DJ Shadow throws fans a stylistic curveball on his new album, "The Outsider," due Sept. 12 via Universal. A number of songs on the 17-track set explore hip-hop more fully than Shadow ever has, particu
DJ Shadow throws fans a stylistic curveball on his new album, "The Outsider," due Sept. 12 via Universal. A number of songs on the 17-track set explore hip-hop more fully than Shadow ever has, particularly the Hyphy-drenched first single "3 Freaks" featuring Keak Da Sneak and Turf Talk and "Turf Dancin'" featuring the Federation and Animaniaks.
Q-Tip and Lateef The Truth Speaker appear on the keyboard-driven club banger "Enuff," which implores, "Hey girl, let's go out and paint the town tonight / Make sure that the dance floor is shining nice." Hyphy kingpin E-40 graces closer "Dats My Part," where he proclaims, "I'm the leader of the ship / You can call it Noah's Ark."
Two tracks take direct aim at President Bush's response to the Hurricane Katrina disaster. On the ominous "Seein' Thangs," rapper David Banner likens the devastated city to a "modern slave ship" and wonders why Bush "ain't in jail for stealin' them votes." The next track, "Broken Levee Blues," is a soulful electric guitar piece over which a male voice whispers, "Nobody cares."
Elsewhere, Shadow travels farther into new territory on tracks like the soaring, guitar-led "You Have Made It," which features a vocalist (Stateless' Chris James) so similar in delivery to Chris Martin that it would be easy to mistake him for the Coldplay frontman. Charlambrides principal Christina Carter offers spoken-word narration and singing on "What Have I Done," an intense stab at psychedelic folk.
"This one is entirely different than any of his previous work, which is admirable as an artist," longtime Shadow cohort Cut Chemist tells Billboard.com. "He feels challenged enough to change and isn't afraid to do so."
Strains of prior Shadow classics "Endtroducing" and "The Private Press" can be heard on the breakneck instrumental "Artifact" and the cinematic "Triplicate," its flute and gently plucked guitar lines conjuring remote Latin American landscapes.
Shadow will hit the road beginning July 22 in Byron Bay, Australia, and will be on tour internationally through Sept. 2 in Dublin.
Here is the track list for "The Outsider":
"3 Freaks" featuring Keak Da Sneak and Turf Talk
"Turf Dancin'" featuring the Federation and Animaniaks
"Keep Em Close" featuring Nump
"Seein' Thangs" featuring David Banner
"Broken Levee Blues"
"Backstage Girl" featuring Phonte Coleman
"The Tiger" featuring Sergio Pizzorno and Christopher Karloff
"Erase You" featuring Chris James
"What Have I Done" featuring Christina Carter
"You Made It" featuring Chris James
"Enuff" featuring Q-Tip and Lateef The Truth Speaker
"Dats My Part" featuring E-40