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. Jan 10, 2013
    Another album that's a prime example of simple purity in music always wins. I'm already in the minority of the general population who enjoys music like this, and this particular album. But I'm realizing I'm also in a second-tier minority among lovers of SOTL...because I hear lovers of this stuff often say that it sounds like space, fantasy, or some distant removed place. Or that it's thought provoking, relaxing,, and great to get a massage to, etc. And that's all great. But to me, SOTl, and this album, couldn't feel more organic, down-to-earth and real. I may relax to it, but using this album merely as a tool to relax almost seems like a slight disservice to it. Even delicate, simple music deserves our attention and the deeper I listen to this album the more rewarding it is. Full Review »
  3. Jun 23, 2011
    This album doesn't require an epiphany or hard work on the part of the listener -- you either like it or you don't. I'm not sure whether it was "hard to create" or not -- my guess is that it was not easy. But regardless, to me it's beautiful and revelatory. Don't worry about hype or fashion: just turn the music on, listen for a while, and decide whether you like it. If you don't like it, no problem. Full Review »