All At Once

  • Record Label: Island
  • Release Date: Apr 26, 2011
User Score
7.3

Generally favorable reviews- based on 17 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 14 out of 17
  2. Negative: 2 out of 17
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  1. Jul 14, 2011
    5
    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 AroundLos 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. http://hackskeptic.com Expand
Metascore
59

Mixed or average reviews - based on 18 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 8 out of 18
  2. Negative: 1 out of 18
  1. Jun 2, 2011
    60
    All at Once is every bit as self-important as its predecessor, but its anxieties can sometimes feel rote and stretched beyond recognition.
  2. Mojo
    May 16, 2011
    40
    The blue-collar earnestness is still served in large dollops, but there;s a sense of over-reach about the whole thing. [May 2011, p.100]
  3. Q Magazine
    May 16, 2011
    60
    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]