Many people still want DJ Shadow to be the guy digging around in musty basements for obscure funk and soul vinyl, or the hoodied moodmeister crafting headphone symphonies for late-night bedroom contemplation. But on his third official full-length, The Outsider
, it's not out of the question to hear the straight-up hyphy track "Dats My Part," a song replete with sped-up crunk beats; crude, grimy synth bleats; and Bay Area rapper E-40 exuberantly shouting, "2006, we got that boy DJ Shadow in this bitch!" Yet in all fairness, The Outsider
stretches further than hyphy, and for the most part does so brilliantly. There's the buttery '70s soul groove of "This Time (I'm Gonna Try It My Way)"; the dark, harrowing, Katrina-themed "Seein' Thangs," featuring Mississippi crunk vet David Banner; and "Erase You," a kissing cousin to U.N.K.L.E's Richard Ashcroft-vocaled "Lonely Soul" that features British crooner Chris James.