Generally favorable reviews - based on 10 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 4 out of 10
  2. Negative: 0 out of 10
Buy On
  1. Q Magazine
    Apr 9, 2013
    This isn't his masterpiece, but it is the unexpected sound of the road of excess leading to the palace of wisdom. [May 2013, p.103]
  2. Apr 8, 2013
    ["Skillzone" is] one the few times the album offers a "punch in the gut." Everything else is more "hands in the air" and from every radio-friendly strain of wonky pop, giving the impression that The Ascent is a mixtape of Wiley features and not a proper album.
  3. Apr 3, 2013
    The Ascent doesn’t actually feel like a Wiley record. That’s mainly because it’s a struggle to find him amongst the gaggle of voices that spit their way across vapid efforts like the Chip and Ms D collaboration ‘Reload’ and the pedestrian Far East Movement-mauled ‘So Alive’.
  4. Uncut
    Apr 2, 2013
    It's the bruised and pensive love songs, such as "Broken Thoughts" and "Ninja," and the sci-fi sleaze of "Chainsaw," that stick and make The Ascent a contrived pop product with its heart and mind intact. [May 20113, p.79]
  5. Apr 2, 2013
    While keeping his music fantastically fresh and of the moment, this often causes a speedy ageing process.
  6. Apr 2, 2013
    It seems boring and a bit lazy to say that Wiley sounds best when he’s still offering up recognisable grime tunes, but it’s undeniable that on The Ascent the strongest of such efforts capture the rapper in his best light.
  7. Apr 2, 2013
    There are legitimate bangers, such as First Class and So Alive, but few of the tracks have that wild Wiley kick, because he hasn't produced any of them.
  8. Only the LP’s soaring ‘Intro’ hints at greatness, and despite the raw talent on display, the dose is diluted and the sum total falls short.
  9. Apr 2, 2013
    There’ve been worse assaults on the ears, that’s for sure. But for fans of the original eski sound, it’s a shame that Wiley has his eyes fixed too intently on his Ascent.
  10. Apr 2, 2013
    There may be a general lack of aggression or grit this time round, but this is more than countered by an impressive selection of songs.
User Score

Mixed or average reviews- based on 6 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 2 out of 6
  2. Negative: 2 out of 6
  1. Jun 8, 2013
    Been a fan of Wiley's for years now and this album does not disappoint.
    Wiley brings back his grime roots on songs like First Class, Chainsaw
    Been a fan of Wiley's for years now and this album does not disappoint.
    Wiley brings back his grime roots on songs like First Class, Chainsaw and Sillzone, has the club raving with Heatwave, Can You Hear Me?, Reload and Lights On and has his own classic ESKIBEAT sound with Humble Pie, Rubicon Ninja and Broken Thoughts. With only one truly shocking song (So Alive) the rest is no more then filler with some current big names (My Heart feat. Emeli Sande & French Montana, Tomorrow feat. Megaman and Hands In The Air feat. Tulisa).
    But the album was well worth the money with well over the majority being a hit with this old Wiley fan and will go down as his album that gave him that icon number one single (Heatwave) and will be a classic in his catalogue of albums.
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