Generally favorable reviews - based on 16 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 9 out of 16
  2. Negative: 0 out of 16
  1. The Oakland quartet, now on Jack Johnson's Brushfire imprint, has a greater sense of urgency, sharper edges, and a more mature sound overall.
  2. 80
    This Oakland quartet teams with Yo Ma Tengo producer Roger Moutenot to create a make-or-break manifesto that often trumps indie rock's big-leaguers. [Oct 2007, p.110]
  3. Its third and most ambitious release. 'Asleep' is notable for its beefed-up instrumentation and an overall darker tone than its predecessors.
  4. Despite not being Rogue Wave's best album, it's still a lot better than what the average band produces. [Summer 2007, p.77]
  5. Similarities in vocals will mean that Lazy Shins Comparisons are inevitable, but when Rogue Wave break out of the confines of indie-by-association they prove they are a fine band indeed.
  6. It's the songs that are swollen, and Rogue Wave will likely remain a moderately successful act whose new album is slept on because its floral solidity isn’t enough to hold up the heft of its length.
  7. Asleep at Heaven's Gate now continues that same kind of expert carnival of noise, even as its songs are longer (six of the 12 creep over five minutes) and flirt with jam-band explorations. Oddly, though, it feels like a step back.
  8. The problem with Asleep at Heaven's Gate is that the second half isn't nearly as strong as the first.
  9. The quartet has continued down the big, dreamy path, but this time, it's made things longer and denser, and as a result, Asleep At Heaven's Gate ends up feeling more sluggish than it should.
  10. 60
    It may be that RW are out to capitalise on previous use of their music in shows such as "The O.C." and "Weeds," but Rogue's voice--as angelic and tender as those of Buckleys Tim and Jeff--is a joy throughout. [June 2008, p.103]
  11. 60
    Just prepare for a Rogue Wave deluge. [June 2008, p.102]
  12. Asleep at Heaven’s Gate is still as polite and polished as the "edgy" mainstream dramas it will no doubt continue to soundtrack. [June 2008, p.146]
  13. ['Fantasies' and 'Missed' are] mere tasty morsels amidst a mass of mid-tempo gelatin resulting from nearly arbitrary song structure ('Own Your Own Home'), bland chord progressions ("Ghost"), or one-take studio dickery ('Phonytown') that renders the closer, 'Cheaper Than Therapy,' a five-and-a-half minute afterthought.
  14. Asleep at Heaven’s Gate is strangely flawed because the warmth of the first two albums has been exchanged for grandeur and detached shellac. By no means is this a fall from grace for Rogue Wave, but it is the band’s first significant stumble.
  15. Asleep at Heaven's Gate isn't a bad record, it's an unnecessary one and there's really no excuse for that.
  16. Most of Asleep at Heaven’s Gate is forgettable, uninspired, middle-of-the-road indie pop.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 20 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 10 out of 12
  2. Negative: 1 out of 12
  1. VincentH.
    Dec 3, 2007
    Not as solid as their 2 previous Sub Pop releases. I highly recommend getting "Out of the Shadows" first. "Descenced Like Vultures" was a grower, but I now appreciate it as much as the first album. I don't know if it's the new producer (from Bill Racine to Roger Moutenot) or new label, but something is definitely amiss. The band is excellent as always, but honestly it just comes down to songwriting; the quality is just not there in comparison to their earlier stuff. I definitely appreciate the evolution of the music, but Zach Rogue is an incredible songwriter, and Rogue Wave fans can tell you, this guy has written very few unlikeable songs. While there are definitely gems here that could've easily fit on DLV (essentially the first 6 songs), but I agree with the Pitchfork review. The last half of the album is full of mostly forgettable melodies, which for Rogue Wave is very shocking. This guy knows how to write a catchy-ass pop song. Hopefully these guys can hook up with Bill Racine again for their next album. Oh well...we'll always have "Out of the Shadow". Full Review »
  2. ThomT.
    Nov 2, 2007
    There r 2 pop bands I can listen to without getting bored : Pinback & Rogue Wave. When the last PINBACK album disappoints me a bit, the RW 's "Asleep At Heaven's Gate" catch my ears all day long. And for a pop band it's a exploit RW manages since their marvelous "Out Of The Shadow". Full Review »
  3. JoseG.
    Oct 17, 2007
    This one's a grower, well for me it was at least. After several listens now, this has become one of my favorite albums of the past few months.