Surf Image
Metascore
86

Universal acclaim - based on 17 Critics What's this?

User Score
8.2

Universal acclaim- based on 119 Ratings

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  • Summary: The collaborative debut album from Chance The Rapper with Donnie Trumpet features Peter CottonTale, Nate Fox, and Greg Landfair, Jr., with guest appearances from Erykah Badu, Big Sean, Busta Rhymes, J. Cole, and Janelle Monae.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 17 out of 17
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 17
  3. Negative: 0 out of 17
  1. 91
    The crowd-pleasers are big and full, richly accessible and eccentric at the same time.... And yet even at its most infectious this music can pivot on a dime, emotionally, and the effect is often shattering.
  2. Jun 5, 2015
    90
    It’s a rare record that exists due to the harmonious power of its collaborators, but the reason why it will have a lasting legacy is due to how utterly fresh it feels, making for the rare kind of album that sounds just as accessible on its first listen as it does on its hundredth.
  3. Jun 5, 2015
    88
    Surf integrates a mish-mash of sounds, genres and guests into a relatively coherent whole, textured and nuanced in ways that demand repeat listens.
  4. 83
    There are too many impressive performances on Surf to focus on just one man’s achievements, and Chance has to be proud of that.
  5. Jun 5, 2015
    80
    For all its dabbling in the black arts, Surf does have a few missteps, but they are ephemeral at best.
  6. Jun 5, 2015
    80
    Surf will not be for everyone, but for those seeking a sense of spiritual upliftment and a relaxing summertime soundtrack, Surf is the wave you’ve been looking for.
  7. Jun 5, 2015
    70
    Much of the album is frenetic--full of bodies and larger-than-life. But the muted and downcast moments end up being memorable, tender and affecting.

See all 17 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 5 out of 9
  2. Negative: 0 out of 9
  1. Jul 16, 2015
    10
    This album is incredible.

    Surf, as Chance has said, is not a Chance the Rapper album. It is a Donnie Trumpet album featuring The Social
    This album is incredible.

    Surf, as Chance has said, is not a Chance the Rapper album. It is a Donnie Trumpet album featuring The Social Experiment. So you're listening to a jazz trumpet album with notable HipHop influences. It's brilliant.

    Live instrumentation, deep chord progressions and wonderful writing. They meshed with Busta Rhymes, Big Sean, Erykah Badu, J. Cole and D.R.A.M. as if they too were a part of the Social Experiment. Literally one of the best albums I've heard this decade.

    I see people complaining about Caretaker (which is one of my favorite songs on the album) or Warm Enough (transitions perfectly from the hyper Slip N Slide). But it's the role that these songs play when listening to the album as a whole that help the "Wanna Be Cool" and the "Go" sound so colorful. Its really a carefully constructed, beautiful album.

    Bravo!
    Expand
  2. Sep 23, 2015
    8
    I welcome something this unique in 2015. I never really understood the hype associated with this album, however. I think Surf is aI welcome something this unique in 2015. I never really understood the hype associated with this album, however. I think Surf is a consistently above-average indie hip hop album with a few elite moments. It's ambitious, yet bland. The message is great, but the delivery is a little flawed on many songs. Trimming the album down to 10 or 11 tracks would have greatly helped focus the concept of the album. ~ 7.9/10
    Best track: "Windows" (feat. Raury & BJ the Chicago Kid)
    Other notable tracks: "Go", "Sunday Candy" & "Pass The Vibes"
    Expand
  3. Jun 9, 2015
    8
    Its occasionally borderline kitsch aesthetic and sugary delivery will deter some, but there are enough solid verses and clever arrangementsIts occasionally borderline kitsch aesthetic and sugary delivery will deter some, but there are enough solid verses and clever arrangements throughout to satisfy anyone.

    The best tween album ya ever did hear, it's also for the tween in all of us.
    Expand
  4. Jun 6, 2015
    8
    One thing that listeners must take to mind prior to listening to this album is that Surf definitely does not centre around Chance The RapperOne thing that listeners must take to mind prior to listening to this album is that Surf definitely does not centre around Chance The Rapper and thus takes it's own fusion of rap, funk, soul, jazz (and many other genres) to be quite different to the type of rap music found on his previous record Acid Rap. However, once this is taken to mind, wonderful live instrumentation and good vibes all around can be heard with this album and it proves to be a great listen. Perhaps the only flaws of this album is that it isn't necessarily innovative or mind - blowing musically, production - wise or in a lyrical sense. Despite this, The Social Experiment has crafted a wonderful album that holds the listeners attention from start to finish and the surprise features on this album truly steal the show on the tracks that they are featured on. This album makes me excited for anything The Social Experiment has to offer in the future and it raises the anticipation for the solo album that Chance will release some time in the near future. Expand
  5. Oct 1, 2015
    5
    This album had a ton of potential but this was just very bland and boring. I just did not seem to be very interested in any of the songs onThis album had a ton of potential but this was just very bland and boring. I just did not seem to be very interested in any of the songs on this album. Thank God this album was free on iTunes, because if it wasn't, I would be asking for my money back. This isn't the worst music I have listened to, but it is definitely not great music. Expand
  6. Jun 14, 2015
    5
    Even though Chance the Rapper said from the beginning that this isn't his album and that he won't be featured on this record as much as weEven though Chance the Rapper said from the beginning that this isn't his album and that he won't be featured on this record as much as we expected him to be, I cannot help but have this thought in the back of my mind while listening to this record. People would tell me it would be unfair to compare this record to an album like Undun by the Roots, another hip hop band. But I think it is fair, as Chance is one of the most exciting young rappers as of late. But while this is an ambitious record with a lot more instrumentation than other hip hop records, it doesn't come without it's failures, which I hear in many parts over this record. While I won't question Chance's top fans to exclaim about the "good vibes" that the album brings, sometimes musically and focus wise The Social Experiment falls short. Fantastic songs like "Slip Slide", "Familiar", and "Sunday Candy" standout much more than they should, because the album should've been a lot more of these kinds of songs. The band playing as a strong ensemble bringing out the best of all the members of the group. But In many parts of the album I simply see many examples of a failure of building off of melodies, such as in songs like "Cool", "Caretaker", "Just Wait" and "Questions". Many of these tracks also are completely watered down by the amount of features all over this record. It was so watered down that J. Cole didn't even stand out to me, because there were just too many verses from so many people all over the place. I didn't hate this record. I respect the creativity the group has come up with on this record. But unfortunately, for the amount of time I was anticipating this record, it was a disappointment for me. But I still see potential in these young musicians still in their young 20s, and while they have a lot to learn, I'll still be listening to their next release. Expand
  7. Jan 13, 2016
    4
    This is boring af ....................................................................................................................................

See all 9 User Reviews

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