Recess - Skrillex
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Mixed or average reviews - based on 15 Critics What's this?

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Mixed or average reviews- based on 50 Ratings

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  • Summary: The debut full-length release for the Grammy-winning electronic artist includes guest appearances from Chance the Rapper, Diplo, Ragga Twins, and Alvin Risk.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 4 out of 15
  2. Negative: 2 out of 15
  1. 83
    It's spectacular, almost exhaustingly so. [28 Mar 2014, p.63]
  2. Mar 20, 2014
    Many of the elements that drove Skrillex's initial success are still somewhere in the mix on Recess: the suffocating low end, the serrated edges, the industrial-strength aggression, the disorienting collisions of sound shards, the vocals distorted until they sound like alien transmissions.
  3. Mar 20, 2014
    This wobbling between attempts to impress the dance music cognoscenti and to make songs as purely delightful as "Coast Is Clear" defines Recess, and occasionally bogs it down.
  4. Mar 20, 2014
    This already busy album becomes even busier with so many cooks in the kitchen, and shoots off nonstop fireworks as if this was Skrillex's audio variety special, sponsored by the wing of the stereo industry that sells, re-cones, or fixes subwoofers.
  5. 58
    With Skrillex’s synth swipes holding it together, the album cannot help but become disjointed due to the numerous collaborators.
  6. Mar 21, 2014
    The progression from early singles to first album isn’t nearly the same arc as it was just 10 years ago, but it’s still weird that the first full-length showcase for Skrillex as self-contained album artist feels more like a transitional record than a debut that plays to his strengths.
  7. 25
    Ultimately, the highlights here are still middling fare, and mostly, I just couldn’t wait for Recess to be over.

See all 15 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 6 out of 13
  2. Negative: 3 out of 13
  1. May 11, 2014
    Skrillex does it again. He offers us a dose of heavy brostep with all is fair in love and brostep and try it out, unique drops at ease my mind, ragga bomb, **** that, and recess and some more relaxing songs like fire away and stranger. A very good album. My favourite is all is fair in love and brostep. Expand
  2. Mar 21, 2014
    For a while now, we've gotten use to the usual sound from Skrillex, big beat drops, bass, noises, and anything to get the body shaking, although fun is starting to get repetitive as it crosses over to the Pop and Hip-Hop world, and thankfully Recess is a refreshing blast of new sound, with risky moves that are brilliantly pulled off here, making Skrillex's debut more memorable than most EDM debuts. Reviews for the album have been extremely harsh, mostly because fans of Skrillex are too used to the sound they want to expect from him, I appreciate the crossovers being employed here, with "Coast is Clear" being the standout for having a clever mix of smooth Jazz, R&B, and Electronica, though the only drawback is "Dirty Vibe" which features master producer Diplo, the first half drew me in but I was taken out due to the Nicki Minaj and Kendrick Lamar rip offs being used. Even though Skrillex experiments with some new sounds he still delivers the goods when it comes to what fans want, "All is Fair in Love and Brostep" and "Recess" are excellent dub step tracks and the hit single "Try it Out (Neon Mix)" remains the best track on here. At only Eleven songs, it still flows at a good pace of about around 40 to 50 minutes. Other problems here are the repetitive final few songs, where it seems to be trying to find a way to conclude this album, but it seems Skrillex is just throwing in material to keep us afloat with the album, which made for a slightly rocky final. Overall I very much enjoyed Recess by Skrillex, aside from a few drawbacks it ends up being a great debut release and makes me even more interested in EDM music changing for the future, but in the end, this will divide up listeners greatly, hopefully you know which side to join for this battle. Expand
  3. Mar 23, 2014
    In this album Skrillex went with more of what I would call house music. I'm not a dj nor do I make music so I do not know how hard or skillful one must be to make the beats and sounds that Skrillex produced in this album. What I do know is that I am hooked on this album. I have listened to it many times already and it still gets regular rotation on my current playlists.

    It is less traditional dubstep sounds that Skrillex is known for. It reminds me of the house music I used to listen to back in the 90's. Oh well I enjoy and appreciate it.
  4. Mar 28, 2014
    I'm a pretty big fan of the edm and dubstep scene, and I do enjoy Skrillex. When I listened to the album though, it felt like a weird mesh of reggae and dubstep mixed together. Unfortunately it wasn't that good, There were a couple of songs on here that I liked, but the majority of the album didn't really work for me. Expand
  5. Jun 15, 2014
    So bought the album as an impulse buy, but as a rather large Skrillex fan, i feel justified on the critique. First off, the good points. I feel that Skrillex really showcases how talented he is purely as a musician with how varied some of the tracks on the album are. We go from reggae, to dubstep, to deep house (some of the deep house tracks are the best tracks on the album). Everything sounds crisp and mastered well. Things that didn't go so well: The singles just aren't that good or strong. There are some good dubstep tracks, but this is Skrillex we are talking about, and we are used to amazing ethereal songs from this guy. He set the bar incredibly high with his first albums and I just didn't latch on to anything on this album in a large way. Also, the bad songs on the album are really bad. Personally, i cannot wait for the death of an album as it is incredibly hard for a musician to pump out 10 radio worthy tracks, you usually get 2-3 singles that are great and the rest are filler, but some of these tracks I cannot listen to for more than a few seconds without wanting to punch a hole through my car stereo. In conclusion, this is a mediocre album but remember this is Sonny Moore we are talking about, and he is still capable of producing greatness. Expand
  6. Jun 2, 2014
    For an anticipated album, Recess feels underwhelming. Terrible? It depends, if you weren't already converted into the dubstep (ahem, "brostep") craze when it first crossed into the mainstream music industry in the states back in 2011, you'll likely stay unimpressed. However, is it terrific? That also depends.

    But what's clear is Skrillex's experimentation with more "artsy" drops, in favor of some Prodigy-esque elements over the monster noises in his previous multi-Platinum EPs. Unfortunately, Recess fails at reviving the already tried-and-dried genre or even becoming a staple in that genre's discography. In fact, I hate to sound ignorant, but it seriously does all come together as noise. Even with the album's unconventional use of reggae fusion -- which is where dub actually came from, but it's never been this apparent -- and many, many more genres, everything's predictable. The buzzing beats often never go anywhere and even when they are worth a listen with your Beats once or twice, they're repetitively abused throughout the duration of the track.

    "Stranger" incorporates a chill Disclosure influenced atmosphere, crafted by an -- as aforementioned -- Prodigy-esque opening and Alvin Risk's soothing vocals. Unfortunately, once the mosquito farts start repeating themselves OVER and OVER and OVER again, you'll ask yourself: "Who the f*** recorded an insect being sexually abused and screaming and said, "This'll be perfect?!"?" Let's not even get to the overuse of vocal sampling overheard throughout the entire album. The guest appearance range from mixed-to-positive: Chance the Rapper channels his inner crossover between Robert Johnson and well, every rapper from the 21th century. That may or may not be a compliment. And the Ragga Twins certainly help deliver that more reggae style sound Skrillex is attempting to create.

    Overall, Recess sounds like an unfinished problem intended to sound more ambitious than it actually was to begin with. It's as scattered as Kanye West's 2013 Yeezus, without the Yeezus (his collaboration with Diplo on "Dirty Vibe" is basically Ye's "I'm In It", from the vocal manipulation down to its dirty subject matter). When a song's just getting good, your ears are instead molested by buggy bleeps, bloops, blurps, and whatever term sounds the most unpleasant in your own head. If you're seeking something that'll tear up your surround sound speakers (and your own eardrums, to be honest), Recess might be for you. For the rest of us, we'll continue revisiting Bangarang or the much, much better representations of this genre by other underlooked artists.
  7. Mar 21, 2014
    I used to enjoy the creativity of Skrillex's sound. Unfortunately, last summer, I went to a music festival and was sorely disappointed with his performance. To go into further details, his bizarre requests for the audience to "sit on your ass!" on the muddy ground was too much. He then protested to stop playing more music if the crowd did not comply with his odd plead. Maybe he was trying to create a cool gimmick that would make the experience more enjoyable, but when you treat your audience like crap and act like a dictator, you lose fans very quickly.

    Other than my newfound, passionate hate for Skrillex's personality, I gave his music a chance. Even if an artist is displeasing, their music may still be worthwhile. This possibility is not the case for the shaved-head rat of a man. With hollow beats and bass drops that sound all too familiar from previous releases, there is nothing left for Skrillex. His career should have ended after Bangarang.

    One of the first mistakes he made was introducing a plethora of guest stars onto several tracks. Not only does the use of faux-rappers dampen the mood, but it defeats the whole purpose of dubstep. There are no lyrics in a dubstep track. One of the pioneers of this sound went against his own rules and created a monster. With no tracks that grab your attention for more than a minute, Recess is a sorry excuse for a debut album.

    A shallow, self-centered personality emerges within the tasteless tracks, taking away 50 minutes of someone's life. Not only are the tracks repetitive and unoriginal, they pierce the ears with electronic screeches. That seems like the icing on the cake.

    Well, you know what they say: "The bigger they are, the harder they fall".

See all 13 User Reviews