The Third Hand

Metascore
60

Mixed or average reviews - based on 28 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 11 out of 28
  2. Negative: 4 out of 28
  1. 90
    The one-man result: breezy soul tracks with pop structures, chill vocals and a grab bag of flourishes recalling everything from McCartney to Prince.
  2. Alternative Press
    90
    That's why artists like RJD2 are important: They're brave, they're risk takers, and modern music needs more of them. [Apr 2007, p.192]
  3. While the record isn’t perhaps as instantly impressive as Scale or Multiply, there’s much to enjoy on The Third Hand for an appreciator of the finer points of this thing we call pop music.
  4. Two skills he has mastered in the past, mood and texture, make this record especially good.
  5. Uncut
    70
    It's essentially a pop record--albeit a complex and cleverly arranged one. [Apr 2007, p.115]
  6. Q Magazine
    70
    An unexpected treat. [Apr 2007, p.122]
  7. Urb
    70
    Sometimes the '70s feel gets feeling hella silly. [Mar 2007, p.96]
  8. Paste Magazine
    70
    The record loses momentum when its latter half settles into decompressed electronica, but RJD2's daring innovation and unconventional melodies are enough to cement his reputation as hip-hop's most adventurous musical astronaut. [Mar 2007, p.63]
  9. His conception of melody and harmony is well above the average hip-hop artist, but the album as a whole is very flat and boring.
  10. Too much of The Third Hand is bland and undistinguished.
  11. With experimentation comes error.
  12. 60
    An instrument-juggling, one-man-band approach that recalls the romantic, psychedelic pop of the Zombies and the textured electronics of Radiohead.
  13. Billboard
    60
    The melodies aren't always there, and the restrained production makes for an occasionally nagging sense of meandering. [3 Mar 2007]
  14. One man's pop is another man's weirdness. And weird, The Third Hand certainly is.
  15. RJD2 has made an record that simply doesn’t play to his strengths.
  16. For better or worse, RJD2’s talent is beat-making. While it’s easy to applaud him for following his dreams, we can’t give him extra marks for his output.
  17. Some sleepy stuff hurts his cause, but his best songs... combine vivid, polished tracks with solid tunes that pack a sneaky emotional weight.
  18. It’s more work to listen to than any previous Rjd2 album; listening is a constant quest for the remarkable within the unremarkable.
  19. For all its comparative brave departures and originality, The Third Hand just isn’t particularly engaging.
  20. A disappointment, maybe, but that’s to be expected – and shouldn’t we prefer that he want to give us something new?
  21. This is the sound of a fighter punching below his weight.
  22. Spin
    50
    Longer on nuance than hook. [Mar 2007, p.98]
  23. [Rjd2] has moved away from sample-based instrumental hip-hop, throwing in gently psychedelic Beatles-y songcraft and live instruments to achieve a jack-of-all-trades sound that, while perfectly pleasant, is done better by Beck.
  24. Vibe
    40
    He sings with a quavering, unconvincing tremor, and his lyrics are often awkward and bland. [Apr 2007, p.130]
  25. It sadly turns out to be an unsettling piece of evidence that he's lost without someone else's pre-existing sounds to extrapolate from and transform.
  26. When it is instrumental, it’s “Get It,” which seems a timid remake of Since We Last Spoke’s title track, or it’s “Murs Beat,” which, tellingly, has no Murs. Some of the rest sounds like a softer, more overproduced, and generally shittier version of the Cars. The rest of the rest sounds like something duller than that.
  27. It will forever tarnish everything you ever liked about him, as you will suddenly view him as an eccentric crackpot who is more interested in making "Paper Bubbles" than good music.
  28. For someone who has dazzled with his sonic imagination in the past, Rjd2 sounds very tentative here.
User Score
6.0

Mixed or average reviews- based on 22 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 5 out of 12
  2. Negative: 4 out of 12
  1. GradyL
    Apr 23, 2007
    9
    Finally someone with enough balls to come out of the closet and finally produce a new sound. The beats are still RJD2's unequaled sounds Finally someone with enough balls to come out of the closet and finally produce a new sound. The beats are still RJD2's unequaled sounds but he does add pop to it. Yea he's new to this so the songwriting is lacking a lot. But if you like listening to each album for what it is, this is an album worth checking out. If you're looking for someone who sounds exactly the same each time go listen to something else. Full Review »
  2. EricC
    Apr 9, 2007
    3
    pretty bad.
  3. YJ
    Mar 25, 2007
    4
    And yet another Brilliant underground Hip-hop star producer who decides that he has enough talent to become a pop songster, turning his back And yet another Brilliant underground Hip-hop star producer who decides that he has enough talent to become a pop songster, turning his back to his previous work: Results: Uninspired songwriting, bad singing, and terribly boring pop songs. It is amazing how sych a brilliant producer can be so deaf to his own shortcomings. Luckily, other brilliant artists like Amon Tobin and Aphex Twin haven't decided to go pop and still stick to what they do best.. let's keep our fingers crossed. Full Review »