Free Love

Sylvan Esso - Free Love
Critic Score
Based on 12 reviews
2020 Ratings: #474 / 794
User Score
Based on 127 ratings
2020 Ratings: #466
Liked by 4 people
September 25, 2020 / Release Date
LP / Format
Loma Vista / Label
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The Line of Best Fit
It’s the pair’s most cohesive body of work yet, and despite its more left-field moments, possibly their most accessible.
Consequence of Sound
Throughout the album, Meath’s wistfully accentuated tone is made to shine by Saban’s production, so seamlessly bouncing off each other it’s as if they’re coming up for air at the same time.
There’s something in the way Sylvan Esso craft their music, weaving folksy melodies and acoustic instruments with synths and 808s, that feels like exactly what pop music should be: punchy and pure.
The Young Folks

There are handfuls of treasure to be dug up on Free Love, although the gold may not shine as bright as you expect it to on its first appearance.

Northern Transmissions
Sylvan Esso has created an incredibly interesting album that sees unconventional sounds come together to form a type of sonic balance and continuity.
Beats Per Minute
It’s sometimes refreshing to hear them lean into their minimalist instincts a little more this time around, but often there’s just a bit of weight missing from the bones.

All of Sylvan Esso's strengths are on display here -- fidgety loops, heartfelt melodies, spectral sound collages, and lyrics that feel both inscrutable and homespun -- but where previous efforts administered fast-acting dopamine hits like "Coffee," "Radio," and "Die Young," the more measured Free Love reveals its understated splendor over time.

Unsurprisingly, this new arrangement smooths out the edges of their sound, but it also strips away some of the character that made Sylvan Esso stand out.
‘Free Love’ sounds like a tug of war exertion without the fun, satisfying results of albums past.
No Ripcord
On their third album, the North Carolina duo sink deep into their minimalist tendencies with dance-infused sketches that, though undeniably fun, sometimes feel unfinished.
Under The Radar
For a duo that to this point seemed in full command of their mission, trying out some well-worn paths only leaves them flat footed in the wrong places.
sylvan esso get experimental with spoken word minimalism on opening song “What If”.

my favorite song on Sylvan Esso’s third proper studio album is “numb”. the vocal performance at this part has weird timbre and a beatifically cadence; it is great to listen to the way Meath pronounces and sings “numb”, as her voice hovers and weaves through the air.

especially during verse 2: just when i thought the song was over the production only grows better. ... read more
Somewhere in the middle of Oh Wonder and Bon Iver. This is pretty bad. Free Love is a minimalistic indietronica record containing very sloppy vocal harmonies, minimally boring production, and the most mind-numbingly predictable or inaudible lyrics. The compression is too high at points and the mix is just not working. Besides the vocals already being somewhat inaudible and not the best, the harmonies are even worse, offbeat, and sloppy. Backing vocals are off-put and they come in randomly. My ... read more
Minimalist art-pop electronics, full of interest through time. If at one time you hear a fickle sound along with vocals, then after another - a completely finished composition. Everything else sounds like unfinished sketches.
Some pleasant moments here and there, but overall just rather boring.

Added to playlist: Ferris Wheel, Numb
Least favorite: Train
Delighted to retro sampling, old consoles 8-bit loops flirt, the band returns after three years numbest than ever.

The imperative tone of the songs undercurrents the pop duo's belief and minimalistic beats find ways between short repetitive colocations gaps to immerse us in the discography references. Sentimental themes, like insecurity, issuance, brush strokes of behavioral psychology, relapses, etc. guide the most unaffected living stories to the magic of big cities asphalts. Free is the ... read more
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Track List

  1. What If
  2. Ring
  3. Ferris Wheel
  4. Train
  5. Numb
  6. Free
  7. Frequency
  8. Runaway
  9. Rooftop Dancing
  10. Make It Easy
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Added on: July 21, 2020