FIDLAR - Almost Free (Album Review)

FIDLAR have come a long way from their beginnings. Winning over the indie punk crowd with their raucous but relatable sound, FIDLAR have become a staple on their scene. With the recent efforts, however, their ambitious attitude has finally met a sense of mortality. FIDLAR continue to relay the hardships of life while delivering energetic, upbeat tracks in their latest record Almost Free.

It’s all fun and games in Almost Free until it isn’t. A certain sense of reality kicks in as the album progresses, particularly apparent beginning in ‘By Myself.’ While bringing a party atmosphere, FIDLAR address an inescapable feeling of loneliness, the wild but dejected song crying “Well I'm cracking one open with the boys by myself / And everybody says that I need professional help / But I don't wanna think about that anymore“ during its choruses. FIDLAR’s admittance to these sobering positions are often hidden behind raucous instrumentals, as if they were hiding their problems in the chaos of the music. Tracks like ‘Called You Twice‘ featuring K.Flay and even closing track ‘Good Times Are Over‘ are perfect examples of this, the latter of which takes the record out on a fittingly sad and angry end while the overall tone of the song itself is pretty upbeat.

Through the pain and sorrow, FIDLAR make sure to have fun: because what’s the point of therapy like this if you’re not having a good time facing your demons? Almost Free begins with a lot of energy, the bustling ‘Get Off My Rock‘ bringing a huge attitude and aggression immediately. More anthemic tracks carry the energy in the college party sort-of hurrah that FIDLAR has: ‘Alcohol‘ is an anthem for the wasted, ‘Flake‘ brings more of an alternative drive into the mix, and ‘Can’t You See‘ provides some groove early in the record. FIDLAR take to their roots for the short, explosive ‘Nuke‘ and the more punky and angry ‘Too Real,’ more rawly facing their anger with the world (this is also true of ‘Thought. Mouth.‘). All the same, FIDLAR do their best to at least keep a sense of composure up, with tracks like title track ‘Almost Free‘ and ‘Scam Likely‘ bringing a funky brass punch to the table to keep things fun and the atmosphere alive.

Life isn’t easy to get through, but the way FIDLAR approaches it seems to ease the struggle. FIDLAR mask their sorrow and pain behind an upbeat facade in Almost Free, delivering energy and anthems while being distinctly unable to escape reality. Perhaps we should all live a little more like FIDLAR, if not only to perhaps forget the monotonous struggles we face every day.

Favorite Track: Too Real

Least Favorite Track: Nuke

Rating: 73 / 100

Stream or buy Almost Free on Apple Music, and follow our 2019 Playlist on Spotify: