America - Dan Deacon
Metascore
82

Universal acclaim - based on 36 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 35 out of 36
  2. Negative: 0 out of 36
  1. Aug 28, 2012
    91
    America ultimately embraces splendor and nobility, even as it acknowledges personal and social anxiety.
  2. Sep 7, 2012
    90
    America takes you on a long journey across busy city streets and somber countryside and while this expedition may be absolutely overwhelming at times, it's ultimately much worth the trip.
  3. Aug 31, 2012
    90
    Nothing on America feels forced, and notably, Deacon never loses that underlying essence of fun that has followed him throughout his career.
  4. Aug 27, 2012
    90
    America's artful merging of the electronic and the acoustic shows that these tools we dedicate so much time and brain space to can also be used to create something free and emotionally invigorating.
  5. Aug 23, 2012
    90
    America is both a progression and a departure for Deacon: an album rife with danceable party music, but also a deeply political gesture. [No.90, p.56]
  6. Aug 22, 2012
    88
    America is a beguiling, remarkable work, a deep, carefully measured, completely idiosyncratic breath released on the dawn of a promising day.
  7. Aug 27, 2012
    85
    Come for the shrill dopamine triggers like you knew you would, but stick around for the miles and miles of quiet rolling country rendered in this multitalented artist's flooring instrumental sweeps.
  8. Aug 22, 2012
    85
    Deacon stretches the borders of his songcraft to the limit and it's a joy to hear a showman pushing every part of an orchestra like an overheating laptop. [Aug/Sep 2012, p.109]
  9. America is an album in two halves, once again separate but together, a side of individual tracks and a four-song suite that inform each other even as they generate tension by nature of their disparity.
  10. Sep 14, 2012
    80
    That the album never loses it s way is testament to Deacons' fearless approach, his mastery of different genres and from the thrilling sense of urgency that propels it all forward. [Oct 2012, p.75]
  11. Sep 7, 2012
    80
    It's full of complexity and contradictions, and trying to grasp it is impossible. But what a joy to attempt.
  12. Aug 31, 2012
    80
    A dash of extra variety, and an increasing ability to transform clever layers of sound into well-structured songs, make this his best contribution to date.
  13. Aug 31, 2012
    80
    If Deacon wasn't a force to be reckoned with before, then by gum, he is now.
  14. Aug 28, 2012
    80
    America, is the most fully formed and thought-out of his albums, perfectly joining his concept of a free-form punk mentality with classically influenced structure and arrangement.
  15. 80
    America is a profound statement; splicing Fuck Buttons with Sigur Rós in a state-of-the-union address balanced between hope, despair and an accomplished collision of strings, brass, soaring choirs and beats.
  16. Aug 27, 2012
    80
    A musical reaction to strife and scandal that comes from a quarter where pretension often trumps fun, America is that unlikeliest of things: a feelgood summer album.
  17. The overall theme is utopia defiled. Until, that is, Deacon – ever the optimist – brings it all together on "Manifest", the big rapturous finale.
  18. 80
    This is a sonic representation of the grandeur of America as it stands, a classically inspired composition built with all the tools available.
  19. Aug 27, 2012
    80
    The Dan Deacon machine returns from Bromst-land (relatively) leaner, (relatively) focused and (absolutely) teeming with sound.
  20. Aug 24, 2012
    80
    A very, very brilliant thing.
  21. Aug 24, 2012
    80
    As with all Dan Deacon albums, 'America' is a challenging listen and at times the sheer amount of things going on becomes a bit much, however it is also a supremely powerful album from a musician at the very top of his game.
  22. Aug 23, 2012
    80
    The thick consistency of America is of a different sort: lusher, more polished, wider in scope, almost symphonic in its conception and structure. [Aug 2012, p.43]
  23. Aug 23, 2012
    80
    Using hardly any words at all, Deacon conveys the freedom, triumph and catharsis that can come from a journey across ever-changing yet familiar terrain.
  24. Aug 22, 2012
    80
    No one concept album, even one with the complexity of America, could ever hope to fully address the manifold problems of the USA, but in searching for his own answers Dan Deacon has crafted an unique testament to this fact and to his own inimitable, and ever increasing, talents.
  25. Aug 20, 2012
    80
    For all of its denseness, America feels as panoramic and wonder-filled as the cross-country travels that inspired it. [Sep 2012, p.99]
  26. Aug 17, 2012
    80
    By separating his musical personalities into two neat piles, Deacon stopped short of creating a truly epic record. We'll have to settle for just a pretty great one instead.
  27. Aug 17, 2012
    80
    While traces of Deacon's former giddiness punctuate America, there's an ambitiously hefty, almost John Doe Passos-like engagement with the ambiguities of the Land of the Free. [Sep 2012, p.88]
  28. Aug 28, 2012
    78
    America is still undoubtedly an epic, but maybe not the world-addressing opus that Deacon might've wanted to make.
  29. Aug 30, 2012
    71
    That first half [of the album] proves the less successful, though at the same time the opening three-song run may be the best thing Deacon's ever recorded... It's the second half of America that promises and more or less delivers something great and new for Deacon.
  30. Aug 30, 2012
    70
    With its multiple parts, its recurring motifs and its thematic hutzpah "USA" isn't easy to parse or process, but it's not impenetrable; Deacon remains committed to pop forms and rock songwriting despite his concert-hall inclinations.
  31. Aug 29, 2012
    70
    Baltimore's Dan Deacon has piled all facets of his musical persona together here.
  32. Aug 28, 2012
    70
    Through his exuberant, alien compositions, Deacon seeks to manifest for us the wild places of his country, the barren plains and arid deserts, and in the process, reminds us that they are things worth preserving.
  33. Aug 20, 2012
    70
    It's unfathomably exciting stuff.
  34. Aug 17, 2012
    70
    America is an even blend of the oddball Deacon you know and the more refined, mature artist he's growing into. [Sep 2012, p.88]
  35. Aug 28, 2012
    63
    Though America is an explosive document, half the time it's a lot of smoke and bang, and it treads on territory that others have explored more thoughtfully.
  36. Aug 28, 2012
    50
    The most enjoyable bits here are the least grandiose.
User Score
8.5

Universal acclaim- based on 20 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 4 out of 4
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 4
  3. Negative: 0 out of 4
  1. Aug 28, 2012
    10
    This is big big stuff. Really really big stuff. Go see his show if you can. The music will surround you and hold you and blow you sweet kisses of hallucinatory revelation. Full Review »
  2. Jul 8, 2014
    9
    The best and most accessible of his albums so far.
    It is a grand and ambitious piece of work that has to be listened in its entirety.
    It is
    the perfect soundtrack for a long journey on an endless superhighway, but could also be highly enjoyed in a relaxing scenario (or on bed) with some quality headphones.
    According to the famous critic Piero Scaruffi it is one of the best albums of 2012 and I definitely agree.
    Full Review »
  3. Sep 6, 2012
    9
    I never thought I would enjoy a Dan Deacon album seeing as how little his previous two albums did for me, so i came into it with a lot a pessimism and little expectation that I would enjoy it at all. I turn it on, and the first thing I hear is that Deacon-trademark electronic sound like a buzzsaw trying to cut in half an iron rebar, or a thousand nails trailing across chalkboard, sending chills up your spine that comes with auditory pain. Nearly destroying the entire album for me in the first few seconds. It's as if deacon is trying to filter-out the uninitiated in the first few seconds. However ... Once you get used to the hyper buzz in the first few seconds, the album open itself into this grand ambitious progressive, electronic, psychedelic, indie-pop masterpiece that will send a different kind of chill up your back; the chills of pure joy as you get swept up in the joyous, self-reflective, optimistic grandiosity of it all. Full Review »