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Free Nationals Image
Metascore
74

Generally favorable reviews - based on 7 Critics What's this?

User Score
5.7

Mixed or average reviews- based on 7 Ratings

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  • Summary: The debut full-length release for the backing band for Anderson .Paak features guest appearances from .Paak , Kadhja Bonet, Daniel Caesar, Callum Connor, Chronixx, Conway, Jid, Miknna, Mac Miller, T. Nava, Benny Sings, Syd, T.I., Kali Uchis, Unknown Mortal Orchestra, Westside Gunn, and Joyce Wrice.
Buy On
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 5 out of 7
  2. Negative: 0 out of 7
  1. Dec 16, 2019
    80
    While various artists-type vehicles do tend to feel disjointed in spots — this one included— the versatility and energy of the Free Nationals is bolstered by their upper tier level of craft, something a lot of backing bands rarely receive credit for. With that in mind, this self-titled outing is a treat.
  2. Q Magazine
    Dec 17, 2019
    80
    Free Nationals say less about the band's identity than it does their taste, skill and curatorial clout--but that's still more than plenty. [Feb 2020, p.112]
  3. Mojo
    Dec 17, 2019
    80
    Free Nationals' blissed-out, woozy slow-jams make for a low-key triumph. [Feb 2020, p.90]
  4. 70
    There’s no doubt about it. Through their brand of R&B, funk and soul, they nod to legends like Stevie Wonder, Parliament-Funkadelic, and others, while putting their own infectious, modern twist on it.
  5. Dec 30, 2019
    64
    There are isolated moments here and there, but even when when they strike an appealing note or two, the Free Nationals never come across as more than a backing band missing its leader.
  6. 60
    The Free Nationals’ supreme musicianship is unquestionable, but they more often than not seem to require an outside presence leading from the front to really bring it all home.
  7. Dec 16, 2019
    60
    While this album’s rotating mic-spot keeps things moving like a playlist, the memorability of these tracks bobs up and down like the waves off the coast of Free Nationals’ native California.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 0 out of 1
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 1
  3. Negative: 1 out of 1
  1. Jan 13, 2020
    3
    This record has the potential to be good, but, every song has similar structures, making the record a bit boring, this feels like "ambientThis record has the potential to be good, but, every song has similar structures, making the record a bit boring, this feels like "ambient music for a store". Expand