—most of these premier artists have done far greater work elsewhere. Regardless, it’s invigorating and rewarding to hear them all thrown together in this context.
Grade: A-

Listen to Tracks/Buy Music:
On iTunes

One Response to “N.A.S.A. The Spirit of Apollo (Anti-)”

  1. New Music Nation » Blog Archive » Top 20 Albums of 2009 (as of 10/6/09) Says:

    […] 1. The Rural Alberta Advantage Hometowns (Saddle Creek) 2. Kid Cudi Man on the Moon: The End of Day (Motown/G.O.O.D.) 3. Brother Ali Us (Rhymesayers) 4. Psapp The Camel’s Back (Domino) 5. The Decemberists The Hazards of Love (Capitol) 6. The Mars Volta Octahedron (Warner Brothers) 7. Grizzly Bear Veckatimest (Warp) 8. Jack Peñate Everything Is New (XL) 9. M. Ward Hold Time (Merge) 10. Neko Case Middle Cyclone (Anti-) 11. Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit (Lightning Rod) 12. Franz Ferdinand Tonight: Franz Ferdinand (Domino) 13. Handsome Furs Face Control (Sub Pop) 14. Electric Owls Ain’t Too Bright (Vagrant) 15. Chali 2na Fish Outta Water (Decon) 16. UUVVWWZ UUVVWWZ (Saddle Creek) 17. Thrice Beggars (Vagrant) 18. P.O.S. Never Better (Rhymesayers) 19. N.A.S.A. The Spirit of Apollo (Anti-) 20. The Black Crowes Before the Frost… (Silver Arrow/Megaforce) Filed in: Top 20 Albums Standings […]

Leave a Reply

Enter your email address for weekly updates: 

March 2009
« Feb   Apr »