DJ Shadow: The Mountain Will Fall (Mass Appeal) Review | Under the Radar - Music Magazine
Tuesday, November 19th, 2019  

DJ Shadow

The Mountain Will Fall

Mass Appeal

Jul 20, 2016 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share


It comes so close. Josh Davis's best album in at least a decade starts off with the excellent title track, a lush sounding landscape that's as pretty as anything he's ever done, and he follows that up with the killer "Nobody Speak" featuring Run the Jewels. Then, the third track, "Three Ralphs," is like hitting a brick wall, but without the excitement. Things pick up again with "Bergschrund," a collaboration with Nils Frahm, but the tendency to throw on the brakes every so often hampers what could have been a classic.

Of course interludes have long been a part of hip-hop, and even the canonical Endtroducing... has a couple, but here they go on for a minute or two too long. Otherwise, The Mountain Will Fall is fantastic. "The Sideshow" shows how Shadow can leave enough room for an MC when he wants to, and, like his best work, feels both like a throwback and a vision of the future. Shadow's hinted at a shift in his sound after Mountain, and one wonders if "Bergschrund" and "Ashes to Oceans" might gesture in that direction, to something looser and more emotive.

The Mountain Will Fall takes a little longer to get into than Shadow's early work, but the result is as rewarding. There's a slow burn to many of the tracks, movements building like waves, and when they crash, it's glorious. When they fail to, it's all the more frustrating. But those high points are as high as any artist alive, like three minutes into "Bergschrund" when everything coalesces and then from nowhere finds another gear and another sound and yet it doesn't fall apart, it's absolutely exhilarating. (www.djshadow.com)  

Author rating: 7.5/10

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Average reader rating: 5/10



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