Check this album if you like – DJ Shadow, Aphex Twin, LCD Soundsystem
Favorite song – Ghostwriter, The Horror, Good Times Part 2

You may not be familiar with RJD2, but you certainly are familiar with his work. His music has been featured everywhere from commercials to the theme to Mad Men. In 2002, though, he released a killer debut album. It’s been 10 years, but the album with almost no singing remains one of my favorites.

Deadringer kicks off with one of the true highlights of the album (The Horror). The song has a spooky yet retro vibe. Seems like it would fit in real well in a Tarantino movie. Salud is a sample of the strange saxophonist Lol Coxhill (who, had it not been for Spotify, I would’ve never heard of). Smoke and Mirrors is another ominous sounding song that shows his ability to recognize fantastic samples. Good Times Roll Pt. 2 is a funky track that captures 60s and 70s jazz & R&B while mixing it with some late 80s hip hop. Final Frontier is one of three songs on the album with rapping over the top of the instrumental. Blueprint (RJD2’s partner in “Soul Position”) helps mold this into another one of my favorite songs from the album. Ghostwriter is appropriately the most recognizable song from the album. The song is so perfect yet so subtle in it’s perfection. Cut Out to FL is a fantastic song that seems to reinvent itself halfway through the 4-minute track. F.H.H., much like Final Frontier, displays RJD2’s immense potential as a unique rap producer. I’m zero percent surprised he’s went on to make something as memorable as the Mad Men theme (which is arguably the best tv show theme out right now… any challengers?) The second half of the album is a collection of song that are by no means subpar songs. They just don’t stack up with the songs from the first half. As a record collector, I’m not super surprised RJD2 wound up putting his best songs on the first half (or Side A) of the album.

I don’t know why, but I thought the brilliant “True Confessions” was on this album. Turns out it actually is on the “Urban Renewal” compilation album.