Spoken Word is a difficult genre to represent without sounding like a melodramatic formula face. Listener is a rapper. I have followed him for almost ten years and watched him become less and less a rapper and more and more a musical poet, or a songwriter, or a writer of poems, a poet so to speak. That is fine. It is easy to write that sort of thing off. But – Listener stands apart. His new record, Wooden Heart, represents his finest material thus far. If Tom Waits and Aaron Weiss (mewithoutYou) had a background in alternative rap, they might shake hands on an album like Wooden Heart. Spoken Rap has never been so legitimate.

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