Surrounded By Silence Image

Generally favorable reviews - based on 21 Critics What's this?

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Generally favorable reviews- based on 11 Ratings

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  • Summary: Scott Herren's latest Prefuse 73 album features about as many guest appearances as you can fit on a single compact disc, including contributions from The Books, El-P, Ghostface, Aesop Rock, Broadcast, RZA, Beans and Café Tacuba.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 15 out of 21
  2. Negative: 0 out of 21
  1. A must-hear. [May 2005, p.138]
  2. Surrounded by Silence is at once more scatterbrained and fast moving than any other Prefuse album (even more so than the blink-and-you-miss-the-hook Extinguished), but the difference here is the cohesion of the radically different cuts.
  3. 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.
  4. 70
    Fans of Handsome Boy Modeling School, DJ Spooky, RJD2 and other genre-melding, conscious hip-hop are gonna want to procure this one right away. [#9, p.71]
  5. Several of the instrumentals recapture something of the Prefuse 73 magic, but Herren isn't entirely successful even when in cut-and-splice mode.
  6. Overall, it’s a story of too many ideas.
  7. 40
    There's a flightiness that lends the album a showreel quality. [Apr 2005, p.97]

See all 21 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 6 out of 8
  2. Negative: 1 out of 8
  1. MCTravel
    Apr 22, 2005
    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
  2. ChrisF
    Mar 24, 2005
    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. Expand
  3. JoshC
    Mar 24, 2005
    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
  4. ConnorD
    Mar 25, 2005
    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. Collapse
  5. trent
    Apr 13, 2005
    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
  6. PaperCut
    Apr 11, 2005
    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
  7. jawz
    Mar 25, 2005
    this album is horrible.

See all 8 User Reviews