Outsider

The Outsider

4.0 1
by DJ Shadow
     
 
The Outsider is either a concept record about musical schizophrenia or a warehouse for 18 of the most idiosyncratic productions of DJ Shadow's career. And, to complicate matters, many of them are excellent. Although it trails his second production LP by only four years, The Outsider sounds like it includes the detritus of a decade's worth of false starts

Overview

The Outsider is either a concept record about musical schizophrenia or a warehouse for 18 of the most idiosyncratic productions of DJ Shadow's career. And, to complicate matters, many of them are excellent. Although it trails his second production LP by only four years, The Outsider sounds like it includes the detritus of a decade's worth of false starts: celebrity production jobs (one track was originally intended for Zack de la Rocha), anonymously released comeback singles (the regional radio hit "3 Freaks"), collaborations with art rock figures (Kasabian, Chris James from a band called Stateless, Christina Carter from Charalambides), and a cavalcade of talented guest vocalists and rappers who predictably underperform (or get overwhelmed by their productions). The best thing about The Outsider is that it rarely attempts to be Endtroducing, Pt. 2. In fact, mainstream rap commands the first third of the record. Setting aside his sampler for a few tracks, Shadow proves that Lil Jon has nothing on him. (Certainly, if Shadow ever made a concerted effort at commercial rap production, Scott Storch would soon be back making sandwiches in Philly.) For "3 Freaks," he pushes a couple of San Francisco's finest hyphy hip-hop stars, Keak da Sneak and Turf Talk, for a digital track that's as experimental as should be expected from Shadow, but just commercial enough to light up urban radio. (Granted, rap radio can be a surprisingly experimental place.) The paranoid synth of "Turf Dancing" finds Shadow cruising out to Vallejo, David Banner stops by for "Seein Thangs," and the Sick Wid It fiend Nump spins a tale of gritty paranoia on "Keep Em Close." From there, the roller coaster begins banking sharply; Shadow follows up a New Orleans guitar elegy worthy of Hendrix himself with a madcap punk-into-R&B instrumental. His tribute to John Cage precedes the Kasabian feature, and vocalist Chris James is drafted to impersonate Bono on "Erase You" (where he continually intones an interesting phrase, "under the blood red sky") and, two tracks later, Chris Martin on "You Made It." Aside from the artist himself, the only other thing that unifies this record is a crack band called the Heliocentrics, which proves its chops throughout the LP -- but nowhere better than on the first song, a dead ringer for Marvin Gaye's "Mercy Mercy Me (The Ecology)" with vocals from a singer that not even DJ Shadow could identify (probably picked up during one of his record-shop binges). The Outsider is a carefully crafted, artistically elusive mess -- far more scattershot than even his first UNKLE record (Psyence Fiction), but much more interesting for its excellent productions.

Product Details

Release Date:
09/19/2006
Label:
Umvd Labels
UPC:
0602517049574
catalogNumber:
000744302

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

DJ Shadow   Primary Artist,scratching
Heliocentric   Musician
Count   Percussion,Drums,Vocals
Joe Gore   Guitar
London Session Orchestra   Strings,Track Performer
Oliver Tobias   Vocals
Max Weissenfeldt   Keyboards,Vibes
Malcolm Catto   Drums
Taalam Acey   Vocals
Nump   Track Performer
Adrian Owusu   Guitar
Jack Yglesias   Percussion
Animaniaks   Track Performer
Wil Malone   Conductor

Technical Credits

Count   Engineer
E. Stevens   Composer
T.J. Jackson   Composer
DJ Shadow   Arranger,Producer,String Arrangements,beats
Jim Abbiss   Engineer
Philip Rose   Engineer
Scott Bomar   Engineer
Keak da Sneak   Composer
Max Weissenfeldt   Arranger
C. James   Composer
Mistah F.A.B.   Composer
Little E "Droop E"   Producer,Engineer,Remixing
Turf Talk   Composer
Jesse Gladstone   Engineer
Jamal Chalabi   Management
Paul Insect   Art Direction,Illustrations
Wil Malone   String Arrangements

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >

The Outsider 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is the type of album a lot of people may hate at the first listen, but on the long run you will cherish it. It’s quite eclectic, but trust DJ Shadow –he certainly knows what he’s doing. To be good in such different genres is quite a feat and it may open up your ears to different types of music. Let it play, open your mind and get on with whatever you’re doing –after a while, you’ll high-five yourself for the fourteen bucks you spent.