Fly Or Die

  • Record Label: Virgin
  • Release Date: Mar 23, 2004
Metascore
68

Generally favorable reviews - based on 22 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 12 out of 22
  2. Negative: 2 out of 22
  1. Alternative Press
    100
    A great album, crammed with hooks and harmonies, goofball lyrics and the left-of-center melodic twists any indie-rawk geek would fly or die for. [Jul 2004, p.148]
  2. Uncut
    100
    Fly Or Die has more in common with 10cc and XTC than it does Common.... Prog-pop album of the year. [Jun 2004, p.91]
  3. More realized than 2002's In Search Of..., they hit all of their marks, rubbing guitar licks against '70s funk and sexy R&B that's bound to get any club flying high.
  4. Entertainment Weekly
    91
    If rock is rap's new sonic sandbox, then N.E.R.D.'s crazy-strange second album, Fly Or Die, makes them the unlikely heirs to, of all people, Steely Dan. [2 Apr 2004, p.62]
  5. Williams has clearly approached 'Fly Or Die' as the kind of project where the central aim is to show us all how clever he is, and as he flits from musical style to style like a hungry pop bee, you're pounded into submission because HE IS JUST SO GODDAMN GOOD AT EVERYTHING.
  6. Urb
    80
    In a perfect world, Fly Or Die would become a classic-rock staple right next to Can't Buy A Thrill and Heaven Tonight. [May 2004, p.87]
  7. Mojo
    80
    This is an enthusiastic hymn to the terminally uncool. [May 2004, p.106]
  8. The whole album is put together so oddly, almost haphazardly, that this works better as a collection of moments than as a whole.
  9. The A.V. Club
    70
    Fly Or Die has its rough patches, but the liberating, anything-goes looseness that inevitably results in stretches of self-indulgence is precisely what makes the album, like its predecessor, so messy, vital, and fun. [31 Mar 2004]
  10. These slightly warped combinations -- resentment and frustration, yearning and insight, naïveté and fascination -- aren't so different from the simple-seeming sentiments on most pop records, even if the instrumentation, vocals, and programming are unusually layered and carefully produced.
  11. While Mr. Williams isn't much of a singer, "Fly or Die" has goofy charms to spare.
  12. Flawlessly interesting is what we’ve come to expect from Williams and Hugo, but "Fly Or Die" is rather interestingly flawed.
  13. They sound like they sincerely believe the greatest thing that ever happened to rock & roll is Sammy Hagar's solo career.
  14. Blender
    60
    A strange brew. [May 2004, p.128]
  15. No disaster, but no triumph either, Fly or Die seems unlikely to break N*E*R*D to the audience they so evidently crave.
  16. Spin
    58
    In their eagerness to show off the range of their toolbox, they stumble. [May 2004, p.101]
  17. The album dies far more often than it flies, mistaking a crazy-quilt musical approach for creativity, and wrongly miscalculating the strengths of its anemic vocalist.
  18. Q Magazine
    40
    It's often fascinating only in the details. [May 2004, p.110]
  19. Listening casually is OK, as you can get by the annoying Pharrell and enjoy some of the silly retro groves. But pay any degree of actual attention and there are problems.
  20. Fly or Die gives you the sense that the Neptunes were trying extra hard to counter their success as pop producers by making a "weird" rock album. Instead of breaking new ground, they've only undermined themselves.
  21. It's the sound of someone crashing and burning in a heap of misguided, grandiose intentions.
  22. On their own, N.E.R.D. are the hip-hop Toto.
User Score
7.4

Generally favorable reviews- based on 44 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 21 out of 29
  2. Negative: 3 out of 29
  1. annaj
    Apr 19, 2006
    10
    verry good
  2. RayW
    Aug 16, 2005
    2
    Well Since you guys like Rock so much then why don't you make all rock music instead of being in rap video's fags and don't Well Since you guys like Rock so much then why don't you make all rock music instead of being in rap video's fags and don't have gold teeth if your a rocker Full Review »
  3. AndrewW
    Dec 27, 2004
    7
    Catchy poppy hip-hop that is generally hit or miss between songs. This album definitely does not carry with it any deeper message but blasts Catchy poppy hip-hop that is generally hit or miss between songs. This album definitely does not carry with it any deeper message but blasts you with riffs and bouncy beats to divert you from this notion. A solid party album! Full Review »