Aesop Rock's fifth is business as usual. That's the only problem with None Shall Pass: the album is as solid as its maker's last name but so predictable you could set your Flavor Flav clock to it.
Aesop has had his distinct, acrobatic verbal style nailed down for years. He's got a great facility with word manipulation and conceptual songwriting and obviously still has fantastic production resources inDef Jux, working (again) with Blockhead, El-P and Rob Sonic.
Some of the tracks on None Shall Pass, including Fumes, The Harbor Is Yours, Five Fingers and the bumpin' title track, are astoundingly dope - at least as great as the best songs on his solid past albums.
In all, it's like watching Evel Knievel jump his motorcycle over 10 school buses... over and over again. Still incredible, but there's a point when you want to see him demonstrate those death-defying skills just a bit differently.