Like a Judd Apatow extended cut. The unnecessary scenes are features, dammit.Domino, 2016
7.5 / 10
The joke of Blood Orange’s Freetown Sound is that it is a finely crafted longplay that could do with less adherence to a “proper” album structure as well as excision. This is Dev Hynes’s statement album about race, gender, identity, legacies, ice cream, funk, Michael Jackson, and…okay, maybe it would be more expedient to list what it isn’t about. Ahem: coherence and brevity. Credit to Hynes for making a decent attempt at trying to cram all of this stuff into under an hour, but this year has been swamped with more interesting takes on similar topics with greater clarity.
Freetown Sound, then, needs to survive on its sounds and structure. I suppose this is the best order one could come up with if all of these songs need to fit on here, and Freetown’s best segments make up some of the finest music of the year (I dare anyone to knock its first third). That said, its few stumbles in the middle third are incidental enough that it can be difficult to not turn the damn thing off before it recovers in its final third. It is an album that tries to be too much. I’ve heard of worse problems to have.