Animal Joy - Shearwater
User Score
7.9

Generally favorable reviews- based on 12 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 11 out of 12
  2. Negative: 0 out of 12

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  1. Feb 18, 2012
    9
    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. Expand
  2. Feb 26, 2012
    9
    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. Expand
  3. Apr 26, 2012
    8
    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. Expand
Metascore
76

Generally favorable reviews - based on 31 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 25 out of 31
  2. Negative: 0 out of 31
  1. While there are plenty of fantastic moments to be found and the album is certainly recommendable, its sluggishly repetitive second half reminds the listener too often of exactly what the strengths and weaknesses of this band are.
  2. Mar 5, 2012
    90
    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.
  3. Mar 5, 2012
    60
    Instead of a coherent collection of songs, Animal Joy feels like a series of very clever blueprints that, while admirable in form, are often (despite that title), rather bloodless.