I'll Sleep When You're Dead Image

Generally favorable reviews - based on 32 Critics What's this?

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Universal acclaim- based on 43 Ratings

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  • Summary: El-P's long-anticipated second solo disc features collaborations with Cat Power, Trent Reznor, Matt Sweeney, Aesop Rock, and The Mars Volta.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 27 out of 32
  2. Negative: 0 out of 32
  1. Ultimately, I’ll Sleep When You’re Dead displays a type of artistic growth almost alien to the genre.
  2. One of the most powerful hip-hop albums of 2007.
  3. Once it hits its stride, it just keeps on getting better.
  4. It's a scary, difficult album, but one well suited for our times.
  5. Nobody makes hip-hop as textured and atmospheric as El-P, and he manages to temper his disorienting noise with soulful suggestions this time out.
  6. 70
    Equal parts faithful-but-twisted boom bap and avant-indie rock, the album drips with elbow grease. [Mar 2007, p.91]
  7. "I'll Sleep" isn't supposed to be easy listening, but it shouldn't be this hard, either.

See all 32 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 24 out of 25
  2. Negative: 0 out of 25
  1. heightsy
    Mar 6, 2007
    i am in the camp that finds ISWYD by far better than Fantastic Damage. the first record only has the privilege of being FIRST, which does not make it BEST. What ISWYD lacks in "difficulty" it makes up for its "refined" nature of being a more graceful, yet streamlined, and bitingly penetrative listen. Regarding the "guest-spots": With all the added big-name indie-rock glitterati, I am beyond glad that they are barely noticeable. Unlike the Cage album **ahem**. Cop this. Cop this. Cop this. El, used to annoy me, but funnily enough he saves Def-Jux. This is one for all those people who question the vitality of hip-hop. Damn Lif, why can't you do this? Expand
  2. johnnyb.
    Jun 12, 2007
    I would call el-p ahead of his time, but I don't think time will ever catch him.
  3. PaulF
    Mar 19, 2007
    album of the year by far!!! the best hip hop album in years - scratch that the best album in years full stop - can't stop playing it!!!
  4. AlexC
    Mar 26, 2007
    One of the most powerful hip-hop albums in the past 20 years. It takes time to unravel, soak in, and fully experience as it was meant to be taken. At some times it's bleak and unforgiving. At others, it's beautiful and uplifting. Overall, ISWYD is powerful and unrelenting in innovation and purpose. Expand
  5. SeanP.
    Apr 29, 2007
    Incredibly dense and complex. It reminds me of Fear Of A Black Planet. Repeat listens are required.
  6. DrewP
    Mar 26, 2007
    Dark, dense, and one of the most exciting albums I've heard in a while. I'm looking forward to unraveling these lyrics for months to come. Find those detonators, indeed! Expand
  7. JosephM
    May 30, 2007
    I'd rather listen to Aesop Rock. This album is good front start to finish, but it only has one stand out track, and that is not enough for me.

See all 25 User Reviews