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CRITIC REVIEWS

100
The Line of Best Fit

It being one so vulnerable and exposing (including using his family for the artwork), stripping the skin down to the bone, is bold, beautiful, but most importantly, a reminder that an artist like Kendrick Lamar is once in a generation.

100
Evening Standard

Lamar is that far ahead of everyone else in the game.

100
Clash

Make no mistake: ‘Mr Morales & The Big Steppers’ is one of his most profound, complex, revelatory statements yet, a double album fuelled by sonic ambition, the will to communicate, and Kendrick’s staunch refusal to walk the easy path.

100
The Independent

Kendrick Lamar’s work has always been introspective, but Mr Morale and the Big Steppers ... has a delicacy and tenderness to it that is unprecedented for the 34-year-old father of two from Compton, California.

100
The Guardian

After a five-year hiatus, the Pulitzer winner returns with an exhilarating epic that ties personal pain to collective trauma – and lets no one off the hook.

100
NME
The rapper's first album in five years sees him overcome "writer's block" to triumph with a collection on which his observational skills go into overdrive.
100
Dork
If it does mark the end of something – or simply offers a postscript to an incredible chapter in a career that might take a new direction – then it stands as another stunning landmark for a once-in-a-lifetime artist.
100
The Arts Desk

Kendrick continues to be a movement, much bigger than one man.

100
The Sydney Morning Herald

It’s his emotional terrain, especially on the revealing second disc, that’s likely to perpetuate a reputation that already transcends the genre.

95
Northern Transmissions

This album, like many of his albums, (notably the jazz masterpiece To Pimp A Butterfly,) dabbles in rap form with all sorts of modern music, including classical, funk, pop, and underground.

90
PopMatters

On Mr. Morale & The Big Steppers, renowned rapper Kendrick Lamar observes the strife plaguing his kingdom and consciously abdicates the throne.

90
Exclaim!

Kendrick Lamar lets it all out, and even if it's the last time we hear from him in this form, he's metaphorically put his whole heart on the table, with yet another body of work worthy of multiple spins and endless dissection.

90
Gigwise

One thing is clear ... few storytellers, if any, are able to deliver a comment on society that is both as observative and introspective as Kendrick’s.

88
Beats Per Minute
It’s far too complex, far too searching to be wrangled in a simple review. I know this much: we’ll be talking about this one for a long, long time.
84
HipHopDX

Mr. Morale & The Big Steppers paints a gripping portrait of how trauma and therapy have morphed the 34-year-old artist beyond recognition.

81
Paste

Mr. Morale & The Big Steppers rejects conformity and leaves its flaws in on purpose, featuring some of Kendrick’s best and worst songs of his career.

80
The Telegraph

After years of holding a mirror to the world, to show us structural racism and the widening cracks in civic society, Lamar now turns the looking glass on himself.

80
Loud and Quiet

Mr. Morale & the Big Steppers is a record that reaches out halfway and asks you to do the rest of the work, and it’s deeply rewarding as a result.

80
Slant Magazine
The album is a gripping treatise on the relationship between Lamar’s inner turmoil and the cultural landscape.
80
AllMusic
While not always an easy listen, the album shows more of its intention as it goes, and ultimately makes sense as the next logical step forward in Lamar’s increasingly multi-dimensional artistic evolution.
80
Albumism
The double-helping provided seems to be a heady feast that some might better digest in smaller portions. But rest assured, there’s more than enough top-shelf material and meticulously managed art here to show us Kendrick, already reserving an extended stay in the cultural zeitgeist longer than most of your all-time favorites, has still got it.
80
The Observer

The Pulitzer prize-winning rapper grapples with Black trauma and his own family’s struggles on this brave, electrifying fifth album.

76
Pitchfork
On his fifth album, Kendrick retreats from the limelight and turns to himself, highlighting his insecurities and beliefs. It’s ambitious, impressive, and a bit unwieldy.
70
Rolling Stone

The Pulitzer Prize-winning rapper spends much of his fifth studio album deconstructing his own mythology. The result is at moments brilliant but on the whole, frustratingly uneven.

66
Sputnikmusic
The listening experience is defined by languorous stretches between big moments, and becomes more of an exercise in patience than an engaging and enlivening journey.
BradTasteMusic
91

The Heart Part 5 set extremely high expectations, but once you get settled into this project, it's a great continuation of Kendrick's growth as an artist, and a Mortal Man.

Edit (85 -> 91): Damn was a strong experience, but I can’t say I really loved any individual moments outside of the record that much. This album however is a display of Kendrick’s most vulnerable sides, as ugly as that can be, and it leaves about as much of an impression as his classics. This album is a ... read more

charcoal
85

Listening to this in the bathroom because i shat myself when the first note of the first song played

edit: I broke my toilet :/

AllAboutMusic
83

Edit: Yeah I’m lowering my score quite a bit. Still a really great album, but I see more flaws in it than I originally did

Wow… just wow. This really did deliver on the hype. This is such a dope stylistic change and I love tf out of this thing. I’m sure my score will change as I give it more listens, but for now, I’m absolutely amazed. This shit gonna carry me through me whole summer.

God bless Kendrick for giving us another masterpiece

DCCXX
75

The venerable monk of the hip-hop game, Kendrick Lamar’s album releases are treated like newly-issued biblical parables, and the five-year wait coming off of what some heralded the Compton rapper’s worst project, DAMN., seemed to incessantly itch at Lamar’s fans’ psyche. The gap between Kendrick’s two most recent projects has seen many artists’ entire careers begin and end, many have passed away, and others have changed the ever-evolving landscape. The world ... read more

justchilling21
80

This stuff is very good. Best song is United In Grief.

43Music
86

ugh, you ugly as fuck

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Track List

Disc 1
1United In Grief
4:15
94
2N95
3:15
90
3Worldwide Steppers
3:23
86
4Die Hard
3:59
83
5Father Time
3:42
feat. Sampha
93
6Rich (Interlude)
1:43
76
7Rich Spirit
3:22
79
8We Cry Together
5:41
88
9Purple Hearts
5:29
84
Disc 2
1Count Me Out
4:43
88
2Crown
4:24
85
3Silent Hill
3:40
81
4Savior (Interlude)
2:32
84
5Savior
3:44
89
6Auntie Diaries
4:41
89
7Mr. Morale
3:30
90
8Mother I Sober
6:46
94
9Mirror
4:16
91
Total Length: 1 hour, 13 minutes
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Added on: April 18, 2022