Animal Joy - Shearwater
Animal Joy Image
Metascore
76

Generally favorable reviews - based on 31 Critics What's this?

User Score
7.9

Generally favorable reviews- based on 12 Ratings

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  • Summary: Andy Stack of Wye Oak, Scott Brackett of Murder by Death, and Cully Symington of Cursive guest on the first album from the Austin indie rock band for Sub Pop.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 25 out of 31
  2. Negative: 0 out of 31
  1. 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.
  2. Feb 14, 2012
    83
    Animal Joy, in its hunt for instinctual performance, comes close to the classic album Shearwater surely has in it.
  3. Feb 10, 2012
    82
    For all of the exploring, Shearwater is at their most affecting when they stay at home.
  4. Feb 16, 2012
    78
    Animal Joy has a focus and progression.
  5. 70
    The trio tosses musical Hail Mary's and nails it almost every time, producing a record that's life-affirming in its grandiosity.
  6. Feb 3, 2012
    70
    Taken as a whole, Animal Joy maintains the quality of Shearwater's earlier outings without quite taking things to the next level they're eminently capable of achieving.
  7. Feb 10, 2012
    60
    A peculiar unwillingness to climax is something that many Shearwater records have suffered with over the years, and Animal Joy is unfortunately no exception.

See all 31 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 3 out of 3
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 3
  3. Negative: 0 out of 3
  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 forTwo 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 worldWhile 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 combinationAlready 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