Bringing the pop sensibility with which he flirted on 2004’s Since We Last Spoke to the forefront, and seamlessly blending in that same album’s prog-rock flourishes, The Third Hand (XL Recordings) threatens to turn our sharpest DJ/producer into an indispensable pop figurehead.
There are still a few instrumental tracks, all of which are as sparse and brooding as we’ve come to expect. But The Third Hand finds RJD2’s vocals carrying a greater share of the burden.
If I have a complaint, it’s that the whole thing seems to go down too easily. I miss such jarring moments as Since We Last Spoke’s “Exotic Talk,” or even the goofy stadium rock of “Through the Walls.” But I’m barking up the wrong tree. What’s jarring about The Third Hand is the exhilarating sense of being in the hands of a true auteur.