Live Forever

Bartees Strange - Live Forever
Critic Score
Based on 9 reviews
2020 Ratings: #132 / 847
Year End Rank: #33
User Score
Based on 215 ratings
2020 Ratings: #262
Liked by 10 people
October 2, 2020 / Release Date
LP / Format
Memory Music / Label
Indie Rock / Genres
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Northern Transmissions
Where others might have made a big ol’ mess of his ever-evolving inspiration, this visionary has crafted something simply wonderful.

Live Forever argues that life is not some march toward a peak, but a closed loop—one that’s tighter if you’re Black. The brilliance of Bartees’ debut is in how it carves out an expansive space within that loop.

Beats Per Minute

He may have been on the fringes until now, but with Live Forever, one of the year’s most daring records, he signals his intent – this is an artist not merely requesting his seat at the table, but demanding it.

FLOOD Magazine

Live Forever feels more like a perfectly curated DJ set than a cohesive album. And man do we miss DJ sets.


Live Forever is itself not quite a masterpiece, but it's a clear picture of someone who's destined for greatness. Bartees Strange is a visionary artist worth watching closely.

Under The Radar

Live Forever foregoes any sense of a tentative step into the arena, with all of Strange’s talents on foot forward display.

He may be his own worst enemy in regards to day-to-day emotions, but his songwriting chops and intriguing stylistic choices give him musical superpowers.
No Ripcord

Despite Live Forever not being perfect, Bartees Strange swings for the fences on every song here. It’s exciting just to watch it unfold in front of your eyes.


On his debut record Live Forever, Bartees Strange doesn't just incorporate a wide array of influences but instead effortlessly blends these influences into something that is uniquely his. It's a bold record, to be sure, one of which gives Strange the early advantage of existing outside of all expectations or genre-boxes where he can take his music in any direction he feels. If Live Forever is any indication, Strange doesn't seem to break a sweat when he does change direction. You're constantly ... read more


Best track: Stone Meadows


Bartees Strange has gifted us with a really unique debut where he effectively blends RnB with Indie rock/emo (at least that's what it sounds like to me!). I think I'm catching influences from Young Fathers, Algiers, Sampha, maybe a little James Blake, but this still feels really distinct from all those. While the album feels really fresh it still is pretty straightforward, with it clicking for me right on my first listen thanks to the plethora of catchy melodies and sweetly-sad song writing. ... read more


A little all over the map, but hits more than it misses

Standouts: Boomer, In a Cab, Stone Meadows, Flagey God, Fallen for You

Dropouts: Mossblerd


Bartees is going to make a masterpiece in the next 5 years. Mark my words.


▲ = Mustang, Boomer, In A Cab, Stone Meadows, Flagey God,
▬ = Jealousy, Mossbierd, Far, Fallen For You,
▼ = Kelly Rowland, Ghostly

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Contributions By
patton, MarkyC, domvic, anztec, AledJames

Added on: August 20, 2020