I'll Sleep When You're Dead

I'll Sleep When You're Dead is the second solo studio album by American hip hop artist El-P. It was released through Definitive Jux on March 20, 2007. It peaked at number 78 on the Billboard 200 chart,[1] selling about 11,000 copies in its first week.[2] Music videos were created for "Flyentology"[3] and "Smithereens".[4]

I'll Sleep When You're Dead
Studio album by
ReleasedMarch 20, 2007 (2007-03-20)
GenreHip hop
Length55:07
LabelDefinitive Jux
ProducerEl-P, Trent Reznor
El-P chronology
Collecting the Kid
(2004)
I'll Sleep When You're Dead
(2007)
Cancer 4 Cure
(2012)
Singles from I'll Sleep When You're Dead
  1. "Everything Must Go"
    Released: 2006
  2. "Flyentology"
    Released: 2007

Production

Despite his usual dislike of "records that have a bunch of (featuring so and so) after every song title",[5] El-P has explained the more organic nature of the collaborations on I'll Sleep When You're Dead:

My collaborations for the most part come from friendships I have with people who happen to be in the vicinity while I'm making my shit. Little splashes of other peoples voices, talents, energy used in subtle ways is the way I usually like to freak it. Rob does some back ups, Sweeny plays some guitar, Aes drops a verse, James plays some bass... whatever works at the time. It's the South Park theory: when George Clooney appeared on South Park it was as a gay dog. That's the type of shit that makes my day.[5]

El-P has compared the overall sound of the album's music to "a psychedelic Boogie Down Productions record", and like "Scott LaRock and Ced Gee take acid".[6]

The bird on the album's cover is based on a drawing that Alexander Calder made on a wooden toy airplane for El-P as a child.[7]

Critical reception

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
SourceRating
Metacritic80/100[8]
Review scores
SourceRating
AllMusic[9]
The A.V. ClubB[10]
Entertainment WeeklyB+[11]
The Guardian[12]
The Independent[13]
NME7/10[14]
Pitchfork8.0/10[15]
Rolling Stone[16]
Spin[17]
Uncut[18]

At Metacritic, which assigns a weighted average score out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, the album received an average score of 80 based on 32 reviews, indicating "generally favorable reviews".[8]

John Bush of AllMusic gave the album 4.5 stars out of 5, calling it "one of the most powerful hip-hop albums of 2007."[9] Dave Heaton of PopMatters gave the album 8 stars out of 10, saying: "The genius of I'll Sleep When You're Dead -- and the reason it deserves to be considered as a progressive step in El-P's journey as an artist -- is that the tracks are just as dense and complex as on his other albums, but in a new, fresh way."[19] Andy Battaglia of The A.V. Club gave the album a grade of B, saying, "nobody makes hip-hop as textured and atmospheric as El-P, and he manages to temper his disorienting noise with soulful suggestions this time out."[10]

Consequence of Sound placed it at number 42 on the "Top 50 Albums of 2007" list.[20]

Track listing

No.TitleLength
1."Tasmanian Pain Coaster" (featuring Omar Rodríguez-López and Cedric Bixler-Zavala)6:56
2."Smithereens (Stop Cryin)"4:34
3."Up All Night"2:38
4."EMG"4:33
5."Drive"4:15
6."Dear Sirs"1:34
7."Run the Numbers" (featuring Aesop Rock)4:43
8."Habeas Corpses (Draconian Love)" (featuring Cage)4:36
9."The Overly Dramatic Truth"4:32
10."Flyentology" (featuring Trent Reznor)4:03
11."No Kings"3:07
12."The League of Extraordinary Nobodies"2:36
13."Poisenville Kids No Wins / Reprise (This Must Be Our Time)" (featuring Chan "Cat Power" Marshall)7:00

Personnel

Credits adapted from liner notes.

Charts

Chart (2007) Peak
position
UK R&B Albums (OCC)[21] 10
US Billboard 200[1] 78
US Independent Albums (Billboard)[22] 6
US Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums (Billboard)[23] 55

References

  1. "El-P: Chart History (Billboard 200)". Billboard. Retrieved September 13, 2018.
  2. Hasty, Katie (March 28, 2007). "Modest Mouse Steers Its 'Ship' To No. 1 Debut". Billboard. Retrieved September 13, 2018.
  3. Watercutter, Angela (February 27, 2007). "Lords of the Fly". Wired. Retrieved September 13, 2018.
  4. "El-P". American Civil Liberties Union. Retrieved September 13, 2018.
  5. "I'll Sleep When You're Dead Blog - a brief list of some of the people who appear in some form on my record..."
  6. "I'll Sleep When You're Dead Blog - SCOTT LAROCK AND CED GEE TAKE ACID".
  7. Christopher, Roy (March 15, 2007). "El-P: Wake Up. Time to Die". RoyChristopher.com. Retrieved February 17, 2016.
  8. "I'll Sleep When You're Dead by El-P". Metacritic. Retrieved September 13, 2018.
  9. Bush, John. "I'll Sleep When You're Dead – El-P". AllMusic. Retrieved September 13, 2018.
  10. Battaglia, Andy (March 27, 2007). "El-P: I'll Sleep When You're Dead". The A.V. Club. Retrieved September 13, 2018.
  11. Matos, Michaelangelo (March 16, 2007). "I'll Sleep When You're Dead". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved September 13, 2018.
  12. Batey, Angus (March 16, 2007). "El-P, I'll Sleep When You're Dead". The Guardian. Retrieved September 13, 2018.
  13. Gill, Andy (March 16, 2007). "Album: El-P". The Independent. Archived from the original on March 28, 2007. Retrieved August 17, 2019.
  14. Miller, Alex (March 16, 2007). "El-P: I'll Sleep When You're Dead". NME. Archived from the original on April 4, 2016. Retrieved September 13, 2018.
  15. Chennault, Sam (March 16, 2007). "El-P: I'll Sleep When You're Dead". Pitchfork. Retrieved September 13, 2018.
  16. Hoard, Christian (March 20, 2007). "El-P: I'll Sleep When You're Dead". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on April 21, 2008. Retrieved September 13, 2018.
  17. Ryan, Chris (March 2007). "El-P: I'll Sleep When You're Dead". Spin. 23 (3): 91–94. Retrieved August 17, 2019.
  18. "El-P: I'll Sleep When You're Dead". Uncut (119): 99. April 2007.
  19. Heaton, Dave (April 12, 2007). "El-P: Ill Sleep When Youre Dead". PopMatters. Retrieved September 13, 2018.
  20. "Top 50 Albums of 2007 (page 3 of 12)". Consequence of Sound. January 23, 2017. Retrieved September 13, 2018.
  21. "Official R&B Albums Chart Top 40: 25 March 2007 - 31 March 2007". Official Charts Company. Retrieved September 13, 2018.
  22. "El-P: Chart History (Independent Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved September 13, 2018.
  23. "El-P: Chart History (Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved September 13, 2018.
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