I think it was the Scaruffi rating that gave this album meme status. I understand the criticism: no 9's all millennium, 1 9.5 for the history of music, then suddenly out of nowhere a 10 for such a politically divisive record? OBND is, to be fair, spectacularly flawed: it hews too close to its obvious inspirations, Trout Mask Replica, Kaoru Abe's Winter 1972, and Stravinsky's Rite of Spring to name a few; some parts, most notably the 9 minute modal jazz fugue 'If My Truck Could Talk', are ambitious to the point of onanism; the dynamics, from -25 dBA RMS for tracks on end to the sound-barrier-breaking cathartic noise tempest on 'Two Night Town: Part II (the Second Night)', make it no less easy for ears more accustomed to modern production styles. I would argue that it is precisely these flaws that give OBND it's effervescent je-ne-sais-pais. From Aldean's liner notes to Burnin' It Down, the centerpiece of his divisive modal post-country album, Old Boots, New Dirt:
"Suppose that a man leaps out of a burning building and lands on a bystander in the street below. Now, make the burning building be Europe, and the luckless man underneath be the Palestinian Arabs. Is this a historical injustice? Has the man below been made a victim, with infinite cause of complaint and indefinite justification for violent retaliation? My own reply would be a provisional 'no,' but only on these conditions. The leaper must make such restitution as he can to the man who broke his fall, and must not pretend that he never even landed on him. And he must base his case on the singularity and uniqueness of the original leap. It can't, in other words, be 'leap, leap, leap' for four generations and more. The people underneath cannot be expected to tolerate leaping on this scale and of this duration, if you catch my drift. In Palestine, tread softly, for you tread on their dreams. And do not tell the Palestinians that they were never fallen upon and bruised in the first place.