5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant integration of stylez
What happens when alt-rock and Joe Satriani ("Unkle Main Title Theme") meet Massive Attack ("Blood Stain", "Unreal"), Craig Armstrong ("Celestial Annihilation"), and you pour a little straight-up Public Enemy-like hip-hop into the mix? Sounds like science fiction? Fatboy Slim, you say? Not really. How about Psyence Fiction,...
Published on Mar 15 2004 by Manny Hernandez
3.0 out of 5 stars Some beautiful moments...
As a die hard Radiohead fan I bought this album after hearing the track "Rabbit in Your Headlights", sung by their front man Thom Yorke. However, I was not sure what to expect from the rest of the album, and I must say, I was not disappointed... well, not completely. The album contains some truly amazing highpoints, such as the track "Lonely Soul" and "Blood Stain", which...
Published on Mar 25 2004 by Joele Poet
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3.0 out of 5 stars Some beautiful moments...,
This review is from: Psyence Fiction (Audio CD)As a die hard Radiohead fan I bought this album after hearing the track "Rabbit in Your Headlights", sung by their front man Thom Yorke. However, I was not sure what to expect from the rest of the album, and I must say, I was not disappointed... well, not completely. The album contains some truly amazing highpoints, such as the track "Lonely Soul" and "Blood Stain", which alone make the price of this album (used) more then worth it (you should be able to acquire this CD [...] used on this site).
Some of the reviews claim the album lacks a flow of togetherness, but this is simply false. All the tracks flow one from the other beautifully, and I felt there was no detachment or inconsistency between the songs... albeit the various genre influences. But its on this regard, genres, that you will either think this is a masterpiece or just so so. Not being a rap fan, I found the albums rap/hip hop tracks to be rather dull and seemed much less thoughtful then the high standard set by "Lonely Soul" and "Rabbit in Your Headlights". I think the hip hop elements could have worked well in this, but they were just presented poorly here. For example, the lyrics too "Knock" seemed to be painfully old tired cliché lines.
However, despite some less then inspired moments, "Psyence Fiction" is an impressive work overall, and well worth the beautiful moments it presents, which are many considering the best songs are easily over 5 minutes each. And if you do have a higher tolerance of rap/hip hop then I, you will most likely find even more to love in this album.
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant integration of stylez,
This review is from: Psyence Fiction (Audio CD)What happens when alt-rock and Joe Satriani ("Unkle Main Title Theme") meet Massive Attack ("Blood Stain", "Unreal"), Craig Armstrong ("Celestial Annihilation"), and you pour a little straight-up Public Enemy-like hip-hop into the mix? Sounds like science fiction? Fatboy Slim, you say? Not really. How about Psyence Fiction, U.N.K.L.E.'s ultimate definition of the future of music in 1998, and one that certainly goes beyond 2004?
Granted that this work as a whole is a masterpiece (haven't taken it off my jukebox in over two weeks now), the pinnacles of the album (it has two) come when the voice of The Verve's Richard Ashcroft breaks the silence in track #5, singing "God knows your Lonely Soul..." and when the unmistakable voice of Thom Yorke embraces you in "Rabbit in Your Headlights" close to the end.
What more can you ask for? This album is as close as it comes to perfection in blending musical styles. Listening to it six years after its original release sounds every bit as fresh as it did back then. Indeed, I dare to say it sounds better today, because a lot of these sounds have sunk in, to become a part of mainstream culture, something that says a lot about how far ahead of their time these guys were back then.
5.0 out of 5 stars Worthy,
This review is from: Psyence Fiction (Audio CD)Although U.N.K.L.E. is indeed James Lavelle and DJ Shadow, this album is, in essence, the product of an artists' collective. As a result, it's a fairly mixed bag. There is a running theme about aliens that attempts to lend some cohesion to the proceedings with in-between bits and spacey sounding music, although the boys don't entirely pull it off.
The rap songs (the opener "Guns Blazing" and "The Knock") rock hard with heavy drums. But I often skip these along with the rocking "Nursery Rhyme" because I'm in the mood for (and I prefer) the lower key stuff like "Unkle Main Theme" and "Blood Stain," the latter being a great song & beat with really downer lyrics I can relate to. Also, "Unreal" is a pretty trippy instrumental. "Celestial Annialation" is another vocal-less track that's a bit more ominous sounding.
The album's themes are decidedly negative. That's certainly true of the standout tracks "Lonely Soul" and "Rabbit In Your Headlights."
"Lonely Soul" is sung by Richard Ashcroft of Verve fame and it's powerful. The String section sounds fantastic. DJ Shadow wrote the music (or constructed it?) on this song as on most of the album. I must say, this is perhaps the most musical music he's done.
"Rabbit In Your Headlights" alone makes this CD worth getting. Amazing that Tom Yorke kept this, one of his best songs, from his Radiohead mates. Those opening piano chords just kill me, and then comes Tom's angelic voice with those poisonous words," . . . fat bloody fingers/ sucking your soul away." Whew! This guy really sounds like he's been to some harrowing place! And that beat . . . this track is just incredible.
Despite some real shortcomings, I feel "Rabbit" and the other great songs hear elevate the album to 4 1/2 stars (or in this case 5). The rating is meant to reflect its worthiness for purchase. Even the lesser material is at least interesting and the album stands as something pretty unique.
5.0 out of 5 stars SAY "U.N.K.L.E."!,
This review is from: Psyence Fiction (Audio CD)DJ Shadow never ceases to amaze me! After getting Psyence Fiction (several years late, of course) I can see why folks give him his props for "saving Hip-Hop". The man can make music sound melancholic while at the same time nerve racking to the point where you have to love it! This impressive effort with James Lavelle, shows that Shadow is just as good with a partner as he is doing it solo. In fact, Shadow contributes more to Psyence Fiction than Lavelle does (being that Lavelle can't write music). With the proper mix of vocals from males and females on Psyence Fiction, this has got to be one of the most eclectic bunch of songs produced by Shadow. Hypnotically groovey songs like "Bloodstains", "Unreal," "Lonely Soul" and "Celestial Annihilation" are why this CD makes it to the top of my list.
5.0 out of 5 stars god bless your lonely soul,
This review is from: Psyence Fiction (Audio CD)Combine one of the coolest dj's in music with a man whose connections bring in amazing talents, and you'd be hard pressed to get a bad cd. The UNKLE of "Psyence Fiction" consists of DJ Shadow and James Lavelle, and the cd they've produced is a testament to experimental trip-hop. Shadow showcases his scratch skills best on tracks like "Unreal", which lives up to its name in every sense of the world. It honestly has to be heard to be believed. Anyone who has heard his solo album "Endtroducing..." knows what the Shadow is capable of. And his presence is felt throughout the entire album.
Lavelle, head of the label Mo' Wax, does his part by bringing in contributions from some of the best in the business. Mike D of the Beastie Boys drops some rhymes on "The Knock" and Richard Ashcroft of the Verve turns "Lonely Soul" into something more incredible than it would've been alone (moviegoers might remember the song from the Danny Boyle film "The Beach"). Badly Drawn Boy offers his voice to "Nursery Rhyme", and Radiohead's Thom Yorke laments his way through "Rabbit In Your Headlights" (a song which features a sample from "Jacob's Ladder" and had a video banned because of excessive violence). And while every contributor adds significantly to their song, it would be nothing without the work of Shadow. From the high-charged rap with "Guns Blazing" to the quiet guitar work heard on the paradoxically titled "Chaos", this is the ultimate teamwork album. Where the sum of the parts is something that has to be heard to be believed. Pick it up. Now.
5.0 out of 5 stars amazing music,
By A Customer
This review is from: Psyence Fiction (Audio CD)Iguess this is the great work unkle can ever come up with.I think all the songs are worth listening to,but few are of a differnt class together. The music on Cellestial Annihilation is awesome,but at the same time they could hve increased the length of the song with the usual music as it draws to its finish. Similarly,unreal is a very catchy song sounds more or less like Be There with a very intense music and spooky music.I think its the amazing music compiled by josh davis aka dj Shadow.So,if I were to sum up the whole album,Iwould say on the whole its a very unique album with differnt kind of music on almost every song,with the contrbution of Artists of differnt Genres.It is really worth a risk buying the album,if you listen to this genre of music.
5.0 out of 5 stars A possibly often overlooked classic.....,
This review is from: Psyence Fiction (Audio CD)The production duo of 'James Lavelle' (handling mostly the label side of things, as well as guest collaborators & ideas), with the turntable Skills of 'Dj Shadow' (handling the Djing / Mixing side of things), It's seems to be something of a misguided idea on paper, yet the implementation of ideas is sublimely handled...after a lengthy intro, the "Unkle Main Title Theme" rams home the point with fine style...but don't be mislead on what seems like it's an 'Lavelle/Shadow' Production is actually a star-Studded collection of established talent....'Badly Drawn Boy' is the voice on ("Nursery Rhyme/Breather"), the 'Beastie Boys - Mike D' throws down some glorious Old Skool raps on ("The Knock"), 'The Verve's - Richard Ashcroft' lends a wonderfully melancholic tone on ("Lonely Soul"), and who else other than 'Dj Shadow' can make 'Radiohead's - Thom Yorke' sound the closest he's ever sounded to dance music, on the superbly glum ("Rabbit In Your Headlights"), and yet the star-studded line up hasn't sacrificed quality for the sake of big star names. And provides a strong argument against those who believe that having 'an all star cast' is a substitute from a lack of ideas or depth. Going back and listening to this album several years after its initial release only serves to enforce that this was (admittedly the album was severely hyped prior to its release) an overlooked classic.
5.0 out of 5 stars never never land,
By A Customer
This review is from: Psyence Fiction (Audio CD)let me correct something : the first unkle is an incredible masterpiece which combines electro and hiphopbeats into an original melting pot. Now for the new album, Lavelle decided to do something new and as original as the first album and i think he managed to do that.What the f#ck, i think it's even deeper than psyence fiction and has much more layers than it.So this is my opinion and i want you to know that never never land is a beautiful soundscape and definitely a must buy.(and i'm 22 not 12 so old enough to know what good music is)
4.0 out of 5 stars This one's good, but I wanted to warn everyone that...,
This review is from: Psyence Fiction (Audio CD)UNKLE's upcoming album (Never Never Land) is terrible. Don't ask me how I heard it, but those expecting another Psyence Fiction will be horribly disappointed. Shadow is not working on it, and they got someone infinitely worse to take his place. It sounds like Eurocheese. Think of Dirty Vegas, and you're most of the way there. Even Josh Homme's track is boring. I would've put this review on the page with that particular album, but it hasn't come out yet.
YOU WERE ALL WARNED!
This, on the other hand, is a good album. Shadow brings his kickass drumbeats and moody samples and lays them underneath guest vocals by Thom Yorke, Richard Ashcroft, Badly Drawn Boy, and some other people. One of the Beastie Boys appears, unfortunately, but it doesn't ruin the whole thing.
Just to clear everything up:
Psyence Fiction = WITH SHADOW, GOOD, FOUR STARS
Never Never Land = WITHOUT SHADOW, EUROCHEESE, ONE STAR
5.0 out of 5 stars Eclectica,
This review is from: Psyence Fiction (Audio CD)Unkle is an interesting duo. James Lavelle and DJ Shadow featuring a myriad of other musicians including Thom York, Mike D, and the lead singer of Verve. Each of the tracks appear to have such a detailed background and history behind them. Dj Shadow has evolved from his quintessential CD 'Entroducing' in many ways. He's one of the few artists that has changed in personal style while still maintaining their ever-present fan base. The gradual progression from mainly downbeat has not been a negative transition. His music is now more eclectic than ever, and it shows well in Psyence Fiction. From the pensive track "Lonely Soul" to the catchy rock-fused "Nursery Rhyme Breather", the tracks always hold a sense of identity to them.
The CD doesn't mesh, but yet it does. The diversity of the tracks can make it seem that they were all done by different people, which is half correct. But they all have so much spirit to them that they all synchronize well. Even the comical track 'Getting Ahead in the Lucrative Field of Artist Management', which is really the equivilent of a skit, isn't as distracting as it is enjoyable. Give the CD a spin especially if you're into a heterogeneous thrill ride, and even more so if you've liked Shadow's other stuff.
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Psyence Fiction by Unkle (Audio CD - 1998)