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59

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

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5.5

Mixed or average reviews- based on 59 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
    70
    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.
  3. Mar 20, 2014
    70
    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.
  4. Mar 20, 2014
    60
    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
    57
    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: 8 out of 15
  2. Negative: 3 out of 15
  1. Dec 12, 2014
    10
    Sonny Moore's best work to date. Each song tastefully reinvents the way electronic music is handled, as we're finally hearing more progressiveSonny Moore's best work to date. Each song tastefully reinvents the way electronic music is handled, as we're finally hearing more progressive and elongated explorations blending multiple genres such as Jazz, R&B, World/Ethnic into Dum'n'Bass, Dancehall, and of course, Dubstep. To be completely honest, no other producer could viably release an album as introspective as this into the mainstream, let alone drop it on the dance floor. Skrillex has proven himself an artist—easily 2014's answer to Pet Sounds or Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. Expand
  2. May 11, 2014
    10
    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 mySkrillex 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
  3. Mar 23, 2014
    8
    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 orIn 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.
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  4. Mar 21, 2014
    6
    Recess isn't the stereotypical Skrillex album we all probably expected. Instead, it drops in flavors of club hip-hop, reggae, dubstep, andRecess isn't the stereotypical Skrillex album we all probably expected. Instead, it drops in flavors of club hip-hop, reggae, dubstep, and drum & bass to create a much more eclectic offering. The result is mostly good, but where the Bangarang EP succeeded more was in the hooks that netted Skrillex serious radio play. "Stranger" is a tight hodge-podge of the aforementioned genres. Kill The Noise and Fatman Scoop make the title track perhaps the most Skrillex-like cut on the record and serves as one of the highlights. You'll also find the Alvin Risk collab "Try It Out", originally featured in Call of Duty: Black Ops 2, remixed to mostly good results. The rest of the album does little to really stand out, but there may be a track or two that stand out to one person than the other. I think the only disappointment is that I expected a bit more from a full-length album. Still, I wouldn't consider myself disappointed but rather a bit underwhelmed with the finished product. Expand
  5. Jun 15, 2014
    5
    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. ISo 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
    5
    For an anticipated album, Recess feels underwhelming. Terrible? It depends, if you weren't already converted into the dubstep (ahem,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.
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  7. Mar 21, 2014
    1
    I used to enjoy the creativity of Skrillex's sound. Unfortunately, last summer, I went to a music festival and was sorely disappointed withI 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".
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See all 15 User Reviews