The Off-Season Image
Metascore
76

Generally favorable reviews - based on 9 Critic Reviews What's this?

User Score
8.2

Universal acclaim- based on 73 Ratings

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  • Summary: The sixth full-length studio release for the rapper features guest appearances from 21 Savage, 6lack, Bas, Lil Baby, and Morray.
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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 8 out of 9
  2. Negative: 0 out of 9
  1. May 18, 2021
    90
    The hype for his newest album, 'The Off-Season', reached astronomical heights. Fortunately for fans, they did not have to wait long, and the North Carolina rapper did not disappoint.
  2. May 19, 2021
    80
    On “The Off-Season,” he is burnishing a reputation as a lingering titan. If “The Off-Season” is Cole’s first record of The Fall Off Era, he appears far from ready to bow out, nor should he be.
  3. May 24, 2021
    80
    The album is a varied selection with solid performances and production throughout. Much like the title suggests, The Off-Season feels like Cole running through different exercises as he gets in shape for something bigger.
  4. Jun 3, 2021
    76
    Despite the casualness of everything, The Off-Season still earns buckets from the level of microphone craftsmanship he’s developed for himself and the melodies it brings.
  5. Jun 1, 2021
    74
    His performance on The Off-Season will have hip-hop oldheads smiling, nodding, reminiscing on days of old. ... The lack of any poignant through-line either sonically or thematically will have bespectacled journalists shaking their heads and talking about how Kendrick does it better.
  6. May 21, 2021
    70
    Over a tight twelve tracks of nimble songwriting and outstanding composition, J. Cole continues to muse on the themes weaved throughout his discography: life and death, success and lack thereof, the divine and the mortal. He does this with personal and interpersonal anecdotes that are interesting but safe, as he leans into his passion for rap and sport and away from his predilection for social commentary.
  7. 60
    Non-conforming, ‘The Off-Season’ is a little bit off in places and its steadiness can be one-note, but it’s still a strong piece technically. You might not play this album every day, but it would still be a strong record for J. Cole to end on.

See all 9 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 20 out of 22
  2. Negative: 1 out of 22
  1. May 19, 2021
    10
    Man idk what album these critics are listening to. This is a classic rap album from top to bottom. And I’m not even the biggest Cole fan.Man idk what album these critics are listening to. This is a classic rap album from top to bottom. And I’m not even the biggest Cole fan. Just giving credit where it is absolutely due. The raping is phenomenal. Best I’ve heard on a commercial rap project since DAMN. Production is modern yet still fees nostalgic. Very difficult balance but they pulled it off. Track list is short and sweet which keeps the album focused and concise. There is literally not one skip on this project. There is literally something here for everyone. If you not feeling this you don’t know hip-hop, period. These publications need to stop letting journalists who are not Hip-Hop enthusiasts. It’s damaging to the culture. Expand
  2. May 19, 2021
    10
    This is probably the best album of J Coles career. Cole expands his sound on this album more than any other of his career. Lyrical this albumThis is probably the best album of J Coles career. Cole expands his sound on this album more than any other of his career. Lyrical this album is different from other cole album being the album has less of a concept and sounds more like a mixtape. There are still tracks like close and let go my hand that give you that classic j cole story telling but also you have tracks like punching the clock applying pressure 95 that are very bar driven. If you are a fan of punchlines and wordplay then you are gonna love this album. Expand
  3. Jun 5, 2021
    10
    10/10 album for sure. No skip song at all, every one of songs is a banger. classic rap album from top to bottom. And I’m not even the biggest10/10 album for sure. No skip song at all, every one of songs is a banger. classic rap album from top to bottom. And I’m not even the biggest Cole fan Expand
  4. May 24, 2021
    10
    The most exciting and consistent J Cole album I have ever heard, he’s never been at a higher level. Absolutely incredible display of lyricalThe most exciting and consistent J Cole album I have ever heard, he’s never been at a higher level. Absolutely incredible display of lyrical dexterity over perhaps the best production he’s had in his career to date. Expand
  5. May 18, 2021
    9
    Quite possibly the best album of Cole's career. Definitely the most consistent. You can tell from the first song that we're getting aQuite possibly the best album of Cole's career. Definitely the most consistent. You can tell from the first song that we're getting a different J. Cole on this album compared to the past few years. He ditches the half-baked concept narratives of his past couple albums and instead just focuses on doing what he does best—delivering outstanding bars. You can tell that Cole took his time perfecting his flows and lyrics for this album and had fun making it. Production is top-tier, and the return of featured artists is a breath of fresh air too. Who knew, on paper, that Lil Baby could hold his own on a song with Cole? Best hip-hop album of 2021 so far, and will likely still be in the conversation once the year is over. Expand
  6. May 19, 2021
    9
    This Project is by far his best work lyrically bar-for-bar. 11 out of 12 tracks are enjoyable, 100 Mil is the only song that is worth skippingThis Project is by far his best work lyrically bar-for-bar. 11 out of 12 tracks are enjoyable, 100 Mil is the only song that is worth skipping imo.
    Close, The Climb Back, Hunger on the Hillside and Amari are amazing and among his greatest songs.
    Expand
  7. May 19, 2021
    0
    When it comes to "conscious hip-hop", Cole is definitely the most overrated. Simple metaphors and wordplay will have you falling asleep. It'sWhen it comes to "conscious hip-hop", Cole is definitely the most overrated. Simple metaphors and wordplay will have you falling asleep. It's great if you need a nap. Expand

See all 22 User Reviews