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Dead Ringer


Price: CDN$ 32.65
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Ships from and sold by Vanderbilt CA.
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  • This item: Dead Ringer

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    Ships from and sold by Vanderbilt CA.
    CDN$ 3.49 shipping.

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (May 24 2007)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Definitive Jux
  • ASIN: B000068QSF
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  LP Record
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (59 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #68,569 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. The Horror
2. Salud
3. Smoke and Mirrors
4. Good Times Roll Pt. 2
5. Final Frontier
6. Ghostwriter
7. Cut Out to FL
8. F.H.H.
9. Shot in the Dark
10. Chicken-Bone Circuit
11. The Proxy
12. 2 More Dead
13. Take the Picture Off
14. Silver Fox
15. June
16. Work


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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Most helpful customer reviews

By Dustin on May 3 2014
Format: LP Record Verified Purchase
This is a really fantastic album. Certainly Rjd2's finest. The packaging is pretty bare bones, but that's fine with me.
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Format: Audio CD
In 1996 DJ Shadow '...Endtroduced' himself with his debut wide release album, a compilation of sampled rhythms. '...Endtroducing' strived to create the perfect concoction between beat and melody, and succeeded, in a way. DJ Shadow relied heavily on the listeners' understanding of the intricacies of turntablism and sampling. To an average listener, the album might have seemed shallow and monotonous. It is unfair to criticize '...Endtroducing' for its simplicity though, due to the fact that in terms of complexity it ranks up there with the best of Q-Bert and Peanut Butter Wolf (with whom Shadow worked numerously). Yet when it comes to comparing Shadow's album to Rjd2's 2002 release 'Deadringer', it is necessary to point out that, though similar in their approaches to producing beats, Rjd2 adds enough variation and surprises to his sampling masterwork to please a wider audience.
Take the introductory 'The Horror', for example, which was released later as a single. Darkly atmospheric, the track contains no lyrics. 'The Horror' might even stimulate the desire to augment it with a freestyle (if you're not good at it, don't ruin the song and practice over Big Tymers instrumentals, brother). Its energy and structure brings to mind 'Midnight in a Perfect World' from '...Endtroducing'. Rjd2's lack of pretension and homing in on affecting simplicity distinguishes 'The Horror', along with distinctively excellent instrumentals, such as 'Ghostwriter' with its scratchy vinyl guitar that flows into an astounding trombone chorus; 'Cut Out to FL', which starts off quitely lyrical, builds up suspense and explodes with a helluva beat/scratching; and 'Silver Fox', that's bound to eerily dig its way under the skin with its jagged beat and hallucinatory Asian vibe.
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Format: Audio CD
. . . is this good. Instrumental hip-hop is, I suppose, one possible label for this. And sure, there's some echoes of DJ Shadow here, perhaps a touch of Mr. Scruff, and weirdly enough, I hear hints - just hints mind you - of some of the solo stuff put out by Liam Howlett of, *sigh*, the Prodigy (specifically the Dirtchamber Sessions which admittedly is more of a mix album than anything else and which probably shouldn't be mentioned in the same breath as an album like DeadRinger, but I still here some similarities. Sorry.)

But similarities aside, this isn't much like any of the aforementioned artists. It's one of the more unique things I've heard in a while. It's your typical collage of breakbeats and samples and odd melodies. And where RJD2 really shines is in the last element: melodies. Yes, his beats are, putting it mildly, awesome. But what stood out for me is just how tuneful and finely crafted his songs (yes, songs) are. This guy has an ear for melody, and creates tracks that bear this out.
And the songs are oddly rousing, anthemic even. Listening to 'The Horror,' I kept wanting to throw up my hands at my pointless 9-5 life, and go off and have some sort of adventure or something. If that makes sense. It's stirring music, is what I guess I'm trying to say.
The only downside to this album, in my personal opinion, are the non-instrumental tracks. Not to say that the MCing is weak - it's not - just that RJD2 is so good that I bemoan being distracted from his work by the lyrics. But that's a pretty minor quibble, and doesn't make this any less great of an album.
Have a listen and go have an adventure or something.
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By Kurt Lennon on June 23 2004
Format: Audio CD
Being compared to DJ Shadow might have had an advantage for RJD2: I doubt that his affiliation with Def Jux would be heavy enough to translate into the success he has seen. Not to mention that he is not very similiar to DJ Shadow: sure, they both construct hip-hop based music from diverse samples, but RJD2 is admittedly more hip-hop, in small measure because of the appearance of three MCs on three songs. Of these, "June" featuring Copywrite is the best one: not only is his verse touching (a tribute to his dead father, who died in the month Write was born in), but the instrumental interlude is sublime, with classical guitar and synth. The other standouts include the opener "The Horror", with its addictive, menacing synth line that sounds like an alien invasion, and "2 More Dead" - not the gangsta workout you'd expect. No, it didn't "change the world" as El-P claimed, but it is a fine album on its own accord.
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Format: Audio CD
Now I haven't heard a lot of hip hop instrumental CDs so I'm not well-versed enough to definitively say that this is the best. But I've heard DJ Shadow and Amon Tobin's supposed best works, and neither hold a candle to 'Dead Ringer'. First off all, both of the aforementioned works fall into the hip hop category but really aren't hip hop. They sacrifice the essence of hip hop for creativity (which doesn't work in my opinion). RJD2 keeps it true to hip hop. The best track 'Ghostwriter' is an amazing beat with an awesome horns sample that blows out of your speakers. And while many complain about RJD2's fellow Def Jux record mates rapping over some of his beats, I actually enjoy 'F.H.H.' featuring Jakki da Mota Mouth and 'Final Frontier' featuring Blueprint. While the beats are definitely well thought out and are creative, this still isn't as strong as I would have liked it to be, with no songs coming close to 'Ghostwriter'. But it still a solid CD and is worth a listen for any hip hop fan.
(3/5 mics)
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