Atlas - Real Estate
Metascore
78

Generally favorable reviews - based on 33 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 28 out of 33
  2. Negative: 0 out of 33
  1. Mar 4, 2014
    90
    This time round, perhaps due to Courtney’s settling down and the addition of Girls keyboardist Matt Kallman, the band sounds fuller and more mature, with a tendency to look forward rather than harking back to the past.
  2. Oct 30, 2014
    89
    Real Estate already evaded the sophomore slump on 2011's impressive Days, now Atlas furthers the catalog.
  3. Mar 4, 2014
    88
    It’s a quietly sublime work from a group of musicians who have always insisted--via their straight-up goofy music videos, Budweiser references and substitute teacher-like appearances--they’re just average suburbanites.
  4. Mar 3, 2014
    88
    They’ve made the first record of their career that feels like it might teach you something over time. It is rare, and special, for a band to be this effortlessly and completely themselves.
  5. 83
    The chords and arrangements on Atlas are the densest Real Estate have ever attempted, shading their sunshine into something palpably more mysterious, like a sunset in inclement weather.
  6. 83
    With each album Real Estate has sharpened this process, making Atlas both immediately recognizable and their most interesting album to date.
  7. May 7, 2014
    80
    The music Real Estate make is so melodic and plentiful that it could capture any feeling it wanted to--Atlas just transposes their sound into the evening.
  8. Mar 21, 2014
    80
    Charm, tunes and a certain hazy vision--Real Estate have them in abundance, and on Atlas they are more than enough to coax endless summer warmth from behind the wall of winter. [Apr 2014, p.92]
  9. Mar 14, 2014
    80
    It contains some of the band's most beautiful, idyllic songs to date. [Apr 2014, p.117]
  10. Mar 7, 2014
    80
    Atlas is dominated by a saturated prettiness that seems at once virtuoso and effortless. [Apr 2014, p.68]
  11. Mar 5, 2014
    80
    If Real Estate captured the essence of summer, and Days maintained an unmistakably autumnal aura, then Atlas, the most thematically mature of the three, could easily be classified as Real Estate's wintery opus.
  12. Mar 4, 2014
    80
    Atlas, the ever-weighty third album, finds this cohesive crew, past and present now in lockstep, considering how best to turn their internal dialogue outward and beyond.
  13. 80
    The calm, earthy and delicate Atlas, the third Real Estate album, is less ambitious than its second album, “Days,” and somehow more heroic.
  14. Mar 3, 2014
    80
    As simple and unchallenging as Atlas is, it’s undoubtedly the group’s most emotionally resonant album, both sonically and lyrically, even if Real Estate chooses to unleash them in a diminutive sigh rather than a fearsome roar.
  15. Mar 3, 2014
    80
    With third full-length Atlas, Real Estate grow even further into the sound they've been spinning for themselves, mellowing more while they become more nuanced in both playing and production.
  16. 80
    On first listen, their third album sounds undercooked but dig deep and, gradually, the five-piece are revealed as a tranquil indie-rock outfit whose songs evoke the innocence of your early 20s while shot through with a sadness that imbues them with depth.
  17. 80
    There’ll be plenty of albums this year that grab you by the throat more vigorously than Atlas does, but very few of them will be quite as lovingly nuanced--and none will make the guitar sound anything like as appealing.
  18. Feb 27, 2014
    80
    The excellent follow–up to 2011's Days is caught between a blissed-out Byrdsy summer of love and Deerhunter's gawky awkwardness, while shimmering slacker guitars heighten a sense of nostalgia.
  19. Feb 27, 2014
    80
    The album plods occasionally, but then the band’s mastery of mood shifts kicks in and a dreamy landscape and simple, jangly verse turn into a big, beautiful chorus.
  20. Feb 26, 2014
    80
    Through lulling endless days to fretting thoughts about the future, they remain the same bunch, capable of making the impossible sound almost too easy.
  21. Feb 26, 2014
    80
    It's nostalgic and reflective, regretful and romantic. [Feb/Mar 2014, p.75]
  22. Feb 26, 2014
    80
    Another excellent album from a band who know how to play to their strengths.
  23. Mar 6, 2014
    70
    What's great about Atlas, the quintet's huge, intentional about-face of a third record, is that it most definitely didn't organically occur.
  24. Mar 5, 2014
    70
    These songs are Polaroid snapshots of friends, families, lovers, cul-de-sacs and empty highways. Some are perfectly, sentimentally fuzzy, and some don’t quite make it into the scrapbook.
  25. Mar 4, 2014
    70
    It's amiable, deceptively dense and, ultimately, rewarding.
  26. Mar 4, 2014
    70
    Their third LP refines the approach with keyboardist Matt Kallman, allowing guitarists Martin Courtney and Matt Mondanile more curlicue time and adding a spacier vibe.
  27. Feb 27, 2014
    70
    If ‘April’s Song’ is the low point of the record’s wanderlust--an affectless instrumental track that goes nowhere--elsewhere it blooms wonderfully.
  28. Feb 26, 2014
    70
    Atlas is full of seemingly effortless, ageless, guitar-driven songcraft.
  29. Oct 28, 2014
    60
    If anything, Atlas sounds like a fully formed album from another era, complete with woozy harmonies, an assured shimmer and a constant jangle.
  30. Mar 31, 2014
    60
    Atlas sees a further distillation of their sound; where once appealingly fuzzy, guitars now chime with crystalline clarity.
  31. Feb 26, 2014
    60
    It's a pity they remain slavishly committed to a successful template and too often Atlas feels like a memory of a memory.
  32. Mar 4, 2014
    58
    The Real Estate of Days was eager to take the listener off guard, to show off its ample musicianship through tunefully off-kilter songs. In contrast, the band that made Atlas seems to be hesitatingly wondering what to do next. Here’s hoping it’s something surprising.
  33. Mar 3, 2014
    40
    Though the record cleans up some with the drifting “How Might I Live” and a quick hit of sadness from closer “Navigator”, these are but mild highpoints in a waste of still-milder mediocrity
User Score
7.9

Generally favorable reviews- based on 51 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 9 out of 10
  2. Negative: 0 out of 10
  1. Mar 5, 2014
    6
    Atlas SOUNDS nice, but the production and style overshadow simple, uninteresting songs that are too understated, too apathetic to catch andAtlas SOUNDS nice, but the production and style overshadow simple, uninteresting songs that are too understated, too apathetic to catch and hold my attention. Fans of the genre will undoubtedly find something here - and that is not a bad thing. Real Estate remains at least competent in putting together a worthwhile listen. For me, however, the instrumentals blend together too often, the songs don't differentiate themselves from one another, and the album takes too few risks, dulling the overall atmosphere. Album flow does not always have to be a direct result of similar songwriting and production; it is possible to switch styles and vary dynamic diversity and still have a cohesive effort. Real Estate, in my opinion, has fallen short in that aspect. Full Review »
  2. Mar 4, 2014
    9
    The things is with this album is, Real Estate has changed, a lot, but in very subtle ways. One of the most obvious being production. In myThe things is with this album is, Real Estate has changed, a lot, but in very subtle ways. One of the most obvious being production. In my opinion the production on this album is amazing. This is exactly how a guitar should sound. The interplay between the two guitars, and even the bass and synth/organ on some of these songs are great. The lyrics are also more mature and surprisingly clever and smart. This is an album that requires (for me) a few listen through but then at one point, it clicks and you realize how brilliant this album is. Full Review »
  3. Sep 9, 2014
    10
    I did heard a change from Days to Atlas, but its subtle and sincerely is only for a good cause. The result is a great production with melodiesI did heard a change from Days to Atlas, but its subtle and sincerely is only for a good cause. The result is a great production with melodies that are greater than any other Real Estate song. Each instrument sounds like it should, the vocals sound better than ever and the mood of the album, in general, is more fun and transmits much more (specifically joy). Since 'Had to Hear', the band shows what you're in for, and by the time you reach 'Crime' the only thing you want is for the album to last longer. With easy but seductive songs like 'Primitive' and 'Navigator', you end up with a smile on your face, for sure. Full Review »