Generally favorable reviews - based on 10 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 7 out of 10
  2. Negative: 0 out of 10
  1. Spin
    The sound may be five years old, but Essence's insistence that jungle left something valuable behind back in '95 is a major part of its appeal. [Sept. 2000]
  2. Alternative Press
    He's created a bona-fide pop album--smokingly soulful, sure, but armed to the teeth with hooks and refrains, radio-ready and simultaneously transcendent. [#147, p.84]
  3. Urb
    The stance on Essence is less confrontational than its precursor, more a life-affirming offering to elemental forces. [#79, p.128]
  4. 80
    This isn't just pop-inflected electronica: Gerald's compositions evince a depth and artistic integrity rare in albums of this ilk.
  5. Essence is the album Roni Size's Breakbeat Era hoped to be, a song-based, drum 'n' bass epic that works on many levels.
  6. Gerald ups the ante again, incorporating astounding vocalists, intricate bass and drum patterns, and mood-altering melodies and tones to take the electronic dance community by storm.
  7. Gerald's mastery of his own sound and style generally triumphs over his occasional lapses in focus.

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