Antifogmatic - Punch Brothers
Antifogmatic Image
Metascore
80

Generally favorable reviews - based on 7 Critics What's this?

User Score
8.8

Universal acclaim- based on 4 Ratings

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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 6 out of 7
  2. Negative: 0 out of 7
  1. While its previous album, Punch, took that sophistication to a level bordering on esotericism, the new Antifogmatic is as warm and welcoming as the bracing 19th-century drink that gave it its name.
  2. While's new band Punch Brothers is building a case for bigger fame with the release of its second album, Antifogmatic.
  3. Punch Brothers tuck their instrumental prowess into songs, behind or between the arching melodies carried by Mr. Thile's high, aching voice. And he brings something unexpected to the pickin' party: angst, which in these songs often happens to revolve around the dangerous lure of available women.
  4. In these tough times, Thile's words, and the album as a whole, are more effective than the titular tonic at staving off inclement weather, at least of the emotional variety. A strong dose of Antifogmatic goes a long way.
  5. For all their peerless technical skill, it's the gutsiness they display throughout Antifogmatic that makes the album one of the year's finest, most ambitious records.
  6. It is, truly, postmodern bluegrass-keenly self-conscious of its own brilliance.
  7. If nothing on Antifogmatic is quite that ambitious, nevertheless in track after track Thile leads the band through labyrinthine arrangements that shift tempos and instrument groupings, over which he sings abstract lyrics in a slightly disembodied high tenor voice.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 2 out of 2
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 2
  3. Negative: 0 out of 2
  1. Feb 16, 2013
    9
    It really is a great album and a great gift for the audience returned to Folk, these guys do a job graceful and almost flawless, Punch BrotherIt really is a great album and a great gift for the audience returned to Folk, these guys do a job graceful and almost flawless, Punch Brother certainly is a large group of its kind. Expand
  2. Mar 9, 2015
    9
    Antifogmatic, noun. 1. An alcoholic drink taken in the morning to brace oneself before going out into bad weather. Although the setup is of aAntifogmatic, noun. 1. An alcoholic drink taken in the morning to brace oneself before going out into bad weather. Although the setup is of a traditional five-piece string band (and the album name taken from a 19th century “health” practice), there is nothing traditional about Punch Brothers' Antifogmatic. Labeling their vein of bluegrass music as progressive would be a considerable understatement: Thile integrates influences as diverse as Bach and Bill Evans into the band's sound, as heard on their previous album Punch. While its predecessor was defined by a leviathan level of musicianship, ingenuity, and ambitiousness bordering on unintelligibility (notably Blind Leaving The Blind, a 40-minute, 4-part Newgrassical suite), Antifogmatic straddles the sidelines between the band's well known convolution and a new sense of accessibility (one may dare to use the description “poppy”) not heard since Thile's work in Nickel Creek.
    Moments like the chorus of “You Are” or the verses of “Rye Whiskey” would get most people's feet tapping, while Thile's soaring tenor vocals throughout the record dapple a feeling of familiarity over the sometimes disparate and dissonant instrumental background. The group's progressive approach to harmony and arrangement can be felt palpably on “Welcome Home” while a rich and energetic variety of rhythms are employed on “Don't Need No.” The group adorns the album with their musical chemistry and compositional prowess as one would adorn a Christmas tree with lights and ornaments, and Thile's virtuosic mandolin work floats like an angel above the whole thing.
    Although Punch Brothers is far from the most accessible group in the country and folk genres, Antifogmatic gives more handholds for easy listening than previously offered. The track “Alex” presents nice juxtaposition of a serenading, almost lullaby-esque shuffle interrupted by a more urgent chorus. Of any of the Punch Brothers' albums, I would first recommend this one to a friend. This is because of the digestibility with which the band presents their style without any sacrifice of the taste or textures that define Punch Brothers. Despite this, one should take the album with a grain of salt, bracing for unconventionalism and turbulence in Antifogmatic, much like one would take an Antifogmatic before venturing into a storm.
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