Telephone Jim Jesus A Point Too Far to Astronaut

[Anticon; 2004]

Rating: 3.5/5

Styles: experimental hip-hop
Others: Restiform Bodies, Passage, pedestrian

It's hard being third in line. Even though he might not be third on the match when it comes to the inner-workings of his group, Restiform Bodies, Telephone Jim Jesus is still perceived by fans as the "guy behind the scenes." He doesn't garner the glamour and media blitz that his fellow New Hampshire comrades Passage and Bomarr do, but apparently he is going to take charge and thrust his All Things Must Pass on our neglecting selves. A Point Too Far To Astronaut is everything we've been missing from Restiform's music as of late -- making up for Passage's solo record and Bomarr's limited releases. Perhaps this will enlighten us to Telephone Jim's impact and influence within Restiform Bodies.

And look who Georgie dragged out of his hermit tendencies to join the party -- none other than the ever-elusive, Mr. Never Release Music himself, pedestrian. Is this for real? This tracklist says pedestrian appears five times on this here album. Unbelievably, it is true. The resident literary buff in the Anticon camp supplies basically all the lyrical moments on A Point Too Far To Astronaut. It's quite a noble move on Jim Jesus' part to take himself completely out of the project vocally and leave it all to the sparse poetic leanings of Brandon. These vignette-style verses maintain somewhat of a storyline throughout the album. With pedestrian's voice and the carefully chosen vocal samples, it's easy to see there are some political undercurrents present. The spacey layered sounds and rumbling basslines that Jim Jesus crafts doesn't hide these sentiments. The tracks, mostly short in length, have a vignette quality to them as well. Telephone Jim keeps it moving forward without much hesitation or dwelling. He makes his point and moves onto the next, making for a nicely-paced album.

Where Passage's solo release seemed to hop back and forth from genre to genre, allowing certain ones to leak into others varying track to track, Telephone Jim Jesus has a consistency to his sound. It's experimental, but not far-reaching in its effort. The album flows, it sputters, it smooths out -- seemingly at all the perfect times. When the only other guest, Passage, coincidentally, comes in on "Convertible Stingray," it is polished and appropriately timed. Passage uses his unique singing delivery to get the job done -- the same voice which was responsible for many of his album's best tracks.

And so we have Telephone Jim Jesus -- the secret weapon -- the late bloomer -- the ever-so-welcome surprise. A Point Too Far To Astronaut is a pleasure to listen to. It's a passive-aggressive album that makes a great impact with subtle nuances.

1. War Toy
2. Bathroom Mirror
3. I'm Not Ok
4. N=1 trial
5. Failure To Fly
6. Untitled Private Landscape
7. Guessing Tubes
8. The Ouroboros Tongue
9. Struck By Falling Object
10. A Blindness Falls Pt. A
11. A Blindness Falls Pt. B
12. Blue In The Face
13. Convertible Stingray
14. Little Boy One-Eye
15. Sometimes
16. Two Clasping What They Dream Is One Another