The Private Press

  • Record Label: MCA
  • Release Date: Jun 4, 2002

Universal acclaim - based on 24 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 21 out of 24
  2. Negative: 0 out of 24
  1. The overall effect is less grand than that of Endtroducing six years ago, popper and rocker and r&ber. But an overall effect there is, grounded in Shadow's trademark-tremendous bass 'n' drum.
  2. Few approach this style of record making with as much playfulness and gravity.
  3. The depth of his production sense and the breadth of his stylistic palette prove just as astonishing the second time out.
  4. Mojo
    With The Private Press DJ Shadow ups even his own considerable ante. [May 2002, p.96]
  5. The Private Press is a more diverse collection of styles and sounds, and still surpasses anything else out there.
  6. The Private Press does not break ground like Endtroducing... did, but it showcases a wiser, more versatile Shadow, and in many ways it is a better record than its predecessor.
  7. In essence, it's a younger, fitter and infinitely hipper version of what Moby is doing.
  8. Mixer
    By using his hip-hop chops to express some next school emotions, Shadow comes up with something that doesn't just sound new, it feels new. [Jun 2002, p.86]
  9. Uncut
    This is much more than the usual retro-action.... DJ Shadow remains elusive to the end. [Jun 2002, p.127]
  10. The Private Press is not only more ambitious, but simply more all over the place as well (which makes for brilliant moments as well as some inconsistent ones).
  11. It's less rootsy than its predecessor, as Shadow moves from the bohemian, jazzy hip-hop he's come to be associated with to more synthetic sounds like electro and synth pop.
  12. The Private Press is full of rollicking beats, spectral tone colors, and enough subtle textures and supple surfaces to fill a textile warehouse.
  13. The record sounds like it came a year or so after Endtroducing--which is to say, it goes a little deeper in summoning Gothic textures and awesome drum samples, and arrives as a delayed, well-fitting follow-up to a landmark.
  14. It's all good folks but let's be clear. IT'S NOT GENIUS.
  15. Blender
    Two long, draggy pieces near the end of The Private Press are its only intimations of mortality. [Jun/Jul 2002, p.102]
  16. An aurally hypnotizing collection that is comparable to, if not better than, Endtroducing.
  17. At first, The Private Press plays like a bland kiss-off to followers expecting a big-time event record. But once its blood has time to flow, the album swells from a strained capillary to a coursing vein.
  18. It feels like the work of a man groping his way, fastidiously but uncertainly, towards the next level.
  19. The Private Press is more solid an album than anyone dared expect from an older, wiser DJ Shadow, and though it won't be televising another revolution, I'd be lying if I said its celebratory pleasure centers didn't communicate directly with my own.
  20. The Private Press is a moody, murky album, by definition not as groundbreaking or epochal as Endtroducing . . . but fascinating enough in its own right.
  21. An intentionally loose-strung concept of hip-hop and psychedelia, which at times loses focus.
  22. 'The Private Press' isn't a remarkable record - it lacks that startling and instinctive excitement capable of pushing music into the realm of the era-defining.
  23. Accomplished and occasionally great as this album is, Endtroducing still casts the biggest shadow on it of all.
  24. Alternative Press
    It was probably inevitable, but having raised the bar so high for cut-and-paste music, Shadow spends a little too long here looking up at it. [Jul 2002, p.96]
User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 30 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 15 out of 18
  2. Negative: 2 out of 18
  1. May 7, 2011
    Don't hesitate to buy this amazing DJ Shadow album. It may never be as great as "Endtroducing", but it still blew me away. His talent toDon't hesitate to buy this amazing DJ Shadow album. It may never be as great as "Endtroducing", but it still blew me away. His talent to sample music from other artists and make them his own is amazing. He flawlessly creates beautiful songs that flow together wonderfully in this album. The songs that I would recommend are "Fixed Income", "Giving Up The Ghost", "Six Days", "Mogrel...Meets His Maker", Right Thing/GDMFSOB", and "You Can't Go Home Again". Get up from your computer, run down to the the nearest music store, and buy this album! Full Review »
  2. ericm
    Aug 28, 2005
    just get it.
  3. VinnyA
    Aug 18, 2005
    Davis makes pretty much everything on the radio sound idiotic. It's nice to here a real artist evolving and growing instead of pumping Davis makes pretty much everything on the radio sound idiotic. It's nice to here a real artist evolving and growing instead of pumping out the same old thing. The rest of the music industry would do well to embrace musicians whos music can be called art, istead of going for the quick buck song of the week that no will remember or care about three years from now. Shadow stands head and shoulders above the largly unlistenable tripe that MTV proports as Hip-Hop. Music like this develops loyal fallowings that last years beyond the top forty. You won't be dissapointed. Full Review »