Free Humans

Hen Ogledd - Free Humans
Critic Score
Based on 7 reviews
2020 Ratings: #467 / 794
User Score
Based on 42 ratings
Liked by 2 people
September 25, 2020 / Release Date
LP / Format
Domino / Label
Art Pop / Genres
Sign In to rate and review


Loud and Quiet

Simply put, if Free Humans was a film, then it’d be The Goonies directed by Werner Herzog. It’s a surreal, heartwarming adventure through the hedges and hedgerows of Britain’s musical fringes – an absolute masterpiece.

Flitting from the sublime to the ridiculous, from the personal to the universal, and from a time before people to a time long after them, it's a mess, but a glorious one all the same.
The ambitious double album finds Hen Ogledd further refining their take on pop sounds, presenting neatly produced tunes that offer straightforward hooks, anthemic choruses, and a generally less cluttered rendering of the band's maximal aesthetic.
Beats Per Minute

Free Humans rewards the time investment, even if it does take a few unnecessary detours. It possesses so much pop ingenuity and sonic diversity that it has the potential to appeal to all sorts of people previously unfamiliar with the band, and it would be a shame if some of the filler material were to put off casual listeners.

Spectrum Culture
This is a lot of trebly, upbeat music to stomach in one sitting, but Hen Ogledd has evolved into an ambitious and interesting pop project.

In smaller chunks, however, Free Humans is exhilarating and unpredictably so.

I LOVE the first half. The first 4 songs are especially perfect. Weird ass songs written within pop constructs, with heavy doses of psychedelic sounds thrown in. The second half is more challenging but still has enjoyable tunes. Think Abba, Kraftwerk, C86, and so many more things. Obv Richard Dawson involved projects aren't for everyone, but man do I like this. Danceable, weird, emotional, beautiful, & fun. If this album was just the first 8 songs I think I'd score it even higher. Either ... read more
I've just started uni again and as all of the content is online taught for the foreseeable future (and I have to do most of the coursework on a screen) I can't envisage writing proper reviews for while. "When did he ever post proper reviews" you think, smartarsedly. I will still rate stuff, but probably only work that really piques my interest.

Anyway, time to briefly sell Free Humans to you before I fuck off. I can instantly recognise this is one of my favourite albums of this year ... read more
This is the type of shit my parents think I listen to
When i first heard this I really didn't think it was as good as the album before this, but it has really grown on me.

Weird because when I first heard trouble I had my doubts, but now its one of my favourite tracks on the album.

Anything with Richard Dawson grows on me like a tumor anyways. =)
To me, the album is peppered with inspired and fun moments that seriously left an impression. Unfortunately, however, those great moments are overpowered by the frequent stretches of "decent, but not incredible" absurdist pop.
Purchasing Free Humans from Amazon helps support Album of the Year. Or consider a donation?
Become a Donor
Donor badge, no ads + more benefits.

Year End Lists

#6/Loud and Quiet
#26/The Quietus

Track List

  1. Farewell
  2. Trouble
  3. Earworm
  4. Crimson Star
  5. Kebran Gospel Gossip
  6. Remains
  7. Paul is 9ft Tall (Marsh Gas)
  8. Space Golf
  9. Time Party
  10. The Loch Ness Monster's Song
  11. Flickering Lights
  12. Bwganod
  13. Feral
  14. Skinny Dippers
Sign in to comment

Added on: July 31, 2020