The Bottom Line
Operating from this deficit, the rest of the album unfolds in similarly unfulfilling fashion, each track building toward nothing, and too much of the music a little off. The best hip-hop is fulfilling for a listener as it perfectly captures the sublime unity an MC can achieve with a beat. But despite the layered production and best intentions, The Shining consistently fails to truly approach this circumstance, too often veering of into nether regions of stale mood music or experimental electronic assemblages.
The Shining, in some ways, can be seen as a fine encapsulation of Jay Dee's spirit while not being actually emblematic of his finest work. It is the product of obvious musical curiosity that is, in this instance, bereft of true direction. And while the soundscapes and lyrical content are objectively engaging at first, the redeeming qualities are regularly overshadowed by the record's absent cohesion and energy. The Shining is not a joyful, fresh endeavor, and that is impossible to escape, no matter how many times the song styles change.Top Tracks:
- "Baby" (ft. Madlib and Guilty Simpson)
- "Love" (ft. Pharoahe Monch)
- "Love Movin'" (ft. Black Thought)
- "Won't Do" (ft. Jay Dee)