Free the Universe - Major Lazer
Metascore
68

Generally favorable reviews - based on 19 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 9 out of 19
  2. Negative: 0 out of 19
  1. May 20, 2013
    60
    A relentlessly effervescent electro/dancehall mash-up. [Jun 2013, p.89]
  2. May 13, 2013
    60
    It's when Pentz dials it down that it gets interesting. [Jun 2013, p.101]
  3. May 3, 2013
    70
    This is wall-shaking club music for screaming crowds and vast towers of sub-bass. It’s hard to imagine listening to the whole thing end to end unless you were also working a case of beer at the same pace.
  4. Apr 25, 2013
    70
    It's all enjoyably preposterous. [Jun 2013, p.75]
  5. Apr 25, 2013
    40
    Too bad the missteps and poorly executed collaborations stink badly enough to make the borderline stupid/genius party rockers get tainted by proximity.
  6. Apr 18, 2013
    70
    Recorded at Jamaica's Tuff Gong studios, the record's strongest asset is making things that shouldn't work together sound natural.
  7. Apr 16, 2013
    84
    The multiple guest stars on each and every one of these 14 tracks have been upgraded from the regional heroes found on 2009 Lazer debut Guns Don’t Kill People Lazers Do to bona fide industry studs on Free the Universe. Some might view this third-world talent invasion as a form of dancehall imperialism, but there is depth here, respect, knowledge and oodles of heart... and enough freaky fun to dagger 52 weekends away.
  8. 60
    The inclusion of larger singles-moving, profit-generating artists leads to mixed results on Free The Universe.
  9. Apr 16, 2013
    57
    A no-brainer, easy-to-enjoy production slate gets knocked around by its flaws just enough that even the minor, acquired-taste touches seem like just another bad decision.
  10. Apr 16, 2013
    80
    Free the Universe is, after all, a party album, and by using an energetic mix of faces both famous and obscure, Diplo keeps his grungy dancehall rave running on all cylinders.
  11. Apr 16, 2013
    70
    It's less strictly Jamaican than Major Lazer's debut, connecting reggae's often-insular tradition to a wider world.
  12. 70
    It's eclectic, but the linking thread is insistent dancehall beats and a sense of dumb, colourful fun.
  13. Apr 15, 2013
    80
    Those who blew their minds and/or speakers pumping the project's 2009 debut will find it familiar ground, but how Free the Universe arguably tops Guns Don't Kill People... Lazers Do is with the meatier, more subdued cuts.
  14. Apr 15, 2013
    60
    Album number two ramps up the risibility factor even further and will make most sense at one of the group's barnstorming live shows.
  15. Apr 12, 2013
    60
    There’s enough inventive, Jamaican-inspired music on Free The Universe to make it worth hearing--but here’s hoping Diplo keeps things Kingston-centric again next time around.
  16. Apr 11, 2013
    80
    Fronted by the blond, blue-eyed Diplo, the whiff of the ersatz may remain with Major Lazer, especially on a couple of overwhelmingly screamy EDM tracks, but it's the same man's ability to craft memorable modern pop that has kept this project interesting.
  17. Apr 11, 2013
    60
    Major Lazer stands for firing on an all cylinders but doesn’t warn against the oomph taking leave of absence, though it does play off the shoulder of the first LP just lovely.
  18. Apr 11, 2013
    50
    There are the seeds of two worthwhile projects here, but no chance of them ever uniting under the Major Lazer banner.
  19. Apr 10, 2013
    60
    Free The Universe reeks of chasing the success of Baauer’s 'Harlem Shake'--shich, incidentally, came out on Diplo’s Mad Decent label--like a rabid dog. As such, it’s just another notch on macho rave’s bedpost.
User Score
7.3

Generally favorable reviews- based on 16 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 1
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 1
  3. Negative: 0 out of 1
  1. Apr 18, 2013
    8
    Dancehall, reggae fusion, reggae, hip hop, electro house, daggering, Moombahton, Dutch house, it's all there in spirited zeal, continuing DJ/producer Diplo's brassy musical project in style. Full Review »