Surrounded By Silence

  • Record Label: Warp
  • Release Date: Mar 22, 2005
User Score
7.8

Generally favorable reviews- based on 12 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 10 out of 12
  2. Negative: 1 out of 12

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  1. JoshC
    Mar 24, 2005
    9
    This is Herren's best album, bar none. This time he comes to the table with many of the same production tricks he's used in the past, but the effort, while it explores extremely varied musical terrain, is his most focussed to date. Sure, there are a couple tracks that lapse into what many may consider self-indulgent non-sequitirs and noisiness, but Prefuse earns these moments This is Herren's best album, bar none. This time he comes to the table with many of the same production tricks he's used in the past, but the effort, while it explores extremely varied musical terrain, is his most focussed to date. Sure, there are a couple tracks that lapse into what many may consider self-indulgent non-sequitirs and noisiness, but Prefuse earns these moments with some of the most inventive collaborations ever put to tape. It's not as emotive or personal as One Word, but it does not suffer from that album's homogeneity either. Those familiar with the Prefuse back catalog will have to decide how they feel about the "self-sampling" employed on several tracks. Some will dismiss the familiarity as already trod ground for Herren. Others will see it as a form of self-collaboration, an interesting way of deconstructing the idea of collaboration in general. Expand
  2. trent
    Apr 13, 2005
    8
    The Ghostface/El-P collabo was, although not classic, still dope.Ghostface was all right, but El-P naturally matched the inventiveness of Herren's production. Instrumental tracks-most of them were excellent, although at times a little too laid back. Gza and Masta Killa- they took the day the day off. Their track was the only weak one on the album. I think critics had one of two The Ghostface/El-P collabo was, although not classic, still dope.Ghostface was all right, but El-P naturally matched the inventiveness of Herren's production. Instrumental tracks-most of them were excellent, although at times a little too laid back. Gza and Masta Killa- they took the day the day off. Their track was the only weak one on the album. I think critics had one of two expectations for Surrounded By Silence, an album that was a rehash of One Word Extinguisher, or an album that would erase the fine line between hip-hop and electronica for 21 tracks. Overall, a very eclectic and engrossing listen, but it doesn't match the all-around atmospheric quality of One Word Extinguisher. Expand
  3. matta
    Sep 9, 2005
    8
    Sure it's weaker than his last album, but it's not a 71 weak. There are some fantastic tracks on here, but some of the collaborations were disappointing. I was excited for Hide Ya Face, and while it is good, it pales in comparison to Plastic from One Word Exstinguisher. Also, the instrumental numbers here aren't as good as they were on One Word. It just doesn't sound Sure it's weaker than his last album, but it's not a 71 weak. There are some fantastic tracks on here, but some of the collaborations were disappointing. I was excited for Hide Ya Face, and while it is good, it pales in comparison to Plastic from One Word Exstinguisher. Also, the instrumental numbers here aren't as good as they were on One Word. It just doesn't sound like as much time went into this one, and Herren attempted to hide that my including a plethora of guests. As much as I'm being critical, I did really enjoy the album and it's in my top 25 of the year so far. Best track-Pagina Dos with The Books guesting. Expand
  4. ChrisF
    Mar 24, 2005
    10
    Scott develops his greatest snapshot portrait of hip hop here and in the process proves that all the mainstream music around him just adds up to silence.
  5. ConnorD
    Mar 25, 2005
    8
    Contrary to the reviews, I think this is Herren's best work yet. Inconsistent? It flows pretty well to me. It's a little heavy on the collaborations, but most of them are RAD. I like it a lot.
  6. jawz
    Mar 25, 2005
    1
    this album is horrible.
  7. PaperCut
    Apr 11, 2005
    4
    Pretty crappy work. Basically he mixes a few of his favorite artists over edgy glitch sounds, and it just doesn't react. Ghostface's verse from Hideyaface is ill on it's own,, and isn't really complemented by the beat, like a wanna be DJ mixtape exclusive. Favorite non-collab is minutes away without you (a reworking of 5 minutes away from Vocal Studies and Uprock Pretty crappy work. Basically he mixes a few of his favorite artists over edgy glitch sounds, and it just doesn't react. Ghostface's verse from Hideyaface is ill on it's own,, and isn't really complemented by the beat, like a wanna be DJ mixtape exclusive. Favorite non-collab is minutes away without you (a reworking of 5 minutes away from Vocal Studies and Uprock Narratives). Certainly not much originality here. Expand
  8. MCTravel
    Apr 22, 2005
    10
    Critics tend to undervalue the immense amount of work that clearly goes into Prefuse 73's albums. Anyone with any experience with digital music-making is rightfully placed in awe by the apparantly grueling, painstakingly minute cutting, pasting and arranging that go into these recordings. What's more, the songs maintain a beautifully and listenable melodic quality unmatched by Critics tend to undervalue the immense amount of work that clearly goes into Prefuse 73's albums. Anyone with any experience with digital music-making is rightfully placed in awe by the apparantly grueling, painstakingly minute cutting, pasting and arranging that go into these recordings. What's more, the songs maintain a beautifully and listenable melodic quality unmatched by many of Prefuse's electronic contemporaries. This album is clearly the evolution of years of hard work and experience on Herren's part. The songs are beautiful, and with headphones on, practically exasperating in their compexity. It may be a little more than the average listener can handle. For the same reason I don't expect my little sister to like it when I play Aphex Twin in my car stereo, I can understand why many reviewers don't like it. Travel. Expand
Metascore
73

Generally favorable reviews - based on 21 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 15 out of 21
  2. Negative: 0 out of 21
  1. The jewel in Scott's creative crown is that he has an uncanny knack of keeping it flowing, even when his beats and tones are jerking our sensibilities to shreds with their cerebral madness.
  2. Uncut
    40
    There's a flightiness that lends the album a showreel quality. [Apr 2005, p.97]
  3. Those wanting significant progression will find Surrounded By Silence mostly lacking.