- Audio CD (June 4 2002)
- Number of Discs: 1
- Format: Import
- Label: Mca
- ASIN: B000067AT9
- Other Editions: Audio CD | LP Record
- Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars See all reviews (74 customer reviews)
|1. (Letter From Home)|
|2. Fixed Income|
|3. Un Autre Introduction|
|4. Walkie Talkie|
|5. Giving Up The Ghost|
|6. Six Days|
|7. Mongrel Meets His Maker|
|8. Mongrel Meets His Maker|
|9. Right Thing/GDMFSOB (Clean Instrumental Version)|
|11. Mashin' On The Motorway|
|12. Blood On The Motorway|
|13. You Can't Go Home Again|
|14. (Letter From Home)|
Now, a full six years later, he's back with a follow-up that is every bit as impressive as his debut, albeit in a different way. Once again, the producer has pushed his sampler to the limits, but this time he's brought with it a deeper, hungrier, more bad-ass spirit that's rarely found in modern dance music. There's a fabulous '80s vibe throughout (principally on tracks like "Monosylabik" and "You Can't Go Home Again"), along with the expected forays into b-boy culture (check the growling, massive "Treach Battle Break" and the funky-ass "Mashin' on the Motorway"). While it's identifiably Shadow, it ain't Endtroducing...Part 2. It is, however, a worthy and imaginative follow-up, with humor, wisdom, and musical understanding aplenty. --Paul Sullivan
The first song on the album, "Fixed Income," is classic DJ Shadow. He takes the march of a drum beat and marries it to some mysterious acoustic guitar samples (including something that may have come from a Spaghetti Western) and an ominous bass. Throw in a voice here and there and you've got the direct descendant of Endtroducing's "Midnight in a Perfect World." Wicked and addictive.
Skipping ahead, "Giving Up the Ghost" is a tough name for a song to live up to, but Shadow delivers in spades. Disenchantment, disillusion, doubt, regret -- all conveyed by one sample in a loop that makes up the first sixty seconds. I find that this song gets stuck in my head when I get in that kind of a mood. Extremely evocative and more than a little sad.
This is followed by the shimmering torpor of "Six Days," and the fast-paced but downright creepy "Mongrel...Meets His Maker." A single meandering guitar ties the song together, augmented by a flute, a piano, and a ringing telephone(!) Along the same lines, "Blood on the Motorway" brings to mind the morbid transcendentalism of "What Does Your Soul Look Like, part 2," but with some decidedly 80s-ish samples used to achieve the effect. That three-second silence speaks volumes, like the transition from life to death or ignorance to knowledge. Hypnotizing and profound without being maudlin or heavy-handed.Read more ›
On "Private Press" Shadow leaves that specific retro-feel of "Endtroducing" behind him, and goes for a modern sound. It results into more variety to tracks, and even addition of a vocal part in a couple of them. He strays further away from hip-hop and funky rhythms of his debut, successfully adding a touch of rock, and electronica beats. DJ Shadow tries to create an aural adventure, a sonic movie of sorts, and I'd say the results are fairly good. Spoken samples add to the "adventure feel".
But on the down side of this variety, this record doesn't sound as consistent as the debut, because not all the ideas really work. To me, personally, the addition of a singer is a very questionable novelty (it's what killed the creativity in Chemical Brothers). While Shadow manages to pull it with taste, the tracks "Walkie Talkie" and "Six Days" are not equal to the rest of the album. And somehow they spoil the flow of the musical adventure. Other than this relatively small gripe, the album is very good. It's great to see Shadow is still as creative and perfectionistic musician, as he proved he was in 1996. I'm looking forward to hearing more from him in future.