And Their Refinement Of The Decline Image

Universal acclaim - based on 13 Critics What's this?

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Generally favorable reviews- based on 97 Ratings

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  • Summary: The Austin-based duo releases its first new album in six years.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 12 out of 13
  2. Negative: 0 out of 13
  1. 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.
  2. It is also one of the most jaw-droppingly beautiful albums that I have heard since its predecessor.
  3. I can confidently say that this is some of the most astonishingly beautiful music being made today.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.

See all 13 Critic Reviews

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". Expand
  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. Collapse
  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. Expand

See all 69 User Reviews