Metascore
80

Generally favorable reviews - based on 21 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 18 out of 21
  2. Negative: 0 out of 21
  1. With experimentation comes occasional failure, however, and at times Since Last We Spoke can feel a bit forced.
  2. Unfortunately, few of these tracks wield the same impact as his tried-and-true hip-hop productions, and more often than not, feel like attempts at being everything to everyone.
  3. Much in the way Pete Rock or Kanye West reinterpret classic 70s soul for a new generation, Since We Last Spoke is RJD2’s trip through the AM dial 30 years ago, the songs of the period experienced anew.
  4. What makes Since We Last Spoke such an indisputably groundbreaking record is Rjd2's ability to create such an intricate pastiche of diverse musical styles that it seems like a wholly new genre in and of itself.
  5. With only a few exceptions though, Since We Last Spoke makes the moody Dead Ringer sound like a piece of flag-waving exuberance; instead of the occasional uptempo track, it's brooding and mellow throughout the record -- very nearly a rap singer/songwriter record.
  6. Since We Last Spoke finds RJD2 sounding like some blessed creature who's able to tune in every radio station in the world, past and present, and mix them together into a cohesive whole.
  7. Since We Last Spoke continually subverts expectations of what an Rjd2 album is about, yet the songs all stick together in a cohesive way, and the album still somehow bears the distinct personality stamp of the RJ we already knew, even as some of it diverges wildly from the path he's been on so far.
  8. RJ's solo work transcends hip-hop boundaries, and at its peak moments, is better described as much closer to soul.
  9. RJ and his sampler wander the record crates of shared memory, and come up with progressive rock and Northern soul songs that have little to do with anybody's idea of revival.
  10. Favours The Song over ambient abstraction and real-time playing over rejigged samples.
  11. The order of the songs in the end seems carefully chosen, not unlike a play or movie where the emotional resonance from each piece is meant to build you up, bring you down, and build anticipation through each movement towards the climactic ending.
  12. Terrifying, but in a good way. The bar is raised. [Jun 2004, p.105]
  13. RJD2 possesses the rare ability to transform moldy samples into fresh-as-tomorrow compositions. [Jun 2004, p.110]
  14. But even on those tracks that don't make the cut as RJ stand-outs almost everywhere you care to look there are stylish touches and subtleties waiting to be discovered with each subsequent listen.
  15. 70
    Solid song structure replaces ambient abstraction... ranges across Latino jazz, stadium rock, soul and pastoral glitch. [Jun 2004, p.86]
  16. 70
    A hip-hop Blood On The Tracks. [#27, p.143]
  17. 50
    With hardly a breakbeat in sight, RJ's sophomore effort plays like an homage to '80s-era easy listening.... An ambitious effort, but a failure all the same. [May 2004, p.86]
  18. Since We Last Spoke is more sonic retreat than bold reinvention, an intriguing, if not entirely triumphant, tip of the hat to the sound and spirit of the Year of the Dragon.
  19. 78
    A fluid record packed with full songs. [#10, p.88]
  20. RJ... lets his softer side show to touching effect. [18 Jun 2004, p.84]
  21. 91
    A Kleenex-grabbing, chain-smoking, staring-out-the-window, in-bed-for-days breakup record. [Jun 2004, p.106]
User Score
8.7

Universal acclaim- based on 12 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 11 out of 11
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 11
  3. Negative: 0 out of 11
  1. Jul 27, 2012
    6
    RJ certainly changes things up on this album
  2. peliciane
    Mar 7, 2006
    7
    This isn't an insult, but this release isn't for rjd2 fans. This a step away, not necessarily down, for Mr. Krohn. Ambitious? Sure. Creative? Uh-huh. But, man, I just felt awkward the most of the time. He is a hip-hop producer. Had this been released by someone else, I would have probably felt more comfortable. His "Intro" track is the only track remotely hip-hop. Just because I'm placing this rjd2 CD in 3rd is no insult. (I haven't heard his "In Rare Form" hard-to-find CD) Full Review »
  3. marcush
    Jan 7, 2006
    10
    Better than the first album.