• Record Label: Yep Roc
  • Release Date: Sep 29, 2009
Metascore
77

Generally favorable reviews - based on 11 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 7 out of 11
  2. Negative: 0 out of 11
  1. The Liberty Of Norton Folgate may just be the best thing they have ever recorded.
  2. The true testament to the value of that craft is that The Liberty of Norton Folgate is as rich and rewarding in its deluxe double-disc incarnation as it is in its simpler, single-disc set, something that speaks volumes to the extent of the band's unexpected revitalization here.
  3. Older, wiser and with nothing to lose other than hair, Madness has gone and released an album that’s virtually flawless.
  4. Nutty Boys regain former glories in full.
  5. 80
    Still totally themselves, Madness have made the album of their career. [Jun 2009, p.100]
  6. 80
    The Liberty Of Norton Folgate--a title which makes sense in context but is otherwise unlikely to be jamming up the ringtone sites--is Madness in both their pomp and their prime.
  7. 80
    It all looks backward unabashedly--fitting for a band formed 30-plus years ago--but no less resonant.
  8. The songs are wordy and disappointingly light on the knock 'em dead catchiness that was once their forte, but what The Liberty of Norton Folgate lacks in hit singles it makes up for in glorious ska/reggae arrangements and Suggs's perpetual chirpiness.
  9. Nutty Boys no more, Madness may be big men but, judging by this, not entirely out of shape. [Jun 2009, p.131]
  10. An infectious love for their hometown and a sound that brings in soul, pop ballads, polka, Jamaica and Steely Dan makes this Wikipedia workout actually feel inclusive.
  11. Musically, Madness still trade in pub singalongs powered by ska rhythms and music-hall jollity--but the jollity feels forced, and Suggs’ tired vocals suggest a man going through the motions.

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