Metascore
75

Generally favorable reviews - based on 21 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 16 out of 21
  2. Negative: 0 out of 21
  1. Dec 7, 2011
    80
    The kinetic, mini-funk monster "Swimsuits" with Mayer Hawthorne puts it over the top, making the long wait forgivable and the album highly recommendable.
  2. Jul 12, 2011
    80
    The surprises of When Fish Ride Bicycles are more subtle than a title like that may suggest, and the influence of Pharrell on the final production even moreso.
  3. Jul 19, 2011
    69
    The Cool Kids have now proven that they can make an album, but they haven't proven that they ever needed to make an album.
  4. Jul 18, 2011
    70
    If the Cool Kids aren't quite as buzzy as they once were, their skills are tighter than ever.
  5. Jul 19, 2011
    58
    Fish feels a little warmed-over.
  6. Jul 11, 2011
    80
    When Fish Ride Bicycles may pay homage to Chicago summers, but this duo rarely break a sweat, rhyming in dulcet tones about designer sneaks and tricked-out GMCs.
  7. 80
    Some could argue that the Cool Kids abandoned their original minimalism on When Fish Ride Bicycles. However, they've contemporized their old-school influences for a wider audience. By incorporating both well-known names and lesser-known artists, the Cool Kids are finally in a position to get major exposure.
  8. Jul 8, 2011
    60
    When Fish Ride Bicycles was probably never going to be as good as hearing "Black Mags" for the first time, but no one could have bet that it would be this boring.
  9. Sep 21, 2011
    60
    While there's nothing wrong with the production displayed on When Fish Ride Bicycles, Inglish laid down the blueprint for supporting this duo so well that the oft busier and more varied work on this outing feels like too much to digest and too much for them to wade through.
  10. Jul 22, 2011
    60
    When Fish Ride Bicycles is like any high school parking lot. There are cool kids, newcomers, wallflowers and seniors that should have graduated last year but decided to stick around because it's still fun and easy.
  11. Jul 12, 2011
    80
    Despite waiting four years since getting noticed, their throwback beats and rhymes still hit things right throughout their LP debut, When Fish Ride Bicycles.
  12. Jul 19, 2011
    63
    When Fish Ride Bicycles doesn't have the same old-school shine to it. Instead it feels caught between a few different directions, as personified by its guest list: Travis Barker, Asher Roth, Bun B, and the irreducible Ghostface Killah. But even with the help, none of the tracks stretch particularly far from the Cool Kids' limited palette.
  13. Overall, When Fish Ride Bicycles won't convert any naysayers, but for both fans and those new to the group, this is a tightly-crafted showcase for the unique sound and style of The Cool Kids.
  14. Jul 13, 2011
    80
    Nothing more than Inglish's beats and Rocks' rapping are needed to prove that When Fish Ride Bicycles was worth the wait.
  15. The biggest problem with When Fish Ride Bicycles is the overall dull presentation and atmosphere.
  16. Aug 9, 2011
    80
    The Cool Kids don't want people debating over the underlying message of every song, picking apart and arguing over every little lyric. Rather, the duo wants listeners to simply sit back and enjoy the ride, and those who do so will almost certainly not be disappointed with the often quirky rhymes and unique production from Chuck and Mikey.
  17. Jul 14, 2011
    63
    It makes for a solid if unremarkable follow-up, the kind of release that buys a little more time for the Cool Kids to live up to their original promise.
  18. Jul 11, 2011
    70
    Despite losing the laser-like focus of their earlier mixtapes, When Fish Ride Bicycles is a fun, well-made album that brings several welcome additions to their catalogue
  19. Jul 14, 2011
    80
    When Fish Ride Bicycles is an energetic and fun summer album with lots of warm-weather references and car talk.
  20. Jul 14, 2011
    81
    Their conversational deliveries and every man personas, cultivated in the often self-effacing world of blog rap sometimes feel small atop sparse, up tempo production clearly inspired by the late '80s when larger than life mic controllers brought the color to often minimalist canvases.
  21. Aug 4, 2011
    70
    There's a fine line between consistency and monotony, so while The Cool Kids' style can, over the course of a project, begin to feel like a drone, these bursts of change keep When Fish Ride feeling fresh.
User Score
8.0

Generally favorable reviews- based on 6 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 1
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 1
  3. Negative: 0 out of 1
  1. Aug 10, 2011
    6
    The album starts out with Rush Hour. It has a tight 80's/early 90's beat filled with clingy vocal breaks. The chorus has a new age style mixed with a sound unique to The Cool Kids. The production from Chuck Inglish stays on the fine line between gritty and minimal. Some tracks such as Boomin' and Bundle Up have the outcome of being minimal, with a repetitive drum loop that may make you want to turn the song. The album at times has the potential to become a influential hip hop staple, but ends up falling short. It fall short in depth and connection. The duo still provides solid tracks have commercial and feel good beats like Rush Hour, Swimsuits, and Summer Jam. With guests of Pharrell Williams of the Neptunes, and Travis Barker, along with appearances from Bun B, Ghostface Killah, Travis Barker, and Asher Roth the album has added appeal and added volume. The highlight is the outro song Summer Jam, partly because of The Neptuneâ Full Review »