Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Asher Roth: Asleep In The Bread Aisle

With the possible exception of the fifth-generation Xerox of “Without Me” that is the new Eminem single, the foulest earworm of 2009 so far is Asher Roth’s “I Love College,” an ode to stoned dorm life with a chorus as smug as the worst feel-good soft-rock, thanks in part to a guitar part lifted from Weezer’s “Say It Ain’t So.” (The line “Time isn’t wasted when you’re getting wasted” is like the chumpier cousin of Beastie Boy Mike D rhyming “commercial” with “commercial.”) At least that song can provoke some visceral impact, though, which is more than can be said of the rest of Asleep In The Bread Aisle. “Lark On My Go-Kart” and “Blunt Cruisin’” lead the album off with some bass-heavy promise, but the air goes out of the rest of the tracks fairly quickly. “Be By Myself” features a hook sung by a disinterested-sounding Cee-Lo and Roth rhyming “Mac 4,” “vernacular,” “perform,” and “spectacular” in the first verse. “Sour Patch Kids” trudges along on a mid-tempo synth groove, but the scenario is utterly ordinary; “As I Em” is a whiny plea for people not to compare Roth to Eminem. (Whoops.) This isn’t a horrible album, just a really boring one. What a disappointment.


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