awE naturalE - THEESatisfaction
Metascore
75

Generally favorable reviews - based on 26 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 20 out of 26
  2. Negative: 0 out of 26
  1. Mar 29, 2012
    90
    Had it not been for the underground releases, this disc would be one of 2012's best debuts.
  2. Jul 12, 2012
    85
    This time however they gave us a good album, something pleasant, different and raw to vibe on. Definitely give this a spin.
  3. awE naturalE is at least a great, deep listen, and all that THEESatisfaction has done to challenge the listener warrants serious admiration.
  4. Apr 24, 2012
    80
    Put succinctly, awE NaturalE leaves listeners wanting more.
  5. Apr 12, 2012
    80
    Features the same lyrical spirit and disjointed soul rhythms [as labelmate, Shabazz Palaces.] [No.86, p.58]
  6. Apr 2, 2012
    80
    awE naturalE gives us a beguiling glimpse of an unfettered talent that most certainly is promptly, and most satisfactorily, on track.
  7. Mar 28, 2012
    80
    It's a solid record through and through, and a powerful testament to hip-hop's potential for challenging, inspiring and pushing beyond the boundaries of genre toward new and exciting forms of hybridity and interconnection.
  8. Mar 28, 2012
    80
    Feel their energy flowing through your mind. Satisfaction guaranteed.
  9. 80
    The distorted piano and vocal loops and simple drum patterns do tend to bleed into each other, and the songs run on the short side, but together they're a mesmerizing set.
  10. Mar 27, 2012
    80
    THEESatisfaction's awE naturalE is one of the most adventurous and tradition-bending hip-hop albums of the year, and further cements Sub Pop as the place for imaginative, left-field hip-hop.
  11. Mar 29, 2012
    75
    awE naturalE, like Black Up, is a pleasantly surprising resurrection of the Pacific Northwest-via-Brooklyn hippie-hop that we never might have anticipated a few years ago.
  12. Jun 1, 2012
    73
    There is a vital something absent; reassuringly, though, the greatness that eludes awE naturalE doesn't feel like something THEESatisfaction will never "morph" into.
  13. Jul 24, 2012
    70
    There's something enchantingly nostalgic about Awe Natural. [May 2012, p.74]
  14. 70
    Their vocals are overshadowed by the hypnotic momentum of their grooves: dense and swampy, with thick jazz harmonies and, often, rhythms that lurch and skip, demanding alertness because they keep things off balance.
  15. Apr 10, 2012
    70
    Inventive and playful, their songs play out like animated thought processes, you're invited to figure things out with them as they try to make sense of the world around.
  16. 70
    All in all, this isn't an album you can listlessly slam on to get yourself ready for a night out, but it is a satisfyingly rich project.
  17. Apr 9, 2012
    70
    Often on 'Awe Naturale', the songs are suddenly cut off before they get into their stride and leave you wanting more of their soulful jams with a rap twist. Regardless, this is a largely enjoyable debut from this versatile duo.
  18. Apr 6, 2012
    70
    Much here mediates around one unnerving groove. [May 2012, p.83]
  19. Apr 2, 2012
    70
    Their music is full of joy, of sensuousness and sensuality, of acid wit and ambitious creativity.
  20. Mar 27, 2012
    68
    THEESatisfaction's zoned songwriting won't earn any retrospection, but it's wonderfully reassuring that they made an album like awE naturalE--it's living proof that unique statements can still be made in those old, unstylish indie-hop tenants.
  21. Apr 25, 2012
    60
    An enchanting snippet of life in the left-field. [May 2012, p.106]
  22. Apr 19, 2012
    60
    Their ability to switch up styles at will can prove a little wearing, giving an uneven feel to an otherwise startling debut. [May 2012, p.83]
  23. Apr 12, 2012
    60
    Though the overall groove ("Don't funk with it," they advise on QueenS) is freewheeling enough to avoid being preachy, awE naturalE is implicitly political.
  24. Apr 5, 2012
    60
    More often than not Stasia Irons and Cat Harris-White get bogged down in a psychedelic maze, struggling to get their intelligent and issue-led rhymes heard above distracting production.
  25. Mar 27, 2012
    60
    THEESatisfaction can't be accused of not bringing themselves, but it's a shame to imagine the album awE naturalE could've been if they'd just brought more.
  26. Mar 27, 2012
    50
    The lyrics (and their alternately crooned and flat-rapped delivery) are nothing new is probably the worst that can be said of them.

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