Metascore
89

Universal acclaim - based on 16 Critic Reviews

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 16 out of 16
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 16
  3. Negative: 0 out of 16
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  1. Sep 8, 2022
    100
    Even when Parks tries on different hats, Natural Brown Prom Queen still manages to feel cohesive and genuine. ... Meanwhile, songs like “Ciara” and “Freakalizer” feel like hits ahead of their time.
  2. Sep 12, 2022
    90
    Building in the steps of Black women and their sonic architecture, Natural Brown Prom Queen thrives on improvisation, daring lyricism, and technical ingenuity.
  3. Sep 9, 2022
    90
    As a vocalist, Parks shows even greater versatility, matching modes ranging from breathy siren to tough MC with productions that dish out flickering electronics, atmospheric breaks, blown-out trap, and knocking hip-hop soul. Resilience, joy, and power emanate from all of it.
  4. Uncut
    Sep 7, 2022
    90
    Natural Brown Prom Queen revels in ear-catching beats and hooks while still maintaining Parks’ mile-a-minute rate of musical ideas. [Oct 2022, p.34]
  5. Sep 9, 2022
    85
    Parks has made her most undeniable statement yet, an album full of uplifting and mesmerizing neo-classics that will fit right in the hearts and minds of the thousands it will touch.
  6. Sep 13, 2022
    80
    Along with a numble of likeminded producers to help fulfill her vision, Parks comes across as an open book, delivering a lushly atmospheric portrayal of a woman who takes pleasure in living in the moment.
  7. Sep 12, 2022
    80
    Sudan Archives is proving that she is an artist who knows no bounds, and projects like this one are what is going to propel her further into acclaim and stardom.
  8. Sep 12, 2022
    80
    If the sound of Beyoncé‘s similarly sonically adventurous Renaissance whetted your appetite for challenging, demanding soul, then Sudan Archives’ latest could be just what you’re looking for.
  9. Sep 9, 2022
    80
    There is a certain struggle to be found in these songs but it is hidden underneath her self-assured cadence. Her storytelling on this album is direct and authentic and introduces us to a new side of Archives’ creative personality.
  10. 80
    While this album invigorates and intrigues, in future I would hope to hear her expand lyrically, while exploring the hauntingly melancholic sounds her violin can produce. For now, at least, the defiant joy her work evokes is a stimulating jolt to the senses.
  11. Mojo
    Sep 7, 2022
    80
    A bold sequel whose charms unravel further with each listen. [Oct 2022, p.84]
  12. 80
    Over Natural Brown Prom Queen’s 53 minutes and 18 tracks, the Cincinnati-born Parks displays her compositional skills, penchant for winning melodies, and versatility as a performer. Most strikingly, the set documents Parks as she integrates myriad approaches, balancing discipline and the hedonistic impulse.
  13. Sep 7, 2022
    80
    Natural Brown Prom Queen is somewhat overstuffed with both tracks and ideas, and the album's chaotic, sometimes hurried nature doesn't always work to its advantage. But even if censoring herself a bit more would've made for a more concise project, the album is nonetheless a captivating glimpse into Sudan Archives' artistic palette.
  14. 80
    As woozy and restless as these multipart productions are, she packs in plenty of sticky stuff: melodies, hooks, insistent figures.
  15. Sep 9, 2022
    76
    Sometimes, the album switches styles so quickly, you can practically hear Parks tiring of one toy, dropping it and moving on to the next one that catches her eye. This is not necessarily a bad thing; NBPQ is as thrilling as it is, at times, jarring.
  16. Sep 7, 2022
    70
    ‘Natural Brown Prom Queen’ is Sudan Archives’ most accessible record to date. An unashamedly brash and confident one, but much more subtle and realistic. Rumbling beats, smooth R&B grooves, with just a touch of the experimental. Yet, in opening itself wider, it loses some of the sharp idiosyncrasies that made the early material so exciting.

Awards & Rankings

User Score
8.7

Universal acclaim- based on 11 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 10 out of 11
  2. Negative: 0 out of 11
  1. Sep 9, 2022
    7
    Impressive personal statement that sees Sudan elevate nor only as a singer but as a songwriter and violinist. The clash of **** grooves andImpressive personal statement that sees Sudan elevate nor only as a singer but as a songwriter and violinist. The clash of **** grooves and airy rnb highness in a foundation of deep stamping beats and layering. This album is a manifesto of femininity, dependent independence and joy. Definitely AOTY contender. Full Review »
  2. Sep 29, 2022
    10
    No albums this summer have quite distracted me from my other listening as NBPQ has. It is a truly incredible follow-up to Athena, featuringNo albums this summer have quite distracted me from my other listening as NBPQ has. It is a truly incredible follow-up to Athena, featuring her most audacious and daring lyrics that exude a confidence that is so satisfying to see. Straddling the sexy/sultry, fun, and emotional - all within a wholly unique and impeccably manicured sound world - NBPQ is a stellar display of her sprawling skill. "Milk Me," "Loyal (EDD)," and "ChevyS10" are my personal standouts, but you can't go wrong with any of them. Full Review »
  3. Sep 24, 2022
    8
    I really like this one. It’s a very smooth album, and I love how well the songs flow together. Overall a great album for easy listening, and II really like this one. It’s a very smooth album, and I love how well the songs flow together. Overall a great album for easy listening, and I would personally recommend it to those who haven’t heard it. Full Review »