All At Once - The Airborne Toxic Event
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Mixed or average reviews - based on 18 Critics What's this?

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Generally favorable reviews- based on 15 Ratings

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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 8 out of 18
  2. Negative: 1 out of 18
  1. Apr 28, 2011
    It's clear that All at Once is a record of big sounds, bigger themes and enormous – and entirely achieved – ambitions. A crushing classic.
  2. Apr 27, 2011
    The lyrics explode with angst, music fills the scenes with detail, and the answers all raise questions.
  3. 75
    Jollett funnels his anger] into histrionic modern-rock jams laced with folky sensitivity. [6 May 2011, p.74]
  4. Apr 21, 2011
    The hue of the proceedings feels significantly dialed-down and stark and the result feels more like a Jollett solo album and less like a great band flexing its myriad abilities. [May 2011, p.92]
  5. May 16, 2011
    Jollett's weighty musing are all but neutered by his determination to cover all musical bases but, as an alt-rock starter-kit, it's just about perfect. [May 2011, p.109]
  6. 60
    Overall, it treads an uncertain line between bombast and sensitivity.
  7. 30
    Shocker! The long-awaited (it says here) follow-up to a sublimely average debut is another half-arsed muppet show executed with the charisma of a terminally ill sloth.

See all 18 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 3 out of 4
  2. Negative: 0 out of 4
  1. Sep 18, 2011
    I have no idea how this album has got so bad reviews, to me it is close to be a masterpiece. ^^ The writing is the most essential, Mikel Jollet is truly a great songwriter in my opinion. The lyrics on songs such as The Graveyard Near the House and All At Once are amazing. Somehow this band just gets to my emotions more than many other bands. It might not be a completely original album, I have to agree on that, but the songs are insanely good and the lyrics are great. The album contains songs, which all deal with difficulties that adults can go through or worry about. Hollow relationships, growing old, war etc. It seems like Mikel Jollet has written his thoughts on his own life and on some global issues and written them down into an album. My favourites on this album is the anti-die-without-purpose song The kids are ready to die, the truly beautiful lovesong, The Graveyard Near the House and the epic All At Once, which is just a great song about growing old. 10/10 is nothing less than what I can give this fantastic album, which deserves way better reviews than it has received. Expand
  2. May 4, 2011
    All At Once, my first listen through was a shock. But then again, so was the first album. The Airborne Toxic Event is a band that really engages you to the album, to each song on the album too, and so it requires several listen throughs. After so, I realized this album, contrary to what others thought, was actually an amazing follow-up to their previous; it had moved me in ways that I hadn't felt since the EP and it's kept me moving since. Seeing them live back in September, it really had me excited for this album. And it really did deliver. However, two songs that least impressed me was Welcome to Your Wedding Day, and Strange Girl; both songs are fast and not as good as previous faster songs were (Missy, Gasoline). Welcome sounds like an Arcade Fire-esque thrasher and I know that they can do something better than that. But the message behind it at least garners a few more listens. As for Strange Girl, it just feels off. I would have put this song on the third album, to be honest. It really doesn't fit between Half of Something Else and All I Ever Wanted.

    Regardless of that, All At Once is still a phenomenal release will be getting a lot of playtime on my iPhone. Good work guys, it's one helluva disk.
  3. Jun 3, 2011
    This album is amazing - the first handful of times you listen. And then it slides down to "just pretty good." I think the singer has a particularly nice voice, he sings passionately and it makes you want to join in. Expand
  4. Jul 14, 2011
    Los Angeles quintet Airborne Toxic Event generate a"Marmite" effect on the professional reviewers. Many find their emotional indie rock pretentious, overwrought and bombastic, whilst the other half appreciates their uncompromising commitment to create passionately epic music that mulls over personal traumas with hardened confessionals. The 2008 breakthrough single "Sometime Around Midnight" remains the most familiar and indeed best example of their potential, and "All At Once" finds leader Mikel Jollett attempting to match that impact by creating a number of songs that contain almost identical melodies and tempos. It's a high risk strategy, and probably the main reason for their heavy criticism from certain detractors. On the band's debut, Jollet had personal suffering including his mother's passing, and his own debilitating auto-immune illness to fuel the content of his songs. "All At Once" is like a second helping, albeit a slightly less satisfying dollop of woeful angst. Opener "Wishing Well" is a carbon copy of "Sometime Around Midnight" right down to the melody, the increasingly powerful rhythm and Jollet's vivid lyrical expressions. It's not a bad song, but the similarities just overpower the message. "Numb" almost falls into the same trap, only to be saved by harder crunching guitars. The political "Welcome To Your Wedding Day", which describes the inadvertent U.S bombing of an Afghan wedding sounds remarkably like Green Day's "Holiday" and therefore loses much of its impact. Only on the sweetly gentle "Strange Girl" do we hear anything wholly original from the band as everything else feels like muddled combinations from a host of influencers including The Arcade Fire, Snow Patrol, Interpol, and many more. Expand