Metascore
62

Generally favorable reviews - based on 16 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 8 out of 16
  2. Negative: 0 out of 16
  1. 80
    The trio have hit their stride with a pop confectioner's treat which melds P-Funk with Shirley Bassey, TSOP soul with Caribbean reggae, and Chic disco with Moby-esque blues riffing.
  2. The spy-music fetish and dubbed-out paranoia of the band's first two albums are traded in for earthy Stax soul and sprightly disco funk, along with plenty of turntable wobbles, wah-wah scratches and analog squiggles...
  3. The disc flirts with dozens of styles, with so much diversity from track to track that the album never quite builds up artistic momentum. But several moments are more than worthy of the band's legacy.
  4. Gone are the trip-hop-skewed beats, gone are the electronica mood swings, and gone is the band's signature downbeat vibe.... In their place are sunny rhythms, buoyant melodies, and hip-twitchin' beats...
  5. The refrains may be featherweight ("You and me were meant to be"), but the musical touches that surround "Love Is Rare" (particularly Ross Godfrey's arching slide-guitar leads) and the dream-cloud vocals of "World Looking In" are strong enough to carry even the tired cliches - rarely has the shallow end sounded so richly appointed.
  6. Despite having gotten a bit too caught up in imitation rather than innovation, the trio have succeeded in making an album that's accessible without compromising their artistry.
  7. With their third album, bijou trippy-hippy souljazzfunksters Morcheeba have let it all hang out - and so all those half-formulated ideas they hadn't the guts to record earlier are here. It's
  8. It seems that the usual brilliant, blunted band has been replaced by an upbeat upstart that's only recently discovered this thing called funk, while also becoming increasingly enamored by rap -- all at the expense of its sultry, seductive star vocalist, Skye Edwards...
  9. Alternative Press
    60
    In place of Morcheeba's poetic brooding is a poppy, chorus-hook-chorus songwriting style that will probably irk a lot of their fans.... From the sounds of it, Morcheeba are going for the teen-pop market... [#146, p.104]
  10. 60
    An album that when all the preconceived notions and over baring expectations are stripped away, boils down to a good old fashioned soul record, filled with all the accoutrements that call to mind the glory days of 60's R&B.
  11. 60
    Unfortunately, a couple of the early tunes are so slick as to lose all feeling, while some of the lyrics are dumber than a doormat, but as party albums go, this will keep you up for a while.
  12. Fragments of Freedom is a consistent and predictable stylistic overhaul into hyphenated hipster pop for people who actually liked Cibo Matto's last album. It fits the form to a T, right down to the brief, pointless Biz Markie cameo.
  13. Unfortunately, their third album Fragments of Freedom scraps most of their signature sound for half-baked experiments in R&B, acid jazz, and hip-hop.
  14. Spin
    40
    Fragments' gives us vacuous, "you go girl" funk that bites Michael Jackson and Grandmaster Flash without either of them biting back.
  15. More than ever, they can be summed up by the epithet "The Brand New Heavies, only a bit more hip hop", peddling a soft kind of soul that fuses old-school influences with feelgood philosophy of the "believe in yourself" variety.
  16. Rarely lifting itself above mere mediocrity the album is no doubt destined to provide background music at thirty-something dinner parties and sedate wine bars.
User Score
6.6

Generally favorable reviews- based on 5 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 4 out of 5
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 5
  3. Negative: 1 out of 5
  1. Elliot
    Sep 18, 2002
    1
    Other than the first track, this album is lacking in nearly every respect. The melodies and harmonies that made their other albums work Other than the first track, this album is lacking in nearly every respect. The melodies and harmonies that made their other albums work magnificently are lost amidst a plethora of cliche-pop-extravaganzas that neither engage nor interest the listener. It represents an unbelievably huge step in the wrong direction. Full Review »