Top 100 Albums of the Decade: #89 DJ Shadow - Private Press

Top 100 Albums of the Decade list will be posted over the course of 100 days. On September 23rd, we will post one album and continue every day until December 31st, when we will unveil our #1 album of the decade!

Please read our introduction to learn about our nominating and ordering process.

#89 DJ Shadow - Private Press

Private Press may be the only album ever dropped in our office that no one complained about. Not one bad word, except, well, that they liked DJ Shadow's first full-length album Entroducing better.

Comparisons must abound when you're releasing a sophomore effort that follows a mega classic like Entroducing. But these comparisons are not all fair. Entroducing, after all, landed at a time when Shadow's sound was a breathtaking divergence from the existing musical lexicons.

Private Press brought more innovation, exploring entirely new territory. Shadow played with genres like they were going out of style. (In fact, genres were going out of style.) His efforts on Private Press made the established commercial categorizations seem quaint. He dismantled and reassembled a lot of categories here - hip hop, adult contemporary, R&B, breaks, synth rock, etc. - none of it ever sounded quite the same again. Often, he found emotional content where there should have only been tackiness or redundancy.

There are more risks taken with production qualities on this album too. The songs often feel more like complete pop constructions, less atmospheric and minimal. It evolves Shadow's cut up vision into something more diverse, both in terms of the depth of production and musical range.

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