- Longtime DJ Shadow fans tend to display a rabid devotion to his often arcane, decidedly DIY production methods. Now the stuff of legend, Shadow's debut, ENTRODUCING, was famously constructed from nothing more than a sampling drum machine and musical snippets sourced from obscure thrift-store vinyl. His third album, THE OUTSIDER, marks defiantly new territory for this veteran artist. Increasingly less reliant on his trademark sampling techniques, Shadow has stretched out to genres as diverse as Bay Area hyphy, hardcore rock, and left-field dance music. Displaying an impetuous and often restless experimental streak, THE OUTSIDER features a revolving cast of vocalists, rappers, and musicians. Sure to confound musical pundits and genre purists alike, DJ Shadow has created inspired music that is bound to attract a coterie of new fans.
Rolling Stone (p.94) - 3.5 stars out of 5 -- "[The album] finds the Bay-area producer pushing bass mechanics to the fore and drawing from the energy of hyphy, this year's crucial hip-hop movement."
Spin (p.100) - 3 stars out of 5 -- "The album's prog rock, soul jazz, and arty Britpop find Shadow in a fruitful territory."
Entertainment Weekly (p.94) - "[A] batch of party-rap vocal tracks drenched in hyphy -- California's bodacious big-beat answer to Southern crunk."
Q (p.106) - 3 stars out of 5 -- "As ever, THE OUTSIDER's production is immaculate....Having flirted with the mainstream, DJ Shadow seems happy to retreat back to the margins."
Uncut (p.104) - 4 stars out of 5 -- "THE OUTSIDER sees him making something of a departure, emerging from turntablism's dusty basement and taking inspiration from the streets of his Bay Area home."
The Wire (p.63) - "As always, his production, from the burbling synth washes of '3 Freaks' to the multilayered drum patterns on 'Erase You', is unmatched....THE OUTSIDER sounds fresh and risky."