Always - Xiu Xiu
Always Image
Metascore
78

Generally favorable reviews - based on 23 Critics What's this?

User Score
7.6

Generally favorable reviews- based on 14 Ratings

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  • Band members: Jamie Stewart
  • Summary: This is the eighth album for the experimental pop band led by Jamie Stewart.
  • Record Label: Polyvinyl
  • Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Alternative Pop/Rock, Indie Rock, Post-Rock, Experimental Rock
  • More Details and Credits »
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 20 out of 23
  2. Negative: 0 out of 23
  1. Always may well be the Californians' finest yet.
  2. Feb 22, 2012
    90
    What Xiu Xiu demonstrate throughout Always, is the way in which they can lay down so starkly how terrible life can be and how fucked up one can feel and create something amazing, angry, political, fierce and defiant out of all of it.
  3. Feb 22, 2012
    80
    This is an album that need proffer no apologies for its dramatic, overwhelming and salutary take on darkness and light.
  4. Mar 12, 2012
    80
    The most noticeable thing about the new Xiu Xiu album is ... how disarmingly vibrant it sounds.
  5. Apr 12, 2012
    75
    A mix of ping-ponging bangers ("Hi," "Born To Suffer"), touching, presumed-true stories ("Joey's Song," "The Oldness") and two skip-now shockers dedicated to monstrous worthlessness ("I Luv Abortion," "Black Drum Machine") [No.86, p.60]
  6. Mar 14, 2012
    73
    The record functions as a well-executed sampler of the magnified pain and horror we've come to expect from this band.
  7. These are stories we've already heard told better, and in the same voices.

See all 23 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 2 out of 2
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 2
  3. Negative: 0 out of 2
  1. Mar 6, 2012
    10
    Xiu Xiu's always is, in my opinion, a (very early) contender for album of the year. This is Jamie Stewart's most accessible album by a mile,Xiu Xiu's always is, in my opinion, a (very early) contender for album of the year. This is Jamie Stewart's most accessible album by a mile, yet he manages to maintain every bit of his artistic integrity in the process. Highlights include first single "Hi," "Joey's Song," and "Chimney's Afire (Mickensian Suicide)". Honestly, however, I had a really hard time choosing three standouts, as the album is consistently enjoyable throughout. Xiu Xiu is one of my favorite bands, and I know their music isn't for everyone. However, this is a pretty good entry point if you're new to them. Also try "Women as Lovers." If you'd like to hear why I fell in love with them in the first place, check out track #2 from "Fabulous Muscles," the unforgettable "I Luv the Valley OH!" Expand
  2. Mar 31, 2012
    7
    Jamie's Stewart psychedelic vocals combined with the album's style give it a much experimental overtones. Ballads such as "The Oldness",Jamie's Stewart psychedelic vocals combined with the album's style give it a much experimental overtones. Ballads such as "The Oldness", "Black Drum Machine" are holdig all the time in indescribable, almost terrifying anticipation. On the other hand, the compositions of "Hi" or "I Love Abortion" is not at all inferior. Strong lyrics and original style are the greatest advantages of the album. Expand