Generally favorable reviews - based on 14 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 11 out of 14
  2. Negative: 0 out of 14
  1. Entertainment Weekly
    Morphs subtly between hip-hop abstraction and unalloyed free-improv exploration. [Listen 2 This supplement, Aug 2002, p.23]
  2. Resonance
    Optometry will go down as the album that DJ Spooky nailed. [#36, p.52]
  3. Alternative Press
    A cohesive, 100-percent successful record. [Oct 2002, p.95]
  4. Given the talent on hand it would take some horrible disaster to sink "Optometry," but the combo actually bests expectations.
  5. An exercise in electronic-jazz fusion that stays faithful to its premise without being enslaved by it.
  6. The Wire
    Optometry is a success in terms of both sound and vision. [#221, p.53]
  7. Riff, vamp, timbral fractures, lyrical tension, splintered harmonics, and a constant, seductive sense of groove permeate this jazz album, opening up a door onto a brave new future for a free jazz with soul -- Spooky has exceeded all expectations here.
  8. It sounds as if every note, every beat, has been cut apart from the others, examined, modified, and then carefully placed back into the mix. It can be unsettling; also compelling.
  9. After the initial bustle of a few extremely strong tracks, Optometry wanders blindly for far too long.
  10. Mixer
    Not for the masses, but a treat for those turned on by the erratic tendencies of free jazz. [Sep 2002, p.75]
  11. While the results may not break down conventions, it does provide a heaping helping of interesting music.
  12. Urb
    A complex, avant-garde amalgamation of styles for only the most adventurous ears. [Aug 2002, p.116]
  13. Rolling Stone
    At turns pensive and frenetic but always richly textured. [17 Oct 2002, p.72]
  14. Optometry's highlights throw expectation to the wind. They're more than jazz, more than hip-hop, more than whatever the hell "illbient" actually is.

Awards & Rankings

User Score

No user score yet- Awaiting 2 more ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 1
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 1
  3. Negative: 0 out of 1
  1. PaulG.
    Jul 24, 2002
    A killer transition for That Subliminal Kid from a dubwise to a jazzy illbient work.