2006 Island Records
1: The Outsider Intro N/A
Some atmospheric music with some dude telling a story about The Outsider. Enjoyable for once, but very skippable.
2: This Time (I'm Gonna Do It My Way) 4/5
Now this is dope, definitely one of the better tracks on the album. Funky stuff with some guy singing on top of it. I read somewhere that Shadow found the vocal samples in an old recording studio and that it was some guy who was singing along while tuning his guitar, so that's dope. There's a very nice guitar solo on it too.
3: 3 Freaks (Feat. Keak Da Sneak and Turf Talk) 1/5
Unfortunately, the album doesn't keep up and falls into deep depths after the first two tracks (of which only one is a real track). I really can't dig all these new hiphop genres like crunk and hyphy, it's all wack as fuck in my eyes. I like my music to actually bring forward a message or to at least be a little clever. This track doesn't do either, it's just mindless party music. The beat is pretty fucking bad as well, although there's a fairly interesting breakdown in the end.
4: Droop-E-Drop N/A
Just a small interlude with some dude talking some crap.
5: Turf Dancing (Feat. The Federation & Animaniaks) 0/5
And just when I thought it couldn't get worse, it just did get worse. Another one of these hyphy tracks, but the beat is really hardly listenable here. I listened to the whole damn track just to find something that appealed to me, and I didn't find anything.
6: Keep 'em Close (Feat. Nump) 1/5
This is a bit better than the previous track, but it's still pretty crappy. Another hyphy track, but this time around in 6/8 (not 3/4 like I've read on some sites, it's definitely 6/8). Beat sounds like it's produced by some dude who touched a music programme on the computer for the first time, with some awful midi-keyboard-sounds.
7: Seein' Thangs (Feat. David Banner) 1.5/5
More hyphy, a bit better than the other tracks though. Beat is listenable, the MC is pretty horrible.
8: Broken Levee Blues 4/5
I feel like rating this track 5/5 just because it's so much better than the tracks that preceded it (apart from This Time). Some bluesy guitar playing with some bass. And that's all this track is made with.
9: Artifact 3/5
Again something completely different. I'd say this is pretty much a punk song, with agressive punk drums, a fast but not at all complex bassline, some distorted guitar chords. Halfway through the song it calms down a bit but it gets back in full action a bit later. Not a very memorable track to be honest, but for me a lot more enjoyable than the hyphy tracks.
10: Backstage Girl (Feat. Phonte Coleman) 3.5/5
A track featuring a rapper that actually is good. Although I'm not the biggest fan of Little Brother, I quite like Phonte on here. Overall it's a bit of bluesrock with rap. The music sounds like it could've been made by Led Zeppelin or something. While the track is nice, it goes on for way too long. Even the drum solo breakdown can't save it from being a bit boring.
11: Triplicate / Something Happened That Day 4.5/5
I like this track. Probably the best track up till now. This is the closest to Endtroducing he gets on this album, I think. If only there would've been some massive breakbeat or something, this track would be a 5/5. The second part sounds pretty psychedelic actually, could've very well been made by 70s King Crimson.
12: The Tiger (Feat. Sergio Pizzorno & Christopher Karloff) 4/5
I'm quite obsessed by music with odd meters, so this one immediately gains some love for me. It's namely in 7/8, while not that strange of a meter, it's the strangest I've heard DJ Shadow do rhythmically. Unfortunately the track is not very original, it sounds more like Radiohead than anything else. I like Radiohead though.
13: Erase You (Feat. Chris James) 4/5
Another track that sounds like Radiohead although the vocalist here sounds more like the singer of Coldplay. Pretty nice track for the most part, but once again too long.
14: What Have I Done (Feat. Christina Carter) 3.5/5
This sounds pretty psychedelic as well. I like it, but it's a bit slow. Christina Carter has a beautiful voice.
15: You Made It (Feat. Chris James) 3/5
Some acoustic rock, not unlike Coldplay. Not a bad track at all, but I'm starting to wonder what happened to the DJ in DJ Shadow. This track has nothing that has anything to do with sampling or DJ'ing. It really seems like it was an outtake from Coldplay's latest album and Shadow decided to throw it on his own album.
16: Enuff (Feat. Q-Tip & Lateef) 3.25/5
Another hiphop track. It's definitely meant for the club, but unlike the hyphy music of some 30 minutes earlier, this is actually pretty good. The MC's come pretty weak on here, if you ask me, disappointing, cause I like both of them a lot normally.
17: Dats My Part (Feat. E-40)
This track is missing on my copy, but I'm pretty sure I won't like it anyway. I don't really like E-40 from what I've heard.
So there we have it, Shadow's latest solo-album is bit of a mix of all sorts of genres. Not many artists manage to do this good, and DJ Shadow isn't able to mix them satisfyingly either. The hyphy tracks are all pretty horrible, the rock tracks I like, but are completely out of place on a DJ Shadow album, the other tracks are not very memorable. It seems like DJ Shadow wanted to appeal to a lot of different audiences with this album, but I think he didn't succeed. The people who will buy this for the hyphy tracks will be badly disappointed with the rock tracks and the people who buy it for the rock tracks will be VERY disappointed with the hyphy stuff. People who buy this, expecting it to be another Endtroducing or even The Private Press, will however be the most disappointed, there's only a few tracks that hint towards his earlier work and none of them are up to par with it.
I'm not buying this.