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Dark Times Image
Metascore
82

Universal acclaim - based on 10 Critic Reviews What's this?

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  • Summary: This is the latest full-length studio release from California rapper Vince Staples.
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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 10 out of 10
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 10
  3. Negative: 0 out of 10
  1. 90
    There’s something remarkable about Staples’ ability to display such emotional complexity within a relatively brief 35-minute runtime. It is an art he has mastered over the years, yet on this album he manages to pack an immense amount of content in that space – more so than ever before.
  2. May 24, 2024
    85
    Swirling dreary beats with even more overcast thoughts, Dark Times is a lucid snapshot of melancholy. It lives up to its name. It’s dark out, but Vince presents a meticulous portrait of someone with just enough reason to wait for sunrise.
  3. May 24, 2024
    80
    ‘Ramona Park…’ was a bravura work of therapy, a rap bildungsroman that crafted an entire world. More insular, ‘Dark Times’ is in many ways less accessible; that said, it refuses to let the quality dim, it’s endless stream of ideas enticing and perplexing in equal fashion. In emphatic style, rap’s foremost outlier demands your attention all over again.
  4. May 24, 2024
    80
    Dark Times undoubtedly makes for more challenging listening than Ramona…, but for listeners willing to put in the time and effort, prepare to be rewarded.
  5. May 28, 2024
    80
    Dark Times is more detailed and specific in its mission and references; as a result, he seems less guarded, more vulnerable. The album’s sonics support Staples’ lyrical direction, conjuring ever-changing environments, ever-shifting interdependencies, and that identity is unstable, ever-evolving.
  6. Jun 20, 2024
    80
    Staples is in top form on Dark Times. It's another chapter of his uniquely smoke-colored narratives, form-fitting production, and perfectly balanced expressions of heaviness and acceptance.
  7. May 24, 2024
    70
    Throughout, Staples’ dominant instincts like narrative-driven songwriting and punchy choruses sustain him. His flow falters a bit, particularly on “?touffée.” If he sounds tentativeness at times, it may be from his self-consciousness at grasping for a new level of maturity and, surprisingly, spirituality.

See all 10 Critic Reviews

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