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6 Reviews
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great 4th offering from DJ Shadow, 21 Oct 2011
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This review is from: The Less You Know The Better (Limited Edition Digipack) (Audio CD)
You have the feeling that DJ Shadow will always be judged based on his first album Endtroducing. Although it was a masterpiece and a very relevant when released I personally found after a great start it got lost within itself and faded away too much the end. His follow up, The Private Press, seemed to an opposite, whereas it was structured and rarely rambled, but lost the excitement of Endtroducing because of that.

Well, The Less you know the better essentially takes the best of Entroducing and combines it with the best of The Private Press. There's hardly a weak moment on this album and, despite the fact you have to let it grow on you, it rewards you so well for your perseverance. From the opening track announcing that DJ Shadow is back to the rock of Border Crossing, which is tailor made for any action movie, you move onto the beauty of Sad and Lonely which somewhat stands out as a Great Gig in the Sky moment in the album. Half way through it feels like the album takes a rest with a few instrumental tracks and then kicks back into life with the great Redeemed and I Gotta Rock.

Overall this album will rate up there with his first 2 (notice I haven't mentioned The Outsider...too right as well). It really is a move on from his last album and yet a return to the DJ Shadow of former years.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great album ......, 15 Oct 2011
This review is from: The Less You Know The Better (Limited Edition Digipack) (Audio CD)
DJ Shadow is an artist who I have always had a bit of difficulty with. Sometimes I think he is great, other times not! This album has me veering to the great side! When you listen to the album all the way through it's refreshing to hear something different for these days. It's a nice mix between rock and dance as any DJ Shadow album always should. From the almost Floydesque sounding 'Enemy Lines' to rocking tracks like 'Border Crossing' to more easy going tracks like the luscious 'Scale It Back' collaboration with Little Dragon. Talking of collaborations, my stand out track on the album is collaboration with Tom Vek, 'Warning Call' which works so well, in a Cure-esque kind of way. Possibly a combination prior to hearing that song that you may think won't work but it definitely does! There are some lighter moments which I don't believe work as well but are still perfectly acceptable, namely, 'Redeemed' and '(Not So) Sad and Lonely'.

All in, I would say this is a worthy album to buy and the variety of tracks keeps it engaging.

Highlight track: Warning Call
Not so Highlight: Redeemed
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The master of audio-bricolage returns, 26 Oct 2011
By 
Piers Moktan "Piers Moktan" (Khorsor Elephant Stable, Nepal) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Less You Know The Better (Limited Edition Digipack) (Audio CD)
Even though I found Shadow's last offering 'The Outsider' a rather mixed affair (with 'Broken Levee Blues' the stand out track for me), I was nonetheless excited to hear about a new long-player from the master turntablist. And it does not disappoint! There is so much to digest, across a variety of music styles, drawing on the typically eclectic mix of source sounds. And just for a change, I even recognised some- is that a snippet of Pink Floyd I hear on 'I've Been Trying'? Once you admit it's probably impossible for Josh Davis to produce anything better than the incredible Endtroducing, one of my all-time fave albums, you'll probably agree that this is wonderfully crafted, that it rewards repeated listens, and that it sounds great!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent!, 10 Jan 2012
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This review is from: The Less You Know The Better (Limited Edition Digipack) (Audio CD)
I brought this CD because of one track I heard on 6Music and I'm really pleased - the entire album is excellent!
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5 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars FIRST!, 5 Oct 2011
By 
Mr. L. Adams "Giddeo" (England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Less You Know The Better (Limited Edition Digipack) (Audio CD)
Originally I gave this album five stars but I'm downgrading it to four stars.

Before you read this let me just say that I like the album, I like the fact that Shadow does stuff that is different to mainstream tastes, I liked the Outsider and I would imagine that as time goes on I'm going to find more and more to like about this album. I don't believe Shadow makes mistakes I think a lot of these choices are deliberate and as a fan I can get on board with that but I write this review for those of you who are not hugely into DJ Shadow or those who may be looking for the next Endtroducing, it is not Endtroducing. To quote Shadow you have to decide if you're a fan of the album or the artist. I happen to like what he does but there are some things on this album that I didn't like, that's my opinion and maybe in time that will change as with the Outsider which is now a staple of my musical diet.

It is a good album but I have found myself skipping through tracks.

Track 12 for example is a spoken word poem which is extremely lengthy and not very musical.
I could get on board with that if it was in keeping with the album but the album is a little fractured.
For example

Track 12 - Dark spoken word poem that goes on and on
Track 13 - Obscure rock track, pretty cool
Track 14 - Pop RnB style song, very cool

It just jumps from one place to another.
There are also a lot of fade outs in the album, I have never known Shadow to use fade outs before and in my opinion when you are listening to a DJ album you expect each track to blend into the next. Even the Outsider, as fractured as it was, had some degree of build up into the next track but this seems to have very defined gaps between each track.

On one of the tracks Shadow has sampled a violin part which is out of key? Which I guess works in some ways but still jumps out when you're listening to it and you suddenly realise there is a note where there shouldn't be a note and not in a jazz context.

As I say, I originally gave the album five stars and that's because I am I die hard Shadow fan and I can see the reasoning behind why he might make an album this way.

That said if you're not familiar with Shadow then this album is going to be difficult to get to grips with.

What I would say is that it seems that the drums are Shadows speciality, the sound he manages to get from the drum kit on some of these tracks is ridiculous and for anyone who hasn't seen him live it's definitely something to see.

I actually quite liked the Outsider, this has some good stuff on it but it's different again and atm I find myself just wanting to skip through tracks.

Being a Shadow fan ain't easy, he changes what he's doing every five minutes?
What I don't understand
What I fail to grasp
Is how can his live set be so unbelievably good and yet each album that comes out kind of leaves you feeling flat. It's deliberate, I have no doubt that it's challenging for the sake of being challenging and unconventional but...

It's arguably the greatest DJ in the World deliberately doing stuff that goes against mainstream tastes. I'm not saying he should make music like everyone else but if he did there's a good chance it would be better then everyone else but he kind of refuses to compete.
One of my mates who is not a massive Shadow fan came to his live set and said, that was some of the best DnB I have ever heard.

In my humble opinion scrap track 12, get rid of the fade outs and make the last track something upbeat and not a slow drown out.
Despite that it is a good album and a good addition to the ones so far and hey, part of the appeal of Shadow is that he gives you something different and unique to everything else on the market, and to that extent a job well done.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A gift:-), 5 Jan 2013
By 
Mary (Oxon United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Less You Know The Better (Limited Edition Digipack) (Audio CD)
I bought this item for my son-in law and have selected the 5* rating as it arrived very quickly and securely packaged. I assume that he likes it as it was on his wishlist.
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