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Universal Pulse Image
Metascore
57

Mixed or average reviews - based on 6 Critics What's this?

User Score
5.8

Mixed or average reviews- based on 10 Ratings

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  • Summary: The reggae-inspired rockers return with their 10th studio album, produced by Bob Rock.
  • Record Label: ATO
  • Genre(s): Rap, Rap-Metal, Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Alternative Pop/Rock, Heavy Metal, Rap-Rock, Funk Metal
  • More Details and Credits »
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 2 out of 6
  2. Negative: 0 out of 6
  1. 70
    Universal Pulse is the band's best release since 2001′s From Chaos.
  2. 67
    No hooks on their 10th album are big enough to snag newbies, though melancholy anthem "Weightless" comes closest. [29 Jul 2011, p.72]
  3. Jul 19, 2011
    60
    On its 10th studio album, 311 perhaps was aiming for familiarity yet falls short at tepid.
  4. Sep 22, 2011
    60
    311 saves the best for last with the last quarter of the album.
  5. Jul 21, 2011
    50
    Universal Pulse can be wearying even at its half-hour length.
  6. Aug 1, 2011
    40
    On album number (gulp) 10, 311 are still really freaking psyched to be 311.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 2 out of 4
  2. Negative: 0 out of 4
  1. Mar 13, 2012
    7
    After their release of "Uplifter" in 2009, expectations for this album were EXTREMELY low. Almost didn't waste my time downloading it forAfter their release of "Uplifter" in 2009, expectations for this album were EXTREMELY low. Almost didn't waste my time downloading it for free and listening to it, but i'm glad i did. Maybe it seemed better to me because of my low, or possibly complete lack of expectation for this album, but overall i think it was well put together and definitely their best release since "Evolver" in '03. While it was very short, and still not back to their "old style" i feel as if they did a better job of embracing their evolving style of music than they had with their previous release. The members are getting older and have families now, their views on life change and as that happen their style of music changes as is seen with many artists. This album put together a few quality songs and overall it was satisfactory. Expand
  2. Sep 29, 2011
    7
    While not phenomenal, and on the short side, far superior to 2009's wretched Uplifter. And honestly, that might have been enough to put aWhile not phenomenal, and on the short side, far superior to 2009's wretched Uplifter. And honestly, that might have been enough to put a smile on my face. Expand
  3. Nov 9, 2012
    4
    311's new album feels dazed and distant. It doesn't connect with its listeners. Maybe ten albums is enough.
  4. Jul 19, 2011
    4
    311's Presale Site delivered copies early so I have been fortunately (perhaps unfortunate) to have this album since Friday (7/15/11). As a311's Presale Site delivered copies early so I have been fortunately (perhaps unfortunate) to have this album since Friday (7/15/11). As a fan of 311 since 1993, I'm very disappointed in the direction the band has been going. First of all, one should know this is the shortest "full" release 311 has ever come out with, comprised of only 8 songs and clocking in at a total running time of 29 minutes, 46 seconds. Any other band would have called this an EP and priced it accordingly. I honestly can't help but wonder what happened to the band that gave us albums like Transistor where they billed it as a "double album" of 21 tracks to give value to the fans. Secondly, this "album" is mostly forgettable, typical, pop-rock tracks that are full of filler verses that are often repeated, and filler choruses that are simply sounds or one, or two word, stanzas that are repeated several times (count how many times the word "Weightless" is said on the song of the same name - it makes up half of the lyrics). A lot of the trademarked 311 "funk" is either completely subdued or completely absent. Once again, SA Martinez plays the role of vocalist and hardly does any rhyming - and when he does, it's weak because the lyrics are weak. The album feels slapped together, as if it's a cash grab, trying to get one summer season's worth of play before being taken out of one's playlist and forgotten. This is nothing like old school 311 and anyone who says otherwise has clearly not listened to "Music", "Grassroots", or even "311 (The Blue Album)" in a number of years. On those albums, SA Martinez actually rhymes with force and authority, Nick Hexum flows both hard and mellow, the funk flows throughout, and the lyrics are (mostly) well thought out and meaningful. "Universal Pulse", however, is just like "Uplifter" and "Don't Tread on Me" before it - ultimately forgettable and destined for top 40 radio play in a month or two.

    If you MUST have any of these new songs and want the best the album has to offer, save your money and just buy "Time Bomb", "Sunset In July", and "Count Me In" as individual tracks. The rest simply aren't worth the purchase price.
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