In case this needs spelling out, I am very proud of the stupid header I came up with for this review.
Reviewing an album like Free Nationals presents an interesting challenge. I think that for the most part, the vocalists take the spotlight here because as listeners, we tend to consider words before music (excepting music that’s meant to be danced to, and then the lyrics probably don’t matter as much as whether the song has a good hook). But being that this is Free Nationals’ “solo” record (insomuch as any album they do without Anderson .Paak is “solo,” because they’re a whole damn band), the spotlight should be on them.
Technically it is, because Free Nationals is proof of how good they are at setting a stage for lyricists, but more than that it’s a reminder of how versatile they are in terms of aesthetics.
But y’know what, you can read the whole review over at Paste Magazine. It’s the least you can do.