Universal acclaim - based on 13 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 12 out of 13
  2. Negative: 0 out of 13
  1. I can confidently say that this is some of the most astonishingly beautiful music being made today.
  2. It is also one of the most jaw-droppingly beautiful albums that I have heard since its predecessor.
  3. This album is a swirl of pure emotions and grandiosity, but is never overbearing, never feeling like anything more than your own personal score. Thus, it’s completely brilliant.
  4. It's an awesome thing, this album, and anyone, virtually anyone who encounters it will be in some way moved by the impure music it contains.
  5. Their work, especially that displayed on Refinement, stands as some of the more original and evocative music being produced today, smart and technical without sacrificing atmosphere and feeling.
  6. This stripping down and moving away from easily definable mood makes And Their Refinement of the Decline a bit harder to grasp initially than any previous SOTL record.
  7. Call it music for lucid dreaming, call it music for daydreams, or call it music for simply strolling in the dusk, this is another album that will stretch time and take you to another place.
  8. The listener who comes away from the two-hour experience of …And Their Refinement of Decline without becoming a bit misty at least once is too hardened for my friendship.
  9. If nothing else, Stars of the Lid have achieved Adam's goal of making music "to really relax to," abjectly defying intent listening, laying waste to the established vocabulary of music production and appreciation.
  10. This double-album is just as hypnotic, just as overwhelming, and awesome enough to win over a new battalion sleepyheads for the next six years and beyond.
  11. Stars of the Lid and Their Refinement of the Decline is a return to the same blissful twilight as before, virtually unpaused.
  12. And Their Refinement of the Decline is a nearly two-hour opus that at times dares us to deny that it can, in fact, be classified as music. That spirit in Stars of the Lid is commendable--even if it makes for a project that often seems more an experiment in deconstruction than an attempt at creating a universally enjoyable listen.
  13. This two-hour double-CD/triple-LP, their first product since 2001, is grand, somber, amelodic, arhythmic and slow, leaving plenty of time to admire the notes' altered states.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 97 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 46 out of 69
  2. Negative: 17 out of 69
  1. Jul 4, 2011
    This is one of my favourite albums of all time. "Even If You're Never Awake" is one of the most beautiful songs I've ever heard. People giving this album negative reviews because it is a "bunch of random tones slowly fading in and out" should educate themselves on drone and ambient music; it's like giving a negative score to Metallica because "there is too much of electric guitars and shouting" or to 2Pac, because "his music is just talking over a beat". Full Review »
  2. BohoG
    Aug 10, 2009
    I'd like to know what the people who say this record sound like a fridge or whatever would say if they heard some drone which is genuinely lacking in harmony, or even slightly more obtuse than sotl. i mean wtf this is one of the most innately beautiful albums i've ever heard. people who don't like this just don't understand music. Full Review »
  3. CH
    Oct 21, 2008
    Pretty? Pleasant? It sounds like people need to learn how to listen to other forms of music aside from voice. If voice or repetitive beats are needed to capture your attention, you might want to reconsider voting at all for such an album or genre. This album is simply stunning. Full Review »