Free Reign

  • Record Label: Domino
  • Release Date: Nov 13, 2012

Generally favorable reviews - based on 22 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 15 out of 22
  2. Negative: 0 out of 22
Buy On
  1. Nov 14, 2012
    Another fine example of how versatile this band actually is.
  2. Alternative Press
    Nov 19, 2012
    This is a chilly, alienated album that sounds like it was recorded in a walk-in freezer. But a bleak, thousand-yard stare cool beats showy emotion every time, and Clinic knows it. [Dec 2012, p.88]
  3. They've ironed out their eccentricities, and produced their silkiest and least combative record in the process.
  4. Nov 13, 2012
    Free Reign, co-produced by Oneohtrix Point Never's Daniel Lopatin, is subtler, jazzier and ever-so-slightly sexier than previous Clinic outings.
  5. Nov 13, 2012
    Thanks, in part, to Sudbury native and co-mixer Daniel Lopatin (lately more well known as vibe-conjuring electronic artist Oneohtrix Point Never), the sound of Free Reign is both fantastically new and classic Clinic.
  6. Nov 9, 2012
    This is music that stretches from the decaying rain-lashed estates of their home to the stars.
  7. 60
    The masks are still up on Free Reign, and the hints at human emotion lying behind them aren't strong enough to attempt to pry in.
  8. Nov 12, 2012
    There's a bewitching quality to it which suggests Clinic actually only exist in some form of musical vacuum. And right now, that sounds like a most spellbinding place to be.
  9. Nov 13, 2012
    Common throughout is a scorching sensuality that is destined to make Free Reign the soundtrack to a lot of smoldering affairs.
  10. Mojo
    Nov 21, 2012
    For twisted garage buffs these unsettling sounds are, again, a joy. [Dec 2012, p.89]
  11. Nov 19, 2012
    Whilst it's unlikely to win over many new fans, it will certainly keep those who have been with the band so far content.
  12. Nov 9, 2012
    It's short but manages to feel long. It's interesting but manages to feel dull.
  13. Nov 13, 2012
    The likeable elements of Free Reign are too slight and too familiar to overcome the growing sense of inertia.
  14. Nov 9, 2012
    As Free Reign shows, when Clinic take their time, they can build up a bewitching groove.
  15. Nov 14, 2012
    All in all, Clinic lives up to the title of the album, giving itself free rein to pursue its creative impulses.
  16. Q Magazine
    Nov 21, 2012
    Eccentric as ever then, but there's no denying the continued originality of the sound. [Dec 2012, p.102]
  17. Nov 12, 2012
    Clinic long ago proved themselves capable of startling listeners, surprising them with odd sounds, fast songs, and strange melodies; now they've proven themselves capable of persuading the listener, taking them slowly from relaxation to unease to fear.
  18. Nov 15, 2012
    There are lulls elsewhere, but the highlights are a treat.
  19. Nov 12, 2012
    Free Reign is an album finds Clinic pushing themselves in directions that wouldn't have been considered years ago and it's to their credit that they possess both the will and imagination to do so.
  20. Jan 2, 2013
    Despite their best efforts, Free Reign marks just another step in Clinic's journey to unfortunately become even more forgettable.
  21. Uncut
    Nov 19, 2012
    [The] rather slight songs raise the suspicion you would get more out of listening to Clinic's record collection than the band themselves. [Oct 2012, p.68]
  22. Nov 9, 2012
    Clinic's discography is a slow refinement, a meticulous and ongoing game of Operation with frequent--and intentional-buzzing mishaps.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 4 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 1
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 1
  3. Negative: 0 out of 1
  1. Nov 17, 2012
    'free reign' is extremely odd yet fantastic. the sound of a band doing precisely what they like, a perfect
    antidote to today's conservative
    'free reign' is extremely odd yet fantastic. the sound of a band doing precisely what they like, a perfect
    antidote to today's conservative indie rubbish.
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