Universal acclaim - based on 30 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 28 out of 30
  2. Negative: 0 out of 30
Buy On
  1. Oct 9, 2013
    While each song has a solid musical backbone, it’s Brown’s narratives that make the most profound impact, and move the album forward.
  2. 91
    One thing you should never underestimate, though, is the power of a good story, and Danny Brown has a wealth of them, which makes Old not just the best hip-hop album of the year--but a major factor in every discussion of album of the year.
  3. Entertainment Weekly
    Sep 30, 2013
    Old positively vibrates with Brown's nasally helter-skelter energy. [4 Oct 2013, p.64]
  4. Oct 22, 2013
    As a rap record, it excels.
  5. Oct 21, 2013
    Old is all about developing the character of one very conflicted dude, and to me that’s its crowning achievement; it’s not his “split personalities” as much as the inner turmoils that fizz around within any complex character, but which you hardly ever hear so convincingly captured on a single record.
  6. Oct 7, 2013
    While Old often seems like a hip-hop kaleidoscope exploding across the speakers, it's also crafted and paced, split down the middle like a great LP with a sure start and a freeing finish.
  7. Oct 7, 2013
    Old is Brown’s best work. Complex beyond its two-sided structure, it is filled with narratives that collide, sentiments that conflict and resolutions that come to nothing.
  8. Danny Brown is taking the route everyone wants an artist to take: putting out forward thinking, self-expressing art that is setting the bar rather than merely attempting to reach it.
  9. Oct 8, 2013
    He has wound up producing an album that transcends much of the typical hype bullshit and seems destined to stand as a unifying record, leaving no one asking for Danny Brown’s resume when he receives his share of the spotlight, making his sense of humor an ingredient rather than the whole meal.
  10. Oct 3, 2013
    It's the humblest and most powerful wish I've heard on a record all year.
  11. Nov 14, 2013
    Intelligent earnest lyricism, raw subject matter, exquisite minimalist production, and bombastic thrills. Old doesn't sound like anything approaching a conventional hip-hop record--and in a year when the majority of rap's big hitters failed to deliver, it couldn't feel more indispensable.
  12. Oct 15, 2013
    Brown's self-awareness of his situation doesn't seem to have made him alter his intake. At least it has allowed him to make an incredible album.
  13. 85
    Old provides expository context and an origin story of sorts for that voice.
  14. Uncut
    Oct 31, 2013
    His guttural, rat-tat flow is raw and unleavened, but it's the way he uses it--in flights of fancy and feats of mischief--that's truly the nub of his appeal. [Dec 2013, p.66]
  15. Oct 21, 2013
    With all these styles packed in tight, Old ends up being a maybe-inadvertent career retrospective for Mr. Brown, echoing his speedy and jagged evolution over the past few years.
  16. Oct 8, 2013
    At 19 tracks, Old can get a little taxing, as if Brown, in an effort to be expansive, just decided to be everything all at once.... But you’ll forget about that once you realize that Handstand‘s beat is a dizzying tornado of synth and buzz that’s unlike anything you’ve heard before.
  17. Oct 8, 2013
    Proving himself one of today’s most flexible emcees, Old’s back end is Brown’s furthest departure from straightforward Rap to date, with him successfully adapting to faster 4/4 tempos reflective of the more erratic subject matter.
  18. Oct 8, 2013
    While there’s certainly something thrilling about the wild, back-and-forth rollercoaster ride of listening to a Danny Brown album, in the end the grandest triumphs of Danny’s work are the myriad revelations gained from how the seemingly contradictory elements of these dualities interact with one another.
  19. 80
    He’s still a countercultural figure himself, veritably, but he’s achieved self-actualization. Old won’t let you forget it.
  20. 80
    It’s an album that feels measured and well timed and yet avoids sounding over-polished or awkwardly stage-managed.
  21. Oct 2, 2013
    It isn't traditionally enjoyable, and it isn't supposed to be.... It's the most daring record he could've made.
  22. Oct 2, 2013
    Brown displays real bravery in his willingness to merge the sacred with the profane, the independent with the arena-ready, the old with the new.
  23. Oct 1, 2013
    What unifies the album is the superb production, which marries indie-rock values to street-rap style.
  24. Sep 30, 2013
    Old is a post-fame album done right.
  25. 80
    Tracks like 'Torture' borrow far too liberally from A$AP Rocky's cloud-rap aesthetic to be considered original. But otherwise, Old is a perfect example of why 2013 is a very exciting time for hip-hop.
  26. Oct 10, 2013
    You can feel Danny Brown flexing his rap muscles more than anything here, challenging himself to find new ways to describe the same things over and over. And, even if the returns are modest, he does succeed.
  27. Oct 7, 2013
    The production is vivid, trippy and abrasive, bleeding the line between hip-hop and EDM--a sound as compellingly haywire as Brown is an MC.
  28. Oct 2, 2013
    It’s clear Danny is dealing with some demons, but his issues don’t dampen the mood.
  29. Oct 3, 2013
    Throughout, his rhymes hit the mark, whether he’s painting a bleak picture of the Detroit streets, battling his own demons (loneliness, molly, more molly) or rapping at length about drug-dealing without glorifying it Rick Ross-style.
  30. The Wire
    Dec 11, 2013
    This strained affair makes the party rocking simplicity of 2 Chainz or even LMFAO look absolutely artful. Brown's too smart to make music this dumb effectively. [Nov 2013, p.66]
User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 158 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 3 out of 158
  1. Dec 4, 2013
    Too many hipsters posting reviews. The fact is the first side is deep, the second side is dope. One pushes the mind to the limit with itsToo many hipsters posting reviews. The fact is the first side is deep, the second side is dope. One pushes the mind to the limit with its lyricism and intense story telling, it pushes emotions with its down to earth roots. The second half pushes hip-hop as a music genre to the limit with its twisted edm influenced trap beats, Dip sounds like a club banger from the future. The second half listen to when you party, listen to it when you are on your own, its still great, you aren't looking for lyricism on those songs, you are looking for flows, and verbal attacks (hence Scrufizzer as a feature, the unique beat choices. The first half just happens to also be produced extremely will for what it is. Full Review »
  2. Oct 9, 2013
    Danny Brown mixes the old with the new, and breaks more electro and indie boundaries to re-create Hip Hop as an overall Multi-Genre, whileDanny Brown mixes the old with the new, and breaks more electro and indie boundaries to re-create Hip Hop as an overall Multi-Genre, while keeping his personality in balance with his voice.
    Arguably best Hip Hop Album of the year, but for sure Danny's best project of his career so far.
    Full Review »
  3. Oct 8, 2013
    Overall, a really good album. I am not a big Danny Brown guy at all and am generally annoyed by his voice, but here, he largely seems to rapOverall, a really good album. I am not a big Danny Brown guy at all and am generally annoyed by his voice, but here, he largely seems to rap normally and when he does, it is incredibly effective. It is so effective, in fact, that I sort of liked it when he rapped in his silly, crazy voice that he so frequently uses. I was quite impressed by this album as a whole and it is most definitely a very good project. In my eyes, Danny Brown took major steps forward with this album. Full Review »