Metascore
61

Generally favorable reviews - based on 22 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 8 out of 22
  2. Negative: 2 out of 22
  1. Dr. Octagon has once again put hip-hop under the knife and performed surgery on it.
  2. The Return of Dr. Octagon doesn't always make a lot of sense, but that's the beauty of it.
  3. As inspired as it is, The Return Of Dr Octagon is no sequel. [#269, p.44]
  4. Keith is... for the first time living up to the standards of his most important precursor, the shape-shifting funkateer George Clinton. That is, even as he jokes and grooves his way through Octagon’s long-awaited return, he’s also serious as shit.
  5. That Keith is capable of better records is a point proven by his past, but so far as 2006-born hip-hop goes, this is head and shoulders above much of the loudmouthed, uncouth and generic rabble.
  6. 70
    The Return shifts from the dusty, foreboding ambience created by Dan the Automator on Dr. Octagonecologyst into a contemporary world ripe with analog melodies and crisp, programmed beats. [Jul/Aug 2006, p.125]
  7. Rap rarely comes more unedited and spontaneous. [Oct 2006, p.125]
  8. Surprisingly, the album's blend of Mitteleuropean melody and American eccentricity is diverting enough to overcome any misgivings.
  9. 60
    There's just enough twisted wit among the non sequiturs to redeem this controversial release. [Oct 2006, p.100]
  10. Octagon's verses often feel unfocused and random, but when he bears down he can be mesmerizing. [13 Jul 2006, p.103]
  11. 60
    Flavorsome but oddly ordinary. [Aug 2006, p.77]
  12. The Return isn't the return we were waiting for, but it's another explosive collection of anti-hits from hip-hop's most unique voice.
  13. Apart from its best tracks, it’s not close to the level of his finest work of the past.
  14. 50
    We've heard this swaggering, fumbling funk before from Kool Keith's gazillion other alter-egos. [#21, p.98]
  15. The good stuff (those [first] three tracks, and maybe the indignant “Al Green”) provides Kool Keith an appropriate showcase and sounds like nothing else, but for much of this disc, the main man appears AWOL.
  16. The Return is supposedly a Kool Keith album, but four of the 14 tracks are skits, two mangle his vocals so the producers can show off their DJing, and one is a Princess Superstar song with Keith on the hook.
  17. 40
    Keith's interaction with his producers is minimal, and his creative control so thin that vocal parts often sound like samples. [Sep 2006, p.79]
  18. It's hard enough to decipher his demented verses without constant interference from squelchy synth-bass farts. [Aug 2006, p.222]
  19. Compared to what went before, The Return Of... is a massive let down.
  20. "The Return of Dr. Octagon" suffers from the classic case of "too little, too late."
  21. Taking into account the fact that there is probably 15-20 minutes worth of actual Kool Keith verses on this release it is completely unacceptable that this is being passed off as a full album.
  22. Despite all the stupid records he's put out before, The Return of Dr. Octagon is the first one that plunges wholly into self-parody. He's now a fully realized clown, a prop, a joke and, most disappointingly, a sub-par rapper whose forced ideas and personality obstacles have devolved into flimsy, uninspired character sketches.

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