Generally favorable reviews - based on 14 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 12 out of 14
  2. Negative: 0 out of 14
Buy On
  1. Jul 16, 2012
    This compilation won't do anything to make Maus' bizarre intentions more clear or his cloudy legacy more cohesive, but for those already converted, its 16 songs will be essential.
  2. Aug 24, 2012
    Rarities are all the pieces that didn't fit. And furthermore, they're mostly fantastic.
  3. Jul 20, 2012
    This remastered Collection of Rarities is intriguing beyond its archival purposes, as it traces the evolution of an artist over the course of 11 years.
  4. 60
    This rag-tag collection, dating from between 1999 and 2010, sets out his stall as an outsider savant in an Ariel Pink vein.
  5. Under The Radar
    Aug 22, 2012
    The 16 cut offering--if not out and out innovation--then at least a reminder that his deconstructionist approach is more than clever for clever's sake. [Aug/Sep 2012, p.123]
  6. Jul 16, 2012
    Perhaps there's not enough variation on the album as a whole, with only the odd anomaly which then sounds rather out of place, but even the anomalies are very distinctly John Maus and at times that may be a grim, cold, dark, slightly pretentious thing, but it is no bad thing.
  7. Magnet
    Aug 23, 2012
    [The album is] really fun. You don't have to know about 12-tone serialism to appreciate the wonderfully goody innards of this appropriately titled compilation. [No.90, p.59]
  8. Aug 21, 2012
    It's an impressive feat, and a genuine reminder for those bemoaning pop's current state that challenges can still be made as long as you never stop asking questions.
  9. Aug 15, 2012
    Selections here appear sketch-like, but the artist's roots in post-punk drink amply despite the brevity.
  10. The Wire
    Dec 5, 2012
    A mixed bag. [Oct 2012, p.62]
  11. Each of these tunes, including the classical inflected "Fish With Broken Dreams" (the earliest track, ostensibly recorded when Maus was 19), hold up to the standard of his previous studio efforts, perhaps even surpassing some of the filler from his two earliest LPs.
  12. The odds-and-ends nature of this compilation is spelt out by its title, but the quality barely suffers for that.
  13. Jul 20, 2012
    It probably won't rope in many. But for those few who do get it, A Collection Of Rarities will provide a truly uncommon and sometimes jarring glimpse into the evolution of an incredible musical mind.
  14. Jul 16, 2012
    A Collection... isn't Maus' best record--played back to back with We Must Become The Pitiless Censors Of Ourselves, it blanches in comparison--but it's a fine insight into the mind of an inspired Lord Of Misrule.

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