on 19 October 2001
Sorry, that was an awful one-liner. Anyway, I never used to be an Ash fan, especially after listening to 'Nu-Clear Sounds', but I have to say that 'Free All Angels' has completely converted me. It was the single release of 'Sometimes' that prompted me to buy the album, and I can't say I'm disappointed. Aside from the poor 'Shark' and 'Submission', you will listen to the songs on this album again and again (I know, I listened to it all summer). 'Candy', although a good pop song, does not seem to fit with Ash's usual punky style. 'Cherry Bomb', 'Burn Baby Burn', 'Nicole', 'World Domination' and 'Pacific Palisades' are real rocking tracks, whereas 'There's a Star' and 'Someday' are more ballady, though nevertheless well worth listening to. The first track, 'Walking Barefoot' is a complete Ash classic, as is 'Shining Light'. And then there's 'Sometimes' - quite simply the best thing Tim Wheeler has ever written.
on 23 May 2002
This is quite simply a stunning album, full of incendiary summer-loving pop-rock songs that demonstrate a band doing their utmost to save the world from Westlife and Slipknot.
The opening salvo constitutes quite possibly the best three tracks of 2001. Walking Barefoot is a bona fide classic, which epitomises the whole spirit of the album and will soundtrack every summer until the end of time. Shining Light has a wonderfully memorable pop hook, and Burn Baby Burn is as explosive and energetic a track as Tim Wheeler ever wrote.
Interspersed between the full-on adrenaline rush of the faster tracks, there are some sublime ballads here too. Sometimes is the best example - a bittersweet summer soft-rock masterpiece. The band have also invested in an immense string section, which features on Candy, Someday and most effectively on the atmospheric There's A Star.
The main topics of songwriting are girls, summer and both at once, but variety is shown on Nicole, which, incredibly, is about murdering your girlfriend! Pacific Palisades and the appropriately named Cherry Bomb are two more storming, hell-for-leather pop explosions, with lyrics about Benzedrine and teenage crushes in school corridors.
All in all, then, a terrific return to form for Britain's brightest stars.
on 13 November 2001
The first 3 tracks alone warrant purchase of this album. "Walking Barefoot", one of the most stunning songs I have ever heard, both brings a lump to your throat and puts you on top of the world. The lyrics "You were broke all summer,but you still sing, don't need money when its sunny, don't need anything, just need music and sun and laughter, no currency, the sun on your bare shoulders comes for free" are beautiful, and "Walking Barefoot" has convinced me that Tim Wheeler is a genius.
We then have the melodic Shining Light, and inspirational track, and then the second best song, "Burn Baby Burn", which just puts you in rocking bliss for the whole 3 minutes and 29 seconds. After this wonderful trio, the great songs continue, notably Cherry Bomb, Pacific Palisades, Sometimes and Nicole.
"Shark", "Submisson", and "Someday" are relatively weak, but apart from that, the album is superb. Buy it!
on 11 May 2003
Free All Angels – Ash’s most recent album and the one that proved to the world that they’ve still got it. That is, the ability to produce songs of the utmost quality, with that Ash vibe that makes you feel like every day should be a summer’s day. This is certainly the case with standout tracks “Walking Barefoot”, “Burn Baby Burn” and “Sometimes”, which are slightly more poppy than Ash’s previous releases, but they make the transition well. There’s still diversity like with 1977 with the more edgy tracks such as “Nicole” and “Shark” for fans who prefer the heavier Ash. There are a few tracks, however, that don’t quite seem to flow – namely “Candy”, and the rushed “World Domination”. Aside from these, “Free All Angels” sees Ash continue to do what they do best, and is a very welcome and much anticipated comeback release – which hasn’t failed to disappoint.
on 16 November 2011
Trailer was almost a veiled warning of what was to come with the UK chart-destroying 1977. Ash had arrived and were sticking around for a bit. And they had brought some tunes with them. Nu-Clear Sounds was another slight of hand by the band that most didn't gel with but most of the ballad-heavy album was pure underground-sounding genius. So nobody expected their return to be as explosive. Mixing the rawness of all they had done prior with the pop nous of 1977, Free All Angels knocked everyone for 6 with its infectious melodies and fervent passion.
Almost every track was single-worthy but the ones that made the grade were all top drawer. The best being 'Shining Light', 'There's a Star' and 'Burn Baby Burn'. But the delicate opener, 'Walking Barefoot' was equally as beguiling, as were the more punk orientated 'Pacific Palisades' and 'Chery Bomb'.
I could go through every track but suffice it to say that Ash had reached a pinnacle here. Yes it was pop. No it was not new and groundbreaking. But it was emminently listenable and most tracks have stood the test of time with a lot still getting airplay today (as of 2011).
They would continue to write well, and arguably better material, to date but that can be seen as a different era for the band. The first 4 albums encapsulated a period of post Brit-pop anarchy that exuded fun and jollity over self-indulgence and false superiority.
Music should bring a smile to your face and make you feel better. This album does that in spades.
on 17 December 2001
I bought this album after seeing Ash performing live in Liverpool back in May 2001.This album was at the heart of most of the show and to be honest,the new songs totally blew me away.
The album begins with Walking Barefoot,a cracking punk pop song to start proceedings.It's followed by the superb singles Shining Light and Burn Baby Burn and Candy.
Often albums are critised for have "fillers" but this album retains its momentum until the thunderous ending with World Domination.The new single There's A Star will hopefully prove to the general public what a brilliant album this really is.
It's well worth the five stars because the songs are consistantly good.This album will show that Ash are one of the best bands are country has to offer us,possibly more talented than Travis.
on 2 January 2002
This album is by far my favourite of 2001.The tracks are all stunning and excellent but my favourite has to be the great "sometimes" which i love to pieces.The album gets better every time u listen to it.My other favourites are "walking barefoot" "Nicole" and "Shining Light".This is the only album in my collection where I can listen to it with out ever skipping a track because it's the first album I've ever bought where I love every single song.
on 15 May 2001
In fairness, Ash are one of my favourite bands of all time so I was going to be biased. Thing is though, I didn't need to be, this is a genuinely fantastic album. 1977 has always been one of my favourite albums and I wasn't even expecting them to surpass it - it's a bit early to decide but I think they might have proved me wrong. It's got all the melody of their earlier material, but on every song, there's no filler here as there was on 1977, any track could be a single. It's a very eclectic album, with style by the bucketload - they've even got samples on orchestral slowie Candy. The only slight fault on Free All Angels, as highlighted by the slower tracks, is that Tim Wheeler's voice is a bit weak in places, but you can't really complain when the songs are as good as Sometimes (possibly the next single) and There's A Star. If you still need your punk-pop fix there's plenty of that here as well, the highlight being closing track World Domination.
All in all their best yet and a near-perfect album.
on 15 October 2001
When i first got this album i had heard only shining light and burn baby burn. It was to my suprise that the whole album turned out to be a pure masterpiece. It has been in my player since it's purchase. I then was so impressed that I bought the other ash albums to complete my collection. I can't understand how they are not more popular. I urge anyone (fan or not) to buy this album as it will not dissapoint.
'Free All Angels' is easily my favourite Ash album, it is in fact also firmly in my list of top ten favourite albums of all time. The song quality is so good that it could be easily be mistaken for a greatest hits collection. In fact, it could even be repackaged as a singles compilation, considering that all five of the singles taken from it were all big hits.
The uplifting 'Shining Light', peaked at no.8 in the UK charts, the energetic rocker 'Burn Baby Burn', got to no.13, 'Sometimes' reached 21, 'Candy' did one better at no.20, and my personal favourite, 'There's A Star' reached the dizzy heights of no.13. All of the tracks are very catchy and engaging, but there still isn't a song on here that I would ever regard as filler. The entire CD has the usual Ash energy and harmonies in equal measure, a great mix of melodic, memorable rock tracks, stunning ballads and faster, more heavier songs. In 2001, these boys were at the top of their game.
When I first bought this feel-good album, I couldn't quite have the idea of just what I had in my hands. I've played 'Free All Angels' many times in it's entirety (one of the few albums of which I can), and even though it's been over ten years since it's release, the whole record still sounds as modern and fresh today. Tim Wheeler, who, like his band has yet to even reach the age of forty, is undoubtedly an extremely talented guitarist, songwriter, and vocalist. This was Ash's third album, and deservedly peaked at the top of the charts in the UK, and has sold three million records worldwide.