Animal Joy - Shearwater

Generally favorable reviews - based on 31 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 25 out of 31
  2. Negative: 0 out of 31
  1. Feb 14, 2012
    Animal Joy, in its hunt for instinctual performance, comes close to the classic album Shearwater surely has in it.
  2. Feb 14, 2012
    Animal Joy provides not only a well-developed and unique aesthetic, but it offers a way in for a number of listening styles, a fact that should keep the album rewarding.
  3. Feb 10, 2012
    For all of the exploring, Shearwater is at their most affecting when they stay at home.
  4. Feb 24, 2012
    This album creates that space, where both that source of fear and joy are simultaneous, inevitable, and sublime.
  5. Mar 5, 2012
    For its new fond feeling and its quick animal stride, t offers something that we can all be swept up in, and all from the moment "Animal Life" gets close.
  6. Feb 14, 2012
    This album is just a few hairs (a couple of tracks and/or segues) short of being a transcendent gem, or masterpiece.
  7. Animal Joy represents a remarkable band in their prime of their career and is a stunning success on every level.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 12 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 3 out of 3
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 3
  3. Negative: 0 out of 3
  1. Feb 18, 2012
    Two things have frequently been written about this album: it's more accessible than previous work and it probably represents a transition for this band. On the first, yes, it is most certainly more accessible, but I cannot bring myself to say this is a bad thing. Shearwater combines their ability for ethereal chords and vocals with the, yes, animal pulse of rock and electronic beats. It's a beautiful fusion that seems perfect for the album's title. And one can only hope this represents a transition. I absolutely loved their recently competed trilogy, but most high quality bands fail when they try to extend a single idea or sound too long. And for a possibly transitional album, "Animal Joy" is surprisingly cohesive and complete. Full Review »
  2. Apr 26, 2012
    Already the first track on the album, title "Animal Life" is enough just to get a picture of the entire release. CD is in fact a combination of rock with different varieties of folk. The voice of Jonathan Meiburg has something compelling, the artist is able to fit perfectly in both experimental, indie rock compositions like "Breaking The Yearlings" and that more subdued "Dread Sovereign" or "You As You Were" (great xylophone parts ), where you can hear perfectly the depth of his vocals bringing to mind Editors. Very righteous piece of art - worth listening to. Full Review »
  3. Feb 26, 2012
    While the instrument roster is reduced, the tempos are generally faster, and the subject matter is about the inner life instead of the world at large, this is still very much a Shearwater record. You As You Were and Insolence are the two very different highlights of the record, but to my ears, there's not a bad track to be found.

    If you liked their previous work, odds are good you will like this. If you didn't, it's different enough to be worth a try.
    Full Review »