Sadness Sets Me Free

Gruff Rhys - Sadness Sets Me Free
Critic Score
Based on 13 reviews
2024 Ratings: #30 / 105
User Score
Based on 176 ratings
2024 Rank: #85
Liked by 20 people
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The Super Furry Animals front man’s fresh-sounding latest offers hope and light for what’s ahead.
Northern Transmissions

His humor and genius wordplay make the harder realities of life palatable, and his brilliant song construction invite you into a world where you can be sad and still be hopeful at the same time.

Much of the album follows a very similar template and the result is that Sadness Sets me Free is both uplifting and comforting at once. It's also just different enough from most of his other work that it feels fresh and exciting, providing more evidence that Rhys is one of the most interesting and satisfying singer/songwriters of any era.

Sadness Sets Me Free is a truly consistent affair, one of the most pleasant Gruff presented us to date.

It’s hard to recall a set of songs on which Rhys’s low-key radicalism and unquenchable sense of wonder have coexisted with such ease.
Rhys’s melodies stay with you, and his wordplay is as pleasingly idiosyncratic as ever.
The Observer
Lyrical diatribes against the government, the monarchy and property developers are rendered in lush instrumentation on the Welsh musician’s 25th album.
The Arts Desk

Dreamy, low key agit prop from the enduringly exploratory Super Furry Animal.

Louder Than War
Gruff Rhys returns with the 25th album of his career and proves that he can still weave a magical tapestry of melodic psych-pop.
The Irish Times
Rhys reaches a recording quarter-century milestone in fine style.
XS Noize

Sadness Sets Me Free combines interstellar melodic harmonies with lavish orchestration that float together on a heavenly plain. Music, as we know, has the ability to not only be cathartic but to transform you to other states and worlds. This does that with heavenly bells on.

Spectrum Culture

Is this all a minor emotional bloodletting for Rhys, or is Sadness Sets Me Free an exercise in tightening his control of elegant mope-pop? It’s hard to say, though thankfully it doesn’t feel like it cuts deep enough for us to be worried about him just yet.


A dreamy, light, slightly melancholic, soothing recording by a Welsh veteran of the independent music scene who is considered the figurehead of the era known as Cool Cymru.
© 2024


Is bro speaking facts

This album was a little bit of a mixed bag for me, but I came out the experience enjoying it. My take on this one is that the vocals can feel a little dull sometimes, but the incredible instrumentation makes up for that most of the time. The catchy and upbeat feel too The Sold My Home To Build A Skyscraper is nice, and I also love the string work and atmosphere to On The Far Side of the Dollar.

Sadness Sets Me Free - 6.5
Bad Friend - 5.5
Celestial Candyfloss - ... read more




the strings on this carried so hard
cover up the cover up is easily the best on here idk why its in the yellow
i like the overall atmosphere. if it weren't for the strings i wouldnt have liked it as much. solid effort


This album has some very stellar and gorgeous arrangements such as the strings on "Celestial Candyfloss", but this project starts to slowly get weaker and weaker towards the end. I've never been a huge fan of Rhys' voice either. All around a solid record, but it's just a bit dull for my liking.


An album a day 45 out of 365 2024
I like the silly album cover, (I wanna smoke Cocaine)
The beats are to Samey

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Added on: October 3, 2023