Jay-Z - 4:44
Critic Score
Based on 32 reviews
2017 Ratings: #84 / 898
Year End Rank: #10
User Score
2017 Ratings: #30
Liked by 66 people
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CRITIC REVIEWS

100
The Telegraph

Jay Z has always been the most grown up of rap stars but on this he reaches new heights. It’s a highly personal work bravely opening up the artist’s very human flaws as an example to others, locating in his own suffering a path towards forgiveness, redemption and, ultimately, a better world.

91
A.V. Club

4:44 represents a sort of third act for the rapper, a return to earth after a decade-plus of flawed flights of fancy.

90
The 405

For those who had counted off Jay-Z the rapper, thinking Beyonce's recent renaissance would constitute the artistic future of the Carter clan (this writer included), 4:44 presents a renewed Jay-Z.

90
Clash

‘4:44’ is a deceptively multi-layered listen, revealing more and more to the listener upon multiple listens.

90
PopMatters

This is Jay-Z walking onto the stage alone, standing contritely in front of the world, and speaking from the heart, revealing himself in order to heal.

88
HipHopDX
There are several JAY-Z albums that are superior in terms of musical creativity, but never has the man behind the Roc chain been more prolific in thought. It’s catharsis on steroids, walking the tightrope between FYI and TMI.
84
GIGsoup
The ‘4:44’ we have at this moment in time is an unexpected highlight from an artist who’s seen and done it all before, a businessman (you can add even more emphasis on the “man” now) who fooled us into believing he had nothing left up his sleeve.
84
Pitchfork

4:44 may lack the Cohiba panache of Jay’s greatest albums, but it’s by far his most thoughtful one.

83
Pretty Much Amazing

This is a better comeback album than Kingdom Come, and though JAY-Z hadn’t officially retired before 4:44, he might as well have.

83
Consequence of Sound

Even though it’s only 36 minutes long, 4:44 is the first JAY-Z album where you’re hanging on every single word from start to finish, because the words have about four times as many meanings as they did on any of his dozen solo albums prior.

80
NME

These heartfelt, confessional apologies are delivered via Jay’s most concise, straightforward album in years. 10 tracks and 36 minutes long, this is a filler-free return to form after 2013’s patchy and bloated ‘Magna Carta Holy Grail’.

80
Exclaim!

There aren't too many MCs from Jay-Z's era who had the opportunity to reach their full potential. In that sense, 4:44 is a refreshing, full-circle moment for hip-hop lovers — and a true pleasure to hear.

80
Rolling Stone

Jay-Z's unusual vulnerability elevates 4:44 to something more than just a tawdry reality show.

80
AllMusic

Filled with references to profit and forms of pride granted by birth and earned by hustling, 4:44 nonetheless is an unglamorous set well suited for solitary and reflective late-night listening.

80
Drowned in Sound

Examined in totality, the emotional vulnerability and naked transparency of 4:44 contrasts heavily with the infallible image JAY-Z has built over two decades. While 4:44 may not be his greatest album, it is a much valued deviation from the norm, a surprising feat considering his kaleidoscopic catalog.

80
Slant Magazine

Jay-Z made 4:44 with producer No I.D., whose beats luxuriate in burnished soul and jazz samples; combined with the relatively light feature roster and the short running time, this makes for the most focused Jay-Z album since The Blueprint.

80
XXL

While this project falls short of his more seminal offerings, 4:44 is among JAY-Z’s more meaningful bodies of work to date and showcases another dimension of the greatest rapper alive.

80
The Needle Drop

Mr. Carter kills his ego and spills the beans on his most intimate album yet.

80
The Observer

It is a short, sharp album, produced entirely by Kanye West’s former mentor No ID – a rarity in hip-hop, and an interesting choice – with just three guests.

78
Paste

What makes 4:44 powerful is that Jay Z isn’t preaching from a gilded throne: He’s speaking from the position of someone who’s overcome numerous struggles and wants to give others the keys to do the same.

70
Crack Magazine

The infotainment of 4:44 finds him delivering messages of black empowerment through the lens of commerce, with seminar-quality lessons about credit, spending and generational wealth straight outta the hotel near the airport.

65
The Line of Best Fit

Even if all of this leaves 4:44 feeling a little musically thin, it’s still a relief not to hear him effectively drowned out by the kitchen sink mess of ideas that was Magna Carta, or the hyper-polish of The Blueprint 3.

60
The Guardian
What is on offer for the rap fans who simply don’t care about Jay-Z’s personal life? Truthfully, not much.
60
NOW Magazine

Against all those conditions, 4:44 is intimate, refined and mature – fascinating partly despite its flaws and partly because of them.

54
Sputnikmusic

More or less, 4:44 sounds like a late career JAY-Z album (because it is,) replete with the total blankness of the man's performance.

GersonAOTY
84
4:44 is an album of extreme sincerity and honesty, Jay-Z embarks on an introspective journey through the knowledge of himself and address various topics such as family, infidelity, racism and LGBT. The production is constantly rich and impactful with great samples and interventions in addition to the rhythms brought by Jay-Z that are simply contagious and consistent.

Kill Jay Z (8.8/10)
The Story of O.J. (9.2/10)
Smile (9.5/10)
Caught Their Eyes (8/10)
4:44 (9.8/10)
Family Feud (9.2/10)
Bam ... read more
plowo
78
Jay-z, stop trying to make Tidal happen! It's not going to happen!

Favs: Kill Jay Z, The Story of O.J., Smile (featuring Gloria Carter), Family Feud, Bam (featuring Damian Marley) and Moonlight.
redbded
80
8.0 - Great

444 follower special? Why not!

I have a weird relationship with 4:44. It’s an album that I remember getting on iTunes when it came out, and for some reason, just never listening to it in full. It was an album that just sat there, unplayed for years, and only until now I actually listened to the thing. I thought it would be fun to do so since I recently got 444 followers, and I missed out on this opportunity when I had 333 followers to review Bladee’s effort named the ... read more
KIDWITHGUNs
95
☆☆☆☆ 1/2

Without Question The Best Jay-Z Album.

For reasons beyond the perfect rapper/producer relationship between him and No I.D., the fantastic lyricism, excellent features and overhelming production choices?

With this album... we as the listeners have the BEST interpretation of his character alongside the best moments in his career.
BruhMan
89
Fuck Tidal x Fuck Sprint.

Like Beyoncé's "Lemonade", Jay's new album is his most personal yet. Tearing himself apart on the first track and putting all his mistakes on blast. Reveling a transparency of self that has never been shown in the past. Throughout this project Jay looks back on his family, his past and the current state of the game. While making his place clear as hip hop's most successful veteran.

This is a special one.

FAV: Kill Jay Z, The Story of O.J., Smile, ... read more
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Added on: June 19, 2017