Set 'Em Wild, Set 'Em Free Image
Metascore
78

Generally favorable reviews - based on 25 Critics What's this?

User Score
7.8

Generally favorable reviews- based on 9 Ratings

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  • Summary: This is the first album for the trio since Ryan Vanderhoof left the band in the fall of 2007.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 22 out of 25
  2. Negative: 0 out of 25
  1. Both "Meek Warrior" and "Love Is Simple" are strong albums, but there’s a sense of unfulfillment in them--Akron/Family seems to be testing itself in new areas rather than completing a task. On new album Set ‘Em Wild, Set ‘Em Free, though, that changes, as the band delivers a masterpiece.
  2. This album veers all over the place, but it's united by spotless production, eerie control and a confidence that's well deserved.
  3. Seemingly undaunted, Seth Olinsky, Miles Seaton, and Dana Janssen recruited engineer and co-producer Chris Koltay, and enlisted nine other musicians to create the most far-reaching, margin-breaking set of the band's career to date.
  4. Akron/Family are in a state of constant flux, ever changing, so Set ‘Em Wild, Set ‘Em Free strikes me as no great sea change (no more than usual, anyway). It’s just the latest iteration of a band that’s never twice the same.
  5. It’s a bold album, even in its prettiest, most pastoral moments.
  6. The group stays true to its avant-garde musical roots with Set 'Em Wild, Set 'Em Free, the noisier, louder follow-up to 2007's "Love Is Simple."
  7. What emerges from Set ’em Wild, Set ’em Free is the realization that Akron/Family is maddeningly unknowable and, essentially, a product of all these influences rolled up into one gigantic, take-it-or-leave-it stringball.

See all 25 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 2 out of 3
  2. Negative: 0 out of 3
  1. TJ
    Aug 3, 2009
    9
    While it bored me at times, I believe this is one of their best. Gravelly Mountains of the Moon is a sublime track.
  2. ChristianP.
    May 6, 2009
    9
    one of the best of the year. they've grown immensely.
  3. VaughnA.
    May 27, 2009
    4
    These guys reek of the same kind of, "oh don't you just love what we're doing", bullshit that makes me despise Conor Oberst so These guys reek of the same kind of, "oh don't you just love what we're doing", bullshit that makes me despise Conor Oberst so much. If I want self-adoration I'll go to Bare Naked Ladies concert. Expand