Free Nationals
Free Nationals


4.5
superb

Review

by EK48 USER (3 Reviews)
December 27th, 2021 | 0 replies


Release Date: 2019 | Tracklist


Free Nationals by (you guessed it), Free Nationals. This album is like if DJ Khaled directed an R&B album, but instead of a marketing scheme, it's amazing and full of heart and soul. As to be expected, the Free Nationals are already amazing on their own, and they pack their instrumentals with so much care and goddamn punch. Holy *** this album is literally like if all of my favorite artists threw me a surprise birthday party, hell, I got Daniel Caesar, Anderson Paak, SydTheKid, Benny Sings, Mac Miller, Kali Uchis, JID, and even ***ing Conway The Machine. Add Tyler and Thundercat to this and it's a perfect lineup
The most prominent thing I could see holding this back is yes, a lot of the songs can sound directionless and background music-ish at times, as many of the lyrics and vocals float out of focus, but honestly, it doesn't bother me much, let alone ruin the album, and it's still incredible nonetheless. Every featured artist, from the mainstream to underground, treats their track with complete and utter justice and respect, just getting the goddamn job done, and ***, it's done well. It might take you a few listens to sink into this record, but don't be mistaken or take these songs at face value, they're phenomenal. Albeit, I'm honestly biased, but this album is going to indefinitely roam on my rotation for time and time on, and this truly holds to create an unforgettable modern experience of Funk R&B and Smooth Soul.

Are the lyrics generic? Yeah they are. Most prominent themes inheriting this album include "I can't live without your love", "why are you leaving me" and the dreaded, "I'm awesome". Despite what most might think, I'd actually come to argue that this serves the album beneficially. Part of the reason holds so great on its own is due to its undeniable consistency. You could argue that more diverse lyrics would serve this album astronomically, and although I partially agree, it could also become a distraction to the naturally created flow of the record, and possibly cause many of these songs to drag or overstay their welcome. Alternatively, each feature tells their own story. Each song serves as a chapter, telling quite detailed tales of mostly, yes, love. Each with their own conflicts and resolutions. Each with their own flair and charm. Each defined by the delivery of the featured artist.

Want a break? try Lester Diamond. This groovy and unforgettable interlude simply lets the Free Nationals speak for themself. Do they even need featured artists or even Anderson Paak to show their worth? No. Invigorating keys, mesmerizing drumbeat, flanger guitar, groovy baselines, lead jam synth? what else do you need? Where the album lacks lyrically, it makes up for in its exceptional production.

While some may find this forgettable, I find it to be a groundbreaking crossover made by the funk bizarro clan to BadBadNotGood. It does what it needs to, and then some, and some more, and more. It's subtle enough to play in the background, and captivating enough to stand on its own.

Favorite: Lester Diamond

Least Favorite: Cut Me a Break

9 / 10


user ratings (18)
3.3
great


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