Our Pathetic Age Image
Metascore
69

Generally favorable reviews - based on 11 Critics What's this?

User Score
8.3

Universal acclaim- based on 10 Ratings

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  • Summary: The double album from the hip-hop DJ/producer features instrumentals in the first half and hip-hop collaborations that include such artists as De La Soul, Dave East, Ghostface Killah, Inspectah Deck, Nas, Pharoahe Monch, Pusha T, Raekwon, Run The Jewels, and Wiki in the second half.
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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 7 out of 11
  2. Negative: 0 out of 11
  1. Nov 14, 2019
    83
    If the first half of Our Pathetic Age is DJ Shadow pushing forward, his muse challenging and expanding his sonic palette in ways not always accessible or satisfactory, the back half is his class reunion, a trip through nearly all 30 years of his career that revisits sounds and styles across his output, rejiggering them for an anxiety-inducing, more contemporary aural aesthetic. ... The two create an impressive testament to DJ Shadow’s creative nomadism, uncompromising and imposing in its aggressive music
  2. Nov 19, 2019
    80
    He masterfully delivers a snapshot of a disjointed, vibrant and inherently flawed system as seen through one of electronic music's longstanding visionaries.
  3. Nov 15, 2019
    75
    “Our Pathetic Age” addresses big topics — social media alienation, nefarious government oppression, the suppression of individuality — but refuses to knuckle under. By breaking sounds loose from the strictures of time and genre, DJ Shadow implies that the music still runs free.
  4. Nov 14, 2019
    70
    Its first half is devoted to the biggest chunk of original instrumental music he’s released, and it comes with lovely, welcome surprises. ... Not every track hits hard, but the “Vocal Suite” still feels like a cohesive album, and its punchiest tracks take many involved to a level they haven’t reached in years.
  5. Nov 25, 2019
    61
    Our Pathetic Age reflects the way much of Shadow’s post-Endtroducing material has lacked structure, with the producer happy to throw ideas at the page, even if many of them don’t stick.
  6. Nov 25, 2019
    60
    Like the online living some of the rappers rail against, the album can be fatiguing with extended periods of exposure, and there's an excess of information to process.
  7. Nov 22, 2019
    45
    Sitting through a slogging collage of beats for 40 minutes before ever hearing a verse is no easy task. It would be one thing if these tracks had a common theme holding them together, but there’s no central voice to bind one to the next. ... The only thing that will keep listeners pressing on is the star-studded back half of the record. The incredible amount of talent Shadow recruited is exciting.

See all 11 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 1
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 1
  3. Negative: 0 out of 1
  1. Nov 20, 2019
    10
    Since Endtroducing and The Private Press, this is THE album longtime DJ Shadow fans have been waiting for. I say this without any hype orSince Endtroducing and The Private Press, this is THE album longtime DJ Shadow fans have been waiting for. I say this without any hype or melodrama as I've been following Shadow since 1996 and have truly enjoyed much of his work in between. That being said, as a devout fan myself, there has been a lingering longing to see Shadow release an album that has the same sense of appeal and progression that his first two albums embodied. Well the wait is over as he has finally tapped into the genius that created his best two pieces of work. What we get is essentially a double album with two distinct themes. The first record being a completely instrumental production with Shadow flexing his inner mad professor. There is a sense of darkness as the album is topical and about 'Our Pathetic Age'. T bough dark, it is refreshing and keeps you completely glued in. The second half is where things get crazy as this is Shadow doing what he does best, progressive hip hop. The guest list is truly staggering as it features Nas, De La Soul, Ghostface Killah, Inspectah Deck, Raekwon, Run The Jewels, Gift Of Gab, Pusha T, and Pharaoh Monvh to name a few.. There is also an obvious sense of commitment from the artists as every track is full of vigorous substance related to the album's theme. Rain On Snow (w the 3 Wu Tang heads) heads, Drone Warfare and Kings & Queens stand out as premium cuts that will make everyone's 2019 best of playlist. Essentially, the second half could very well be nominated as a contender for best hip hop album of 2019 (and then some). Everything is fresh, vibrant, and stays true to what underground hip hop used to sound like. It is completely mumble-trap free and flexes a sense of grittiness that reminds me of the genre's golden era with a modern vibe. Yes, it's that good. What you end up with is easily one of DJ Shadow's best albums to date, and is one that will assuredly be embraced by his loyal fanbase. Though I've had a handful of full listening sessions, it will take some time to completely digest this mammoth production. I had the same experience with Entroducing so let's say that's a good sign. The second album is where the Expand