The whole thing sounds like if you were to take a bunch of random mp3 tracks, mostly instrumentals, some spoken word, splice them together, and list them as individual songs.
I'm not saying there isn't effort here. I'm not even saying there aren't thematic or tonal consistencies to each song. I'm just saying it's all pretty underwhelming.
I imagine that in the old days, when this was released, '96, it was actually very hard to do what DJ Shadow did. No doubt the man owns a whole lot of records. He probably went through boxes and boxes of LPs to get and clip the bit he wanted. It probably took hours. But you know it also takes time to put a puzzle together, which is impressive in its own right, but I don't have to call it great art at the end of the day.