Noel Dix of Exclaim! gave Deadringer a favorable review and commented that the album "plays very much like the soundtrack to a motion picture". Sam Chennault of Pitchfork called it "an essential purchase for any fan of instrumental hip-hop". Doug Levy of CMJ New Music Report felt that "DJ Shadow may have started the instrumental hip-hop revolution, but RJD2 is here to make the coup a reality". Chris Ryan of Spin said, "[RJD2] goes spelunking for everything from flamenco and pastoral folk to the kind of raw funk breaks that most groove merchants only dream of uncovering". Tony Van Groningen of Stylus Magazine noted that "RJD2 effortlessly changes directions and adds unexpected elements to the mix that do more to perfect the songs than to muddle them up". Spin placed it at number 31 on the "40 Best Albums of 2002" list. Kludge placed it at number 3 on their list of best albums of 2002.