Metascore
78

Generally favorable reviews - based on 14 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 10 out of 14
  2. Negative: 0 out of 14
  1. Sep 12, 2011
    100
    Bleak and beautiful, Family & Friends is an absolute beast.
  2. Sure the tone is often depressive or satirical. But it's also often kind, pained, silly, unhinged, and other things.
  3. Aug 9, 2011
    80
    The result is a deeply humane album, it makes poetry out of the disappointments of daily existence and narrative out of the mistakes that people make.
  4. Jul 26, 2011
    80
    Ironically, spitting over minimal head-knock beats from WHY? and Advance Base, Serengeti sounds reborn.
  5. Jul 26, 2011
    80
    What Family & Friends delivers is a cogent collection of tales ruminating on relationships. Serengeti has always done this well, in particular with the way he captures the honesty of a relationship cycle, the little odds and ends that undermine the adage that we shouldn't sweat the small stuff.
  6. Jul 26, 2011
    73
    Overall this will be a very divisive record for people: fans of non-traditional hip hop and abstract lyricism will love this record, fans of more mainstream sounding hip hop who enjoy flow and deliveries will probably not enjoy it as much.
  7. Aug 3, 2011
    70
    It's by turns weird, pretty and deeply humane--the sound of an arty rhyme junkie letting his mind wander all over.
  8. Jul 26, 2011
    70
    Placing aside what amounts to unfortunate filler (the friends portions aren't as evocative), Family & Friends portrays the inevitability of growing up and keeping up with outside expectations with a deft touch.
  9. 70
    This hybrid, mixing tracks that would be at home on a Sufjan Stevens or Dirty Projectors album with strong hip hop beats, creates a unique sound, showing that Serengeti is carving himself a niche in this overcrowded hip hop market. But it's his brilliant lyrical stylings that will pull you in and make you want more.
  10. Jul 26, 2011
    68
    Not quite stylistic opposites but still distinctly different, the two producers almost always make sure to stay on the same page, taking skeletal percussive tracks and shocking them with little flecks of light. But as with much of Family and Friends, that light seems to be just out of reach.
  11. Aug 16, 2011
    60
    Alt-rap veteran's lo-fi gamble pays off handsomely. [Sept. 2011, p. 116]
  12. Aug 8, 2011
    60
    When the album stops playing the temptation to categorize Family and Friends as a literate Streets project or Buck 65 with a flair for topic sentences is irresistible. Only one song exceeds the five-minute mark, though, and most are just over two minutes, so boredom isn't a problem.
  13. Aug 4, 2011
    60
    That eye for harrowing detail is Cohn's greatest strength as a writer and occasionally his biggest weakness, as one minute he's effortlessly bringing to life sons who shoot heroin with their fathers and the next stumbling into awkward rhymes about UFC fighters. [Jul 2011, p.91]
  14. Jul 26, 2011
    60
    His dedication certainly pays off, Friends & Family grabs ears almost immediately--but as his tropes wear down, it can't help but feel a little hollow.

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