FIDLAR
Almost Free


2.0
poor

Review

by QuinnObropta USER (25 Reviews)
January 25th, 2019 | 21 replies


Release Date: 2019 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Almost Free is almost a disaster.

Fidlar has been my, and many others’, go to guilty pleasure band for years. Their self-titled debut, while packed with enjoyable songs, was downright exhausting to listen to even when under the influence. The follow-up, Too, was just a handful of great songs trying to hold up a poor overall album. With a four-year gap between that and Almost Free, it was anybody’s guess what this new chapter of the band would bring.

But holy shit, Fidlar has not changed at all.

Almost Free is everything someone would come to expect from a Fidlar album: it’s weird without being creative or unique, it’s grungy without being memorable, and it’s loud without being enjoyable. No song demonstrates this better than the near-hopeless opener “Get Off My Rock,” which boasts abysmal lyrics and vocal melodies crashing over awful production. This isn’t the only embarrassingly bad track present, as songs like “Nuke” and “Kick” bring out some of the worst of Fidlar. These three tracks are easily among the worst music the band has ever let the public hear.

Not every track is hopeless, but this only serves to build my frustration with the end result. Lead single “Can’t You See” is an absolute banger from the moment it starts to the moment it ends. It’s catchy and sassy and all around amazing to listen to. While it is the only song on the entire record that I would describe as outstanding regardless of whether or not the listener is a Fidlar fan, tracks “By Myself and “Alcohol” will do a solid job of reminding long-time listeners why they fell in love with the band in the first place. While “By Myself” has too many weird interludes and “Alcohol” has an embarrassing chorus, they serve their purpose are among the higher end of Almost Free.

The worst thing that Fidlar could have done is sell out. They could have abandoned their sound entirely and resorted to appealing to the mainstream. Now I love Elvis; he has shown himself to be a great singer and songwriter both on this album and in previous ones, but two of his tracks fall completely flat that it’s almost funny. “Scam Likely” is devoid of any personality at all, and “Flake,” while more enjoyable than the previous song mentioned, is the musical equivalent of riding an escalator. Elvis isn’t the only band member taking the uniqueness out of the sound, as Zac’s song “Called You Twice” sounds like if Fidlar wrote, “Hey There Delilah.” This track could’ve been significantly better if the chorus wasn’t so bad. Zac’s voice sounds like it’s about to crack with every note, and not in a good way.

Fortunately, the last two tracks on the record almost save the entire thing. “Thought. Mouth.” is a really great track and a pretty nice listen throughout, and closer “Good Times Are Over” is also pretty good, although it has a few moments worthy of an eye-roll. These two tracks, while not anything groundbreaking for the band, do capture what I hoped I would get walking into this album.

Overall, Almost Free is the sound of a band having fun while making no attempt to transfer that fun to the listener. It is headache inducing, loud, and childish, but it also has a lot of moments where the band reminds the listener of what they are capable of. The instruments are all serviceable; nothing is so bad that it needs to be called out but at no point is Max’s drumming or Brandon’s bass playing notable in any way. Fidlar fans would get a kick out of some of the tracks here, and “Can’t You See” is going to be the anthem of the summer, but in the end, Almost Free is almost a disaster.



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user ratings (35)
Chart.
2.4
average
other reviews of this album
zachrEEEEEEEEE (1.5)
Every song on this album sounds like it came from an entirely different album, none of those albums ...

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FIDLAR

Too


Comments:Add a Comment 
JayEnder
January 25th 2019


3134 Comments


Get Off My Rock was trash and completely squandered my interest in listening to the rest.

Digging: American Football - American Football (LP3)

QuinnObropta
January 25th 2019


127 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5 | Sound Off

Yeah it sucks when the opener is also one of the worst songs they've ever made

JayEnder
January 25th 2019


3134 Comments


Indeed. I think the only song I ever really dug by these guys was Awkward.

btw good review man

Minushuman24
January 25th 2019


2136 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

I actually really don't mind "Get Off My Rock". It's not great, but I wouldn't say it's anywhere near the worst track on this record. The only two songs that I could say are great are "Can't You See" and "Thought. Mouth".

QuinnObropta
January 25th 2019


127 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5 | Sound Off

Agree hard on the only two great songs being those two

Slex
January 25th 2019


6174 Comments

Album Rating: 1.0

Had never listened to this band and listened to the single for this and it was so grating and bafflingly awful

Digging: Shin Guard - 2020

IAMERROR
January 26th 2019


328 Comments


Self-titled bangs. Awkward is a slapper and Alcohol is a good single as well. They put on a great live show.

I'm hesitant to check out this new album now. D:

WhiteNoise
January 26th 2019


3627 Comments


I feel like I’m the only person that loves too but didn’t enjoy their first album much.
Unfortunately this one kinda sucks. Too Real is fun but nothing else here sticks.

iGuter
January 26th 2019


415 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Well written, but I couldn't disagree more.

IAMERROR
January 26th 2019


328 Comments


This album is fun, ya'll are just boring at parties.

McTime50
January 26th 2019


832 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

yeah this shit bangs what are you dudes on about

McTime50
January 26th 2019


832 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

the way the closer changes keys holy fuck

SandwichBubble
January 27th 2019


9344 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

I'm still feeling a bit embarrassed over how much I enjoyed the whiny parts of "Too" so I'm gonna hold off on this.

Digging: Hall of Fame - Hall of Fame

Minushuman24
January 27th 2019


2136 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Too rules man

SandwichBubble
January 27th 2019


9344 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

It really doesn't

But I can't deny it had that snotty skate brat feel down. Only works for some of the songs though.



Kind of scared to listen to this, I'll be honest.

IAMERROR
January 27th 2019


328 Comments


Half this album straight bangs while the other half is eh, but not, like, terrible. It would be great for background party music throughout. I get some mild Cage the Elephant and Jack White vibes at times.

I recommend: Can't You See, By Myself, Alcohol, Called You Twice, Too Real, Thought. Mouth. & Good Times Are Over.

Conmaniac
Contributing Reviewer
January 27th 2019


24349 Comments


yeah figured this wouldn't be great...

McTime50
January 27th 2019


832 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

its fun.



F U N

QuinnObropta
January 28th 2019


127 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5 | Sound Off

Though. Mouth. is a banger but yeah my review and rating still stands pretty strong after a few more listens



SandwichBubble
February 2nd 2019


9344 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

That one exiled 4.5...

bless 'em.



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