Album cover Esoteric Vs. Japan: Pterodactyl Takes Tokyo - MC Esoteric
Esoteric Vs. Japan: Pterodactyl Takes TokyoMC Esoteric8/10

MC Esoteric - Esoteric Vs. Japan: Pterodactyl Takes Tokyo

19 Jul 2009 row1

The difficult second concept album, it usually goes two extreme ways:
(i) Everybody hates it.
(ii)You become the latest media darling.
Of course it can always fall somewhere in-between. The concept album is a pretty general term, and while sometimes similar it should not be confused with the sell-out album.

The concept is somewhat similar to Monsta Island Czars, take some samples from some Japanese monster movies and mix them to hip-hop beats, Esoteric goes ones step further by making heavy use of Japanese folk/pop/??? and rap music.

Does the amalgamation work? The rule in this case seems to be, the lengthier and more obscure the sample the more stars I give it. A good example of this is on "Godzilla Stomp", the use of a Mattel commercial (for a Godzilla toy) with the product tag-line "Stomp, stomp, pound his tail" being looped over a tight "hand-clap" drum, it works great and I could listen to this esoteric sample for an entire track. However it turns out I can't get this for an entire track as this track is also the only one with two many cooks in the kitchen - the Spectreman theme, a dog barking (a Labrador I assume), a short rap in the middle and various other vocal samples make for just a bit too much incoherence.

The best track is also the most serious, "God Less America" is politically themed aimed at the republican party/values. It has a serious sounding Japanese rap as the hook which jells well into the rest of the song and the guitar riff.

The previously described concept album is best summed up on "Plastic Model Version":

Hey yo Eso what's up man?
Why must you attack Japan?
People they wont understand,
You'll probably loose the average fan.

Wanna loop up Japanese Soundtracks,
Wanna be like ow I found that,
Kinda weird you're using this though,
But the fans and critics never know.
Plastic Model Version

The album easily succeeds as a concept album as does Esoteric as a producer and MC. Does the album alienate existing fans? I will boldly say that this depends on how xenophobic you are, if you're not adverse to foreign music then you will find Pterodactyl Takes Tokyo a very interesting and rewarding album.

Sardless Tracks

  • God Less America
  • Wrestlelectro
  • Heroic Trio

Track Listing

  1. The Arrival
  2. Mecha Mecha
  3. Real Rap Design
  4. Gaiking Skydragon Rap
  5. My New Favorite
  6. Neo-Tokyo
  7. 24 Karat Fiction
  8. Wrestlelectro
  9. Pterolab Beat Oven
  10. Gigantor Says Anything
  11. Emperor Guillotine
  12. Feudal Lords
  13. Knifegirl
  14. Demoralizer
  15. God Less America
  16. Gargoyle Gang Face Science
  17. Plastic Model Version
  18. Godzilla Stomp
  19. I Do Lo-Fi
  20. Heroic Trio