Free Reign II

Album Review of Free Reign II by Clinic.

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Free Reign II


Free Reign II by Clinic

Release Date: Mar 4, 2013
Record label: Domino
Genre(s): Pop/Rock

73 Music Critic Score
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Free Reign II - Very Good, Based on 5 Critics

Pitchfork - 80
Based on rating 8.0/10

Clinic have never been ones to heed conventional wisdom, the logistics of singing through surgical masks being but the first of many aesthetic hurdles they've erected between themselves and pop accessibility. After all, here is a band that, in an attempt to overcome the seven-album itch-- and possibly give themselves something new to talk about with interviewers after 15 years in the game-- turned to acclaimed sound-collagist Daniel Lopatin (a.k.a. Oneohtrix Point Never) to mix their 2012 release Free Reign, only to shelve all but two of his submissions.

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Under The Radar - 80
Based on rating 8/10

Remix albums have something of a deserved bad name: often lazily tossed off cash cows trying to convince the consumer to pay out for the same product twice. Yet another Blade Runner Director's Cut, if you like. Take one of the most prominent recent releases in the genre, Radiohead's TKOL RMX 1234567, in which one of the world's most creative bands took a bunch of songs that sounded like they'd been mixed by Four Tet and Burial and had them remixed by the likes of Four Tet and Burial.

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Consequence of Sound - 58
Based on rating C+

One of Clinic’s bad habits is frontloading records with the best songs at the top. One of their good habits is learning from their mistakes. While the Liverpool foursome has been swimming down the same vein of post-punk psychedelia for 15 years, the band understands how to challenge and constantly redefine its strengths. On Free Reign II, a remix of 2012’s Free Reign, Clinic flips the album’s track list and hands mixing duties over to Oneohtrix Point Never’s Daniel Lopatin.

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Austin Chronicle
Their review was generally favourable

Little known fact that Clinic can get groovy. More alternate take than traditional remix, ambient collagist Daniel Lopatin (aka Oneohtrix Point Never) retooled the Liverpudlians seventh LP for what was supposed to be the original release. While the changes aren't always drastic (see highlight "Miss You II"), feel free to be surprised by the warbled, throwback psychedelic burner "Cosmic Radiation II," or how the gentle, narcotized ruptures of "Misty II" drifts you off the edge.

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DIY Magazine
Their review was only somewhat favourable

How do you make warped Liverpudlian Kosmische sound even more demented?Clinic’s ‘Free Reign’ was a fractal collage of Joe Meek, Amon Düül and Monks stitch-ups; it pulsed and throbbed with a disarming groove, dance music to mutate to. The album’s original mixer, Daniel Lopatin (aka Oneohtrix Point Never), has now taken it upon himself to remix the entire thing, thus: ‘Free Reign II’. Lopatin intended stamping a ‘burnt 60s/70s dub feel’ sound on the original album.

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