Stuck On Nothing


Generally favorable reviews - based on 16 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 13 out of 16
  2. Negative: 0 out of 16
  1. You’d need DNA evidence to separate Free Energy from the influences they’re so clearly in thrall of, but it’s all so blusteringly fun and care-free that they make you feel like a curmudgeon for even contemplating giving a shit.
  2. The reality is Free Energy sound like ’90s rock berks Terrorvision. It’s not all woe--‘Bad Stuff’ is like an FM rock Pavement--but it makes us worry that Murphy might be losing his edge.
  3. Everything pops, but the gloss never makes the songs here feel processed or too glossy. It simply fits them well. And the songs are strong, too.
  4. Stuck on Nothing isn’t going to change rock & roll history even a little, but for a good time, give the album a listen and you won’t be disappointed.
  5. Stuck On Nothing is a boozy, lusty hug of a record--an album so loving and large-hearted that its virtues essentially cancel out its flaws.
  6. The Philly quintet futz with Seventies rock like gearheads restoring an old El Camino.
  7. This is a fun summer record, and just as bitter and conflicted as any fun summer record could be. There is still an art to misanthropy, and Free Energy has it down to a science.
  8. For a debut album oozing with influences, Stuck on Nothing is doubly impressive in the way that it not only makes a definitive mission statement for a truly exciting new band but also manages to keep such a strong sense of itself in spite of itself.
  9. Stuck on Nothin’ might be the first guitar-pop album to sound as good on your hi-fi as it does on your convertible’s speakers (which makes its January release date less unfortunate).
  10. The rest of the album, which was produced by James Murphy of LCD Soundsystem, never quite lives up to that early peak.
  11. Even on tracks that, on the surface, might seem a bit hokey, Free Energy succeeds with loose enthusiasm and unbridled confidence.
  12. Stuck on Nothing opens strong, closes strong, and the intermediate tracks are interesting enough to maintain interest. Free Energy haven’t created anything cataclysmically new, but they have created an entirely likable pop album.
  13. Stuck on Nothing works well as a no-nonsense party album, but Free Energy shows tremendous promise on this debut.
  14. The band’s sheer tenacity gives the tracks a dizzying exuberance, but they don’t quite have the chops to deliver their generation’s “Summer in the City”; tracks like “Dream City” and “Bang Pop” are delightful, but as disposable as cheap plastic sunglasses.
  15. Uncut
    They appropriate Thin Lizzy's strutting grooves and harmonised guitars on "Dream City" and Psychic Lighting," while other tracks gleefullly work in a careening analog synth as if it had just been invented. [Jun 2010, p.86]
  16. Alternative Press
    Refreshingly retro without being anachronistic, Free Energy burst with unironic sun-flecked highs--it's classic rock from 8-track heaven. [Feb 2010, p.93]
User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 8 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 1
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 1
  3. Negative: 0 out of 1
  1. Sep 30, 2010
    One of the best albums of the year, hands down. Glad to hear bands coming out like this that can play their instruments, and form creative,One of the best albums of the year, hands down. Glad to hear bands coming out like this that can play their instruments, and form creative, listenable material. Full Review »