Albums to watch

2014 Forest Hills Drive

J. Cole

2014 Forest Hills Drive

Third full-length album from the North Carolina hip hop artist and Jay-Z protegé

ADM rating[?]


RCA / Roc Nation
UK Release date
US Release date
  1. 8.0 |   Exclaim

    While it may not be his Late Registration, he has definitely graduated into a class of his own
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  2. 8.0 |   The Music

    At times shockingly candid, sonically and lyrically the album is in many ways a throwback to ‘90s ‘working-class’ hip hop
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  3. 8.0 |   Time Out

    A welcome innovation sees Cole’s bare-it-all lyrics set to a largely live accompaniment: diced up beats underpin delicate strings, horns and piano
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  4. 7.0 |   All Music

    Comes off as a great, experimental, and advancing mixtape, but it's insider to a fault, as slight as that fault might be
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  5. 6.9 |   Pitchfork

    These songs work best when they’re not busy telling you how good they think they are. 2014 Forest Hills Drive is a decent album selling itself as great
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  6. 6.5 |   Beardfood

    If he'd had some swagger, this record would be an instant classic
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  7. 6.0 |   The Observer

    He’s a smart, self-assured lyricist but not as interesting in his contradictions as the likes of Drake or Kanye West
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  8. 6.0 |   The Line Of Best Fit

    Cole’s humanity is undoubtedly one of his most endearing traits, and it runs like a heady wave throughout Forest Hills Drive. It is indeed this humanity which makes it easy to forgive the faults in what could, and should, have been a classic album
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  9. 6.0 |   The 405

    Quite possibly rushed so the house number could match the year, J. Cole's latest album is a damn good attempt, but it just isn't the real deal
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  10. 6.0 |   Spin

    Rap fans who prefer juicy feuds on par with Ja Rule blinking 50 Cent's blood from his eyes might sneer at Cole's accommodating approach although false contenders get called out with malice this time around
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  11. 6.0 |   Rolling Stone

    It's time for the Cole who marches in the streets to start showing up on record
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  12. 6.0 |   The FT

    Attempts a balancing act with allusions to emotional insecurities, racism and the limitations of hip-hop culture
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  13. 5.0 |   PopMatters

    On 2014 Forest Hills Drive , we’ve still got the same ol’ Cole, but with diminishing returns and without any friends to help him
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