DJ Shadow: The Less You Know, The Better

DJ Shadow
The Less You Know, The Better
(Verve Forecast)

Buy it at Amazon!

It’s been five long years since DJ Shadow’s last record, but the follow-up has definitely been worth the wait. Shadow is a mad scientist behind the decks,  combining samples and genres to create something that’s uniquely his own style. Classical-meets-grime, grime meshes with pop, and everything flows in his effortless mix.

The Less You Know, The Better is certainly not the average electronica album, filled with bleeps and white noise. “Sad and Lonely” is a beautiful, timeless ballad that’s a delicate surprise. “Warning Call,” on the other hand, sounds like it was ripped from the hands of an 80’s band and even carries a motivational message: “It’s cool to be you when you like what you do.”

Fans of DJ Shadow’s more urban tracks will be able to enjoy songs like “Run for Your Life,” with its stampeding drums, and “Stay the Course,” which shows that rap can be confident and intelligent without having to be vulgar.

The bonus material on this album is also certainly worth the purchase. “Come on Riding (Through the Cosmos)” is like Southern rock meeting soulful grunge, backed by strings and a steady bassline. “Def Surrounds Us” is a return to clattering, experimental form, while “Let’s Get It (Bass, Bass, Bass)” is dancefloor hip hop at its finest.

DJ Shadow’s albums always go down smoothly, and this is no different. It’s easy to relax and get swept up in the material even if certain sampled genres aren’t your favorite. Shadow’s genius lies in mashing together incongruous elements and somehow still creating beautiful music.

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About Casey Hicks

Casey Hicks toils her daylight hours away in an office high above Manhattan in order to afford nights of passionately scribbling. The first song she remembers ever hearing is "Lola" by the Kinks. She thinks this explains a lot.
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