Arm's Way - Islands
Arm's Way Image
Metascore
71

Generally favorable reviews - based on 25 Critics What's this?

User Score
8.9

Universal acclaim- based on 18 Ratings

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  • Summary: The sophomore album for the Montreal-based indie group is its first on the Anti- label.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 19 out of 25
  2. Negative: 0 out of 25
  1. It is a towering, complex achievement and startling progression to boot.
  2. 88
    This is freaky, transcendent stuff. [Spring 2008, p.94]
  3. This collection comes together in a much more cohesive and fluid sense [than their debut.] [June 2008, p.131]
  4. The Pulp frontman embodies entertainment, presenting pop anthems as masterpieces, and Thorburn pours just such confidence into Arm's Way.
  5. As is typical of Thornburn's music, Arm's Way must be approached with an open mind.
  6. These songs may be less immediately catchy, but all of them have a moment in which they break away from their straightforward guitar-rock underpinning and allow strange, spacious moments to burble up from within.
  7. Everything here is overdone, whether it's Nick Thorburn's thatrical vocals, the myriad pointless time changes or J'aime Vous Von Quitter's horrid La Bamba-style outero. [June 2008, p.142]

See all 25 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 1
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 1
  3. Negative: 0 out of 1
  1. Aug 17, 2014
    10
    I listen to a lot of music, and this has got to be the most underrated album of the last decade. Where the critics said overstuffed, bloated, and overwrought, I say pick one song, any song, and it'll be stuffed with more ambition, skill, and smarts (and stunningly gorgeous lilting melodies that make you wish your heart could just break right there) than anything else I've heard....period. I'm resorting to hyperbole simply because there's no other way to describe this album that so many seem to have missed. It's an artistic triumph that doesn't stop giving. It's an artist working at the absolute peak of his formidable powers, going places I fear he'll never go again. His output since this album has been puzzling at best, and I can't help but think he took the critical response to Arm's Way to heart in a way that's stifled his artistic intuition. It's been six years since its release, and this album could not feel more essential to me. Expand