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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
4.3 out of 5 stars
Format: Audio CD|Change
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on 15 December 2001
Even if you have never heard of DJ Shadow or James Lavell (I appologise for all spelling mistakes now), even if you dont like Hip Hop, Trip Hop or music with a definate beat, you actually cant help but be astounded by this album, as well as being hugely diverse in content, from Hip Hop to Punky Metal to scratched over samples it also has a huge range of guest musicians, including Thom Yorke (Radiohead), Mike D (Beastie Boys) and Ian Brown (Ummm, Ian Brown). So its all good, and if youve just stumbled on this some how and have no idea what Im going on about, buy it anyhow, and enjoy music that will actually excite you.
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on 3 December 2003
when this lp first appeared it was slagged for being all style and no substance, largely because it featured some top star guest performers. however, this is a brilliant beat scientist lp made deeper and more affecting by including the vocals of richard ashcroft (...) and thom yorke (...). the follow up is also great but please get this and dont be put off by the nme and the like who dont know a good tune when belted round the face by one.
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on 13 June 2000
a good blend of hip hop, trip hop and mellow sounds with a loud of DJ Shadow weird samples, a must for any DJ Shadow or trip hop fan.
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on 19 December 2001
If you want something eclectic, funky but accessible - this is it. DJ Shadow and James Lavelle act as musical fertiliser allowing the many collaborators on this album to do their good stuff even better. Badly Drawn Boy, Richard Ashcroft and Thom Yorke all sparkle under their new Unkle's watchful eye. The ball breaker track is funniest thing you'll hear for a long time too. The only shame is that the Ian Brown vocal is missing that was used in the single from the album. Damn fine all the same.
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VINE VOICEon 17 August 2004
For some reason this album is hated in the press,the now long-gone magazine Select once including this in a worst albums of all time feature (in amongst some much more worthy records like Tricky's horrible Angels With Dirty Faces and Oasis' cocaine nightmare Be Here Now),describing it as 'a miserable noise'.
But does this album really deserve to be mentioned in the same breath as horrors like Naomi Campbell's album or Duran Duran's Thank You? NO!
Admittedly,James Lavelle & DJ Shadow's instrumentals sometimes do overstay their welcome,but overall the beats 'n' things here are extremely decent.
One notable criticism of this album is the use of guest vocalists,but Badly Drawn Boy's Nursery Rhyme,Thom Yorke's Rabbit In The Headlights and Ian Brown's Be There are all vastly superior to,for example,the much-vaunted (but not very good, really) appearances of Siouxsie Sioux and Dizzee Rascal on Basement Jaxx's Kish Kash.The two most widely slagged guest appearances come from Mike D and Richard Ashcroft.But Ashcroft's Lonely Soul is much better than any of his solo records,and was used to good effect in the overwise crap film version of The Beach.
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on 11 November 2014
Got this album in 2004 having heard the Be There single with Ian Brown who i was a huge fan of. On first listen i realised i had never heard anything like it before, The Orb been as close as a comparison as i could think of. The album doesn't let the listener relax, it has a strange pull to it that is very gratifying and just lets you listen to the music and enjoy whatever else your doing. It gets played on rare occasions now as to not wear out the great memories and images the tracks invoke to me of the years when this cd was a regular on my cd player. I found it weird on my very first listen as a naive student 10 years ago, i now listen to it and wonder how some people my age now have never heard of U.N.K.L.E, Dj Shadow or James Lavelle, their loss as far as i can see. Standout tracks for me are Bloodstain, Lonely Soul, The Knock (Drums of Death Pt 2), Unreal (Instrumental of Be There) and Rabbit In Your Headlights but all tracks contribute to the album immensely and disagree with some that say some tracks are filler, the album as an album is grand as it is, and wouldnt benefit much if some tracks were removed. This album led me to Entroducing by DJ Shadow which is a masterpiece aswell and maybe slightly better in some instances. If in any doubt about buying this album all i can say as is that you should give it a few listens first and dont judge it on first listen, some may find it great first listen and some may feel indifferent but im sure after 3-4 listens you will come to cherish the album and its musical journey.
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on 5 December 1999
A year and a half ago I was totally oblivious to DJ Shadow and the world of MoWax until a friend of mine told me he was psyched up to buy an album by this duo called UNKLE. I decided to accompany him and boy am I glad that I did. As we walked into the Music shop I saw his eyes gleam with excitement :: The Limited Edition CD :: stood on the shelves amongst the others others. People walked by and took less than a second's glance at it. I picked it up and wondered what all the fuss was all about. I put it down again realising that the track info was inside the little package. My friend picked up several CDs examining them looking for the best one and then prompty went to pay for it. It wasn't until a week later that I borrowed the CD from my friend to listen to. From beginning to end every track was really music to my eyes (apart from the quizzical interlude... amusing but annoying at the same time) I went out to buy the CD immediately after that...My favourite tracks being Lonely Soul, Celestial Annihilation and Bloodstain.
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on 21 May 2000
The massive hype claimed to surround this record must have been confined to within the industry itself, as this outside of the 'John Peel' zone, (in my experience at least) few people have heard or are aware of it. You might not love every single track, the great thing is that your 'skip' track could be someone elses anthem.

As for the take on Verve mans contribution (personally my favourite track, despite not being a fan of said band), perhaps the person knocking it is from the same collective that told us all Carter USM were so great (which I think they are!) and then told us they had lost it when the larger public couldn't take their uncompromising music?

The dark overtones with occasional humour style actually make this record more appealing, and its one I can play time and time again.
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on 27 May 2009
I think the title says it all really. I came to this band quite late on,so decided to get some of their back catalogue. I chose this one because of the artists who worked on it. However, on first listen i wondered what rubbish the other reviewers were talking, as it sounded good, but on further listens realised they were right. It's not really a strong albumn in comparison to some of the others. Which is a shame really considering. Worth a listen but not an essential purchase.
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on 14 May 2013
Talk about unique and sexy. No not me, I mean this album. I am a huge fan of DJ Shadow anyway but when his skills are combined with great singers and production masters you have a masterpiece. This a rare and beautiful dark and stormy cd. Sublime breaks n beats, underground edginess and highly skilled melodies.
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