• Record Label:
  • Release Date:
Friends That Break Your Heart Image
Metascore
79

Generally favorable reviews - based on 14 Critic Reviews What's this?

User Score
8.8

Universal acclaim- based on 20 Ratings

Your Score
0 out of 10
Rate this:
  • 10
  • 9
  • 8
  • 7
  • 6
  • 5
  • 4
  • 3
  • 2
  • 1
  • 0
  • 0
  • Summary: The fifth full-length studio release for the British singer-songwriter features guest appearances from JID, Monica Martin, SwaVay, and SZA.
Buy Now
Buy on
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 14 out of 14
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 14
  3. Negative: 0 out of 14
  1. 100
    Familiar emotionally yet revelatory in its execution, the album sees Blake sing about mundane, almost incidental upsets that sting harder than they should. Piercing lyrics are matched by innovative, fearless production.
  2. Oct 8, 2021
    93
    “Friends That Break Your Heart” is Blake’s best and most refined album to date, one that finds him further down the several paths he’s somehow simultaneously following: more conventional and more disruptive, prettier and more disturbing, all at the same time.
  3. Oct 8, 2021
    90
    His shifts in sound are as delicate as his music, continuing to showcase his ability to blur styles with unparalleled precision.
  4. Oct 8, 2021
    75
    Love is messy, and friendship can be even messier. With this album, James Blake succeeds in tapping into the ways that these emotions can be tangled together, for better or for worse.
  5. Oct 11, 2021
    70
    Sounding like it was created from the other side of the crushing sadness that defined his earliest work, the album continues Blake's incremental shift to lighter material and songs that lean more into acceptance than torment.
  6. Uncut
    Oct 8, 2021
    70
    Blake's fragmented post-dubstep has always had an air of bleak melancholy, but nothing he's done has been quite as self-consciously miserable as this. [Nov 2021, p.25]
  7. Oct 8, 2021
    66
    Even if the music remains more ambitious than that aspiration, perhaps the most groundbreaking thing about Friends That Break Your Heart is that James Blake has never sounded so safe.

See all 14 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 6 out of 6
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 6
  3. Negative: 0 out of 6
  1. Oct 9, 2021
    10
    Everything about this album is incredible. The production, the melodies, his vocal performances, the concept, everything.
  2. Oct 8, 2021
    9
    I'm mesmerized by James falsetto and brilliant production. Throughout the album, he is dwelling about nostalgia, sadness, anguish and a tinyI'm mesmerized by James falsetto and brilliant production. Throughout the album, he is dwelling about nostalgia, sadness, anguish and a tiny little bit of optimism into beautiful messages around the main idea "In the end, it was friends that break your heart". The sound is gloomy and slow as typical James but we can see some experimentation on hip hop beats, well orchestrated pop and very interesting collaborations to change things up a little. I would not say this is his best work yet (maybe behind Overgrown) but this sounds very mature and honest. Expand
  3. Oct 8, 2021
    9
    Best of his carreer since the debut in 2011, the sound is refined, the atmosphere is the perfect defenition of pandemic era in eletronicBest of his carreer since the debut in 2011, the sound is refined, the atmosphere is the perfect defenition of pandemic era in eletronic ballads, with a beautiful voice and awesome piano w/ synths Expand
  4. Oct 8, 2021
    9
    Too early to say whether if it's his best work yet, but many will be certain it's his most solid one since Overgrown, including myself. ThanksToo early to say whether if it's his best work yet, but many will be certain it's his most solid one since Overgrown, including myself. Thanks to the lyrical content and the color palette of its production, the album feels mature yet playful, digressive yet sincere, escapist yet somehow straightforward. Does it actually matter having impostor's syndrome when you're still this talented and relevant? Friends that Break Your Heart is Blake saying (indirectly?) IT DOES NOT. Plus, I consider Say What You Will is even more of a poignant statement and more of a beautiful and unique song in context of the whole tracklist. Footnote: If I'd give an award to best album cover of the year, this one would have strong chances of winning; the metaphor within the image and its aesthetic communicate the album's world perfectly. Expand
  5. Oct 13, 2021
    7
    It was a solid body of work but as a listener u keep craving more from the melodramatic synth strings 2 the soothness in mr blakes voice heIt was a solid body of work but as a listener u keep craving more from the melodramatic synth strings 2 the soothness in mr blakes voice he has driven himself 2 the top and back 2 his roots but then again what more does he have 2 say that hasent been said since his earliest works looking forward 2 more but in the meantike he has 2 expand on a new wide range of idea's h
    Even when he reminds me of john legend and fka twigs he's. Hes himself in every way as a artist and a artist that defines electronic music who knows were else loves will take him one can only hope it's greater and expansive than. This
    Expand
  6. Oct 14, 2021
    7
    I'm intrigued by the genre of this album, or how many voices I can hear on each song. The only certainty is that James Blake is unique; II'm intrigued by the genre of this album, or how many voices I can hear on each song. The only certainty is that James Blake is unique; I don't have doubts. The invitations were accurate. The production, confusing. The passion, penetrating as exquisite.

    fav tracks: "Coming Back", "Life Is Not The Same", "Friends That Break Your Heart", "Foot Forward" & "Funeral"
    KEY-TRACK: "If I'm Insecure"
    Expand