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Refused — Freedom

Estimated reading time: 2 minute(s)

★☆☆☆ This pains me. I really wanted — almost needed — to love this album. The failure is not due to admittedly crushingly high expectations, but rather the band’s abandonment of virtually everything that is so adored in their landmark album “The Shape Of Punk To Come.” Most glaringly, the emotional resonance is a.w.o.l.; the two most comfortably Refused-ish songs here (“Elektra” and “Dawkins Christ”) feel like warmups at best, and everything else on the album is too self-consciously contrarian to the point of cloying pointlessness.