I have to wonder why he left Purple Grapes and Skullfuckery as bonus material, and kept songs as crass as Three Freaks. Love Seein' Thangs and Artifact and I like The Tiger and This Time... so it's not a total loss.
It got a little better, but it's nothing to write home about. Like Higgsie77 notes, the main detracting factor is the lack of context for a given track; it wasn't assembled well, and doesn't feel coherent as an album at all. There are a couple of tracks that are worth listening to again, though.
i remember when i first got the cd and played it in my car, listening to the intro and was like this is gonna be fuckin EPIC and then i listened to the whole album and was like this is cool, but not great
This album's production is out of this world. Spectacular. Shadow's best. It might not have the consumable sound we were all looking for, but you gotta give the man credit for producing one of the best albums of 2006. Even though it might not be the classic shadow we were hoping for, when you compare any track off The Outsider against any track off endtroducing or the private press or preemptive strike it ain't hard to tell that Shadow remains just as gritty, soulful, and deep as he was during his earlier productions. Big up.
never liked this album. maybe i'll try to listen again. i bought it immediately without listening when it came out 'cos i'm like "it's shadow", but man that stuff was hurting my ears. and he said at the time that it was his best! has it stood the test of time?
'This Time..' is a quality track with the Heliocentrics. Most of what he does he does brilliantly but the album is badly sequenced and doesn't stitch together very well, like a bad compilation. And the rappers are a let down big time, I would have liked some quannum MCs working with him Solesides stylee
There's a difference between not copying Endtroducing & making a bad album.  Lyrics with Shadow's hip hop? What's this fucking album? The whole of songs that don't follow this are excellent, but the others...
When I first heard this album I was disgusted because I was use to DJ Shadow's "instrumental" hip-hop. Then I listened to "Diminishing Returns", and that got me adjusted to the whole DJ Shadow/hip-hop combination. So now, I don't mind this album.
@alexcasey: Opinions on the outsider... vary, to say the least. Myself, I think it has good points - the instrumental hip-hop tracks are still as good as ever, and the indie-rock flavored tracks are also very good (well, most of them). As for the hyphy... well, to be honest, I'll admit I'm biased slightly, but I think he could have done better on those songs. (Enuff and Turf Dancing are good, though.) You really have to approach it with an open mind.
There's a difference between not copying Endtroducing & making a bad album. . By no means is it a bad album, there are a few 2/1* songs which let it down for me... average album rating 3 out of 5* on my iTunes.
I haven't heard this album, besides the 30-second samples I scoped out two years ago, but I couldn't even stand that much. But then again, DJ Shadow's from the Bay Area, CA... home of hyphy. I don't blame the man for trying his hand in that style.