Anxiety - Autre Ne Veut
Metascore
78

Generally favorable reviews - based on 24 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 21 out of 24
  2. Negative: 0 out of 24
  1. Feb 25, 2013
    80
    Moving toward more mainstream sounds makes this album some of Autre Ne Veut's most distinct and confident music yet.
  2. Mar 1, 2013
    90
    The veritable smorgasbord that forms this album is made up of a great many influences, but when all of them are put together, the result is a musical statement that’s innovative on every imaginable level.
  3. Feb 26, 2013
    85
    An album where Ashin fearlessly reveals himself as a person and an artist and dares you to open up in the same way.
  4. Mar 1, 2013
    70
    Anxiety's blend of heaviness and gloss is unexpectedly affecting. [Apr 2013, p.67]
  5. 70
    Anxiety moves between smooth grooves and kaleidoscopic electronics, but it’s the sensual vocals that carry the record.
  6. Mar 4, 2013
    70
    While Ashin is clearly a major talent, he just needs to dial it down from time to time if he’s to deliver a wholly satisfying record.
  7. Mar 1, 2013
    70
    Despite subjecting himself to psychoanalysis and attempting to purge himself of ego, Ashin has created something emphatically empathetic out of his inner turmoil. He's going through it like everyone else, but the very personal Anxiety is remarkably messy, dramatic, poignant, and at times, beautiful.
  8. Mar 1, 2013
    100
    The lack of vanity, the frank way it strives for accessibility only serves to further magnify the greatness of Anxiety. It does the most ideal thing art can do: it tries to make sense of life itself, without pretense or guile.
  9. 80
    Ashin raises the bar. He relinquishes his inhibitions on Anxiety, an R&B diamond in the dense, desultory rough.
  10. Mar 5, 2013
    87
    Throughout Anxiety, tracks fail to resolve--“Counting,” “Promises,” “Gonna Die”--and initially I thought it was a songwriting flaw, coming on so fantastically strong there was nowhere left to go. But .... On multiple listens none of this plays accidental--songs run aground as a means of setting the next episode in motion.
  11. Feb 25, 2013
    60
    Despite all its plasticized production and cartoon antics, however, what makes Anxiety so endearing is that it's the candid expression of an artist with nothing left to hide, and something real to share.
  12. Feb 28, 2013
    70
    It’s an entertaining record to hear, but at times a devastating one to listen to.
  13. Mar 5, 2013
    70
    The highlights are somewhat front-loaded; Autre Ne Veut’s schtick begins to wear by the end.
  14. Oct 4, 2013
    67
    Anxiety has a healthy appetite for evasiveness, an intimately layered R&B disc that never lets the listener rest too comfortably.
  15. Mar 15, 2013
    75
    Anxiety is the rare electro-pop album that's wholly synthetic, but plays without a hint of icy artificiality. [No. 96, p.53]
  16. Feb 28, 2013
    50
    Ashin, in giving so much of himself away, leaves little scope for the kind of mystery that might enable his musical settings to transcend their functional pop status. [Feb 2013, p.60]
  17. Feb 28, 2013
    60
    The best of these songs, by a long ways, is "Counting." [...] Yet elsewhere, Ashin sounds like he's treading water, emoting floridly but to no real purpose over shiny, surface-y arrangements.
  18. Mar 5, 2013
    70
    This is an album of climaxes and cathartic streams of consciousness, but an album listenable from start to finish.
  19. 70
    Although this is at times a frustratingly inconsistent demonstration of his talents, Autre Ne Veut is still one of the more accomplished acts to have emerged from the bedroom R’n'B/future pop/whatever niche.
  20. Anxiety matches the emotional heights and immediacy of the music Ashin was inspired by, but what arrives from his limitations--as a singer, as a DIY-ist--adds to the record a personal foundation and raw authenticity no amount of budget could erect.
  21. Mar 4, 2013
    80
    With all its messy emotions, unfiltered memories and contradicting revelations, Anxiety shows that it’s not only possible to write a self-conscious record without the protective shield of anonymity, it can be just as thrilling.
  22. Apr 2, 2013
    70
    Many of the songs feel like they're improvised by someone with an encyclopedic knowledge of vocal pop music.
  23. Feb 25, 2013
    80
    Anxiety is a draining front-to-back listen; it becomes much more comfortable when one is able to take each track as an individual single. However, there is a reward for making it to the end of Ashin's therapy session.
  24. 83
    It grows beyond its deeply emotional roots, to become whatever you want it to be.
User Score
8.1

Universal acclaim- based on 42 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 8 out of 10
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 10
  3. Negative: 2 out of 10
  1. Mar 1, 2013
    10
    Since the first playthrough of this album a few days ago, I haven't been able to stop listening. What Arthur Ashin lacks in powerful open-throat vocals he makes up for with inventive bellowing riffs and the rare case of overproduction being a compliment. Almost every song has an element which makes it stand out and keeps you coming back for more. If anything, the fact Arthur isn't the best singer but can still approximate the notes he's going for only adds to the inspiring vulnerability he puts on display. He is opening his heart and daring you not to open yours in return. To be fair, I'd normally give this album a 9/10 but am trying to offset the completely unreasonable Zeros some folks have given this. I mean jeez, even if you can't stand the vocals, you give a Zero to stuff like Metallica and Lou Reed's 'Lulu,' not something that's got actual talent and intrigue involved like 'Anxiety.' Full Review »
  2. Feb 26, 2013
    10
    This album is absolutely fantastic! I give this a 10 for the absolutely brilliant production and songwriting–flawless avant-pop! The highlights for me are the songs "Play by Play", "Gonna Die", "World War", and "A Lie"...buy this album ASAP! Full Review »
  3. Mar 4, 2013
    10
    This album is arguably sonically complex. Layers of heavily (verging on over) produced melodies, effects and words collide together. Messy, striking waves crash, pulsate and breathe through every moment of this album. There is almost always something going on, something to take your attention. It shouldn't work. it should be an overproduced mess. It should be a pulpy, sticky primordial paste of an album with stretches of dull, bleak soundscapes punctuated by the odd crescendo that we have come to associate with modern pop music. But it does work. It works superbly. Because beneath the gloss and the layered production there is heart. This album is like a fine novel covered in a cellophane wrapper that at times bursts out and steals the stage, and with it; the listener's heart and soul. There are times in which all the craziness stops. All of the play-acting. All the masks are dropped and something rises from the ashes like a giant pheonix-cum-robot overlord straight from Transformers. Anxiety crafts a fortress of beats, melodies and synthetic emotion then burns it all down. From the remnants of modern perfection, something brilliant in the most old fashioned way arises. This album is the Beach Boys, The Jimi Hendrix Experience, Pink Floyd, The White Stripes, Arcade Fire and everything I have ever loved about music on one LP. It may just be smokes and mirrors, but for now I may just be in love.

    However, I could write this pseudo intellectual twaddle for ages. I could do my best Pitchfork impression by telling you about my life and why this album is so important. I won't waste any of your time doing so. Just remember this: this album is a comfort blanket. It is your mum. It is where you go after a hard day. It's where you go after a good day. It's where you go when all hope is lost. It's where your battles have been fought. It's there, a warm, beautiful, orgasmic comfort blanket made from the best heroin anyone has ever mainlined. It's every joyous emotion you've ever experienced condensed into one. It's, for me, the best album ever made. DISCLAIMER: THIS IS MY OPINION, AND EXPRESSES MY TASTES. IT'S PROBABLY WRONG TO LOVE THIS ALBUM LIKE I DO, BUT THIS REVIEW IS BEREFT OF ANY IRONY AND IS SINCERE. IT WAS WRITTEN TO ENCOURAGE OTHERS TO LISTEN TO THIS MASTERPIECE.
    Full Review »