Generally favorable reviews - based on 16 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 9 out of 16
  2. Negative: 2 out of 16
  1. 86
    Krohn's the real deal, in a world full of one-dimensional derivatives. [Holiday 2009, p.100]
  2. 85
    Instead of straight hip-hop, The Colossus is an omnibus record, swallowing brass-wielding collaborators, live instruments, hand-aged beats, and its creator's voice—all in service of a mission to unify RJ's pet genres via horn-blasted statements of intent fit for rollicking arenas ("Let There Be Horns"), menacing synthesizer pit traps ("A Spaceship For Now"), and intricate instrumentals.
  3. 80
    At times self-indulgent, The Colossus contains enough of the parts that made RJD2 relevant in the past to reignite interest in both this album and his vast (and growing due to unreleased material) back catalogue of work.
  4. The Colossus finds Rjd2 back to doing what he did when he first began recording: simply curating excellent productions instead of wooing a new audience by creating expressly written songs or telling a story with his full-lengths.
  5. 80
    Unlike 2007's self-indulgent The Third Hand, here he wisely picks his spots, chirping a few modest ditties. Four albums deep, he's found his comfort zone.
  6. RJD2 has taken a lot of different paths in the past, but here he's found a way to make his diverse tastes blend into one cohesive effort. [Feb 2010, p.97]
  7. The multi-genre approach of The Colossus is refreshing.
  8. The beat is generally the best part of any track produced by RJD2, but The Colossus--the first album on his new label, RJ’s Electrical Connections--finds him juggling vintage samples, string and horn parts, vocals both outsourced and original.
  9. The Colossus, as its name implies, strives for scale, but also strains a bit under a heavy burden. While Rjd2 excels at sonic collages, the mixed motives on this album--a current spin on past techniques, a synthesis of old songs and a turn toward the future--are difficult to balance.
  10. RJD2 is still in a class of his own, and The Colossus is charming enough. Krohn might have temporarily given up on expanding his stylistic horizons, but he sounds comfortable again, certainly a small step taken toward a more fortunate future.
  11. Wisely, he doesn’t sing this time around, leaving that to Kenna and Phonte of Little Brother. But the tracks with guest vocals never really take off either, reinforcing the producer’s weakness as a songwriter.
  12. The mix of the two makes The Colossus sound like a work by an artist who is maturing rather than lashing out.
  13. It all sounds very much expected, and very much the same. Which wouldn’t be so bad if that didn’t mean putting himself in the same crowd as so many corporatized, for-sale-at-the-mall acts.
  14. This hybrid approach works well, but RJD2, even at his finest, doesn't have the complete vision of DJ Shadow or other soundscape artists; RJD2 sounds best with a rapper accompanying him. [Holiday 2009, p.82]
  15. Throughout, you can feel the tension between RJ's desire to make something real, in spite of his limitations as a performer, and his discomfort with his true strengths in sample-based pastiche. In the end, it's a colossal waste of talent and time.
  16. Frustratingly, there are whiffs of worthwhile beats buried among the blandness.

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