What Does It All Mean? 1983-2006 Retrospective Image
Metascore
86

Universal acclaim - based on 18 Critics What's this?

User Score
8.1

Universal acclaim- based on 15 Ratings

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  • Summary: The two-disc set includes the 28-track "Nothing to Fear" on disc two.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 15 out of 18
  2. Negative: 0 out of 18
  1. 100
    Barring "Blade Runner," the best pop art by a former adman. [June 2008, p.119]
  2. The Steinski myth has grown in the darkness of bootlegs, but this long-overdue release proves that the reality more than lives up to the legend.
  3. By listening to What Does It All Mean?, you're giving yourself a vital history lesson, a blast of fun, and above all, some 130 minutes of fantastic music.
  4. A reasonable first impulse is to try to identify all the sound sources; the inevitable second impulse is to marvel at how well he has chopped up and rearranged them into units of rhythm.
  5. 80
    Not all connect, but a bonus disc, the soon-vanished 2002 full-length Nothing to Fear, compensates. Buy this before it vanishes, too.
  6. 'The Motorcade Sped On,' a track that chops up funky beats with verteran newscaster Walter Cronkite reporting the death of President John F. Kennedy, is worth the price of admission alone. [July 2008, p.170]
  7. From Coldcut to DJ Shadow, every rap-era cut-up maestro owes a debt to Steven Stein. [Nov 2008, p.129]

See all 18 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 10 out of 13
  2. Negative: 2 out of 13
  1. ntretyuif.
    Jan 9, 2009
    10
    This will be in the hip hop hall of fame its classic sample based hip hop which birthed the golden age of hip hop.
  2. MattC.
    Aug 26, 2008
    10
    Great beats, great rhymes, great scratches, funky and fun.
  3. DomB.
    Sep 9, 2008
    10
    Great body of work. So good I actually went out & bought it!
  4. PauleyS.
    Aug 3, 2008
    9
    Nothing to Fear is sicknastygood. The oldies are real slick, too. This music makes me smile with glee.
  5. MycroftW.
    Sep 20, 2008
    9
    Worth your dollar for the Lessons alone. Grab it!
  6. SinclairS.
    Sep 1, 2008
    9
    This is absolutely amazing. Like a trip down mix-ology lane. Very Kid-Koalaish although obviously Steinski did it first.
  7. CM.
    Sep 7, 2008
    3
    I don't understand how this is the top rated record of the year. To me this sounds like a very average Cut Chemist mixtape. The record suffers greatly from all the mix-ins and random clips of dialogue. At almost no point does Steinski allow the melody to stand alone and take the listener anywhere. Good technical mixing and cutting,but the beats are so-so and the melodies suffer from constant and incredibly annoying interruption. By no means should this collection be considered the best album to emerge from 2008. Expand

See all 13 User Reviews