Why is DJ Shadow’s The Mountain Will Fall on my best 1,000 albums ever list?
Come for the collabs, stay for the DJ mastery.
What does DJ Shadow’s The Mountain Will Fall mean to me? What does it make me feel? Why is it exciting or compelling?
The best parts of The Mountain Will Fall are the collaborations, and the best of the collaborations is “Nobody Speak,” featuring Run The Jewels. It’s a wildly exciting and unusual-sounding song that features something of a country twanged-guitar, pulsating hip hop beat, horn samples, and aggressive hip hop by way of Run The Jewels that all meshes together most excellently.
I’ll also say that it’s pretty rare for me when music videos with some kind of core comedic conceit work very well, and it’s even more rare when the conceit involves people who did not sing and/or rap on the original recording pretend to be doing so in the video. But “Nobody Speak” is the rare exception that has you wondering how those… well, those old white dudes are able to do such an amazing job. Overall, the acting in the video is just outstanding.
One other song that immediately pops to mind, as an aside, that successfully meshes country and hip hop elements, is “Long Hard Times to Come,” by Gangstagrass featuring T.O.N.E.-z, which of course was the theme music for the pretty great and long running FX show, Justified.
That’s to take nothing away from Country Mike, of course.
Okay, back to The Mountain Will Fall. “Bergschrund” is closer to the mood of the rest of the album (though that might be a stretch as it’s highly eclectic overall), with its electronic beats and bloops in collaboration with Nils Frahm. It builds into some pretty mind bendy Euro-style DJ discotheque-type wonderfulness.
And “The Sideshow,” featuring Ernie Fresh, brings a… well, fresh old school hip hop energy to DJ Shadow’s expert turntable stylings.
Pop culture stuff that’s somehow related to DJ Shadow’s The Mountain Will Fall
DJ Shadow and The Mountain Will Fall holds a special place in my heart because “Nobody Speak” is featured in a transcendentally fantastic episode of Succession, which after three seasons is already way up there on my top 10 TV shows of all time. (It’s more than cracked my Top 10 all time and I’m pretty sure it’s running up into at least the #7-#8 range already.)
The name of the Succession episode is “Prague,” and as the eight episode of the first season it’s amazing on its own but it’s also when the series starts to really take flight into insanely great territory. It features… well, it features a lot, and hilariously one of things it does not feature is Prague.
Say hi to the Fly Guys for me if you see them around!
Some stats & info about DJ Shadow – The Mountain Will Fall
- What kind of musical stylings does this album represent? Hip Hop, Electronic Music, Trip-Hop, Bay Area Hip Hop
- Rolling Stone’s greatest 500 albums ranking – not ranked!
- All Music’s rating – 3.5 out of 5 stars
- When was The Mountain Will Fall released? 2016
- My ranking, the one you’re reading right now – #906 out of 1,000
DJ Shadow’s The Mountain Will Fall on Spotify
What does the “best 1,000 albums ever” mean and why are you doing this?
Yeah, I know it’s audacious, a little crazy (okay, maybe a lot cray cray), bordering on criminal nerdery.
But here’s what it’s NOT: a definitive list of the Greatest Albums of All-Time. This is 100% my own personal super biased, incredibly subjective take on what my top 1,000 albums are, ranked in painstaking order over the course of doing research for nearly a year, Rob from High Fidelity style. Find out more about why I embarked on a best 1,000 albums ever project.