Avi Buffalo - Avi Buffalo
Metascore
81

Universal acclaim - based on 19 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 17 out of 19
  2. Negative: 0 out of 19
  1. "What's in it for me?" Zahner-Isenberg sings with a piercing squeak in the chorus of the album's gooiest pop song. He honestly doesn't know, and that's what makes Avi Buffalo such an affecting listen.
  2. For all his fragility, Avi is as good a songwriter as anyone who's ever traded under Sub Pop's logo. And that's quite a claim.
  3. 86
    Continue to muse, and this strange, wonderfully unexpected work of art becomes one of the most mature (and stirring) narratives on intimacy, fidelity, and hesitant honesty heard in a long while.
  4. The record could be accused of wearing its influences a bit obviously, but as Wilco, Flaming Lips and Mercury Rev borrowed from Neil Young, progression essentially comes through a degree of regression and, although Avi retreads familiar ground, he still adds his very own unique footprint to his band's debut.
  5. Throughout, Avi's vocals coalesce remarkably with those of keyboard player Rebecca Coleman, who was originally Avi's muse by way of an intense teenage crush.
  6. 80
    Mrs. Buffalo's boy's not one of the herd: weird, but kind of wonderful. [May 2010, p. 97]
  7. 80
    Sub Pop reckon they've unearthed a gem in the form of 18-year-old Avi Buffalo frontman Avigor Zahner-Isenberg; the superior West Coast jangle of his debut album suggest they might well be right. [May 2010, p.92]
  8. There's a brief slump with One Last's fey melodies, but it's not enough to derail proceedings. A serious talented young band. [Jun 2010, p.119]
  9. Avi Buffalo sound like they're been propelled into the realm of Radio 1 and Later... With Jools Holland not because they fit a preconceived idea of good taste, but simply because they're good: it's hard to stop yourself feeling as enthusiastic as the guy who wrote them invariably seems to be.
  10. For those that can stand the fact that this lot really do possess some talent, this might be another slice of Sub Pop to add to the collection.
  11. The band comes together neatly, covering a range that encompasses stripped-down recordings and wider-canvas anthems. Avi Buffalo make songs that, at their best, remain lodged in one's head for days.
  12. Avi Buffalo have every reason to be sure of themselves; this sneakily complex, unsappily sentimental, thoughtfully naive debut is a very early success.
  13. Though the Long Beach band's sound may not be the most original going, Avi Buffalo pull it off with polish, not sacrificing quality production or songwriting for the sake of a vibe.
  14. Avi Buffalo manages to toe the "slacker pop" line without ever giving us the sense they're phoning it in. [Winter 2010, p.62]
  15. It's when they stomp their feet on that middle ground that their eponymous debut kicks up the most sand, and with a little more nuance, their future endeavors could leave some pretty hefty footprints.
  16. Avi Buffalo wear their musical influences on their sleeves (Built To Spill, the aforementioned Shins, Elephant 6, etc. etc.), and their lyrical direction is more Superbad than J.D. Salinger, but it's charming without being cloying, poppy without being overly sugary. Most importantly, it's the kind of debut that leaves you thrilled for what the future may bring, and that's something special.
  17. It's Avi Buffalo's lyrical content, though, that ends up giving away the band's level of maturity, for better and worse.
  18. The earth will remain unshattered by this release, but that's okay; there'll be time enough for rocking when we're old.
  19. Like the elder statesmen, the teenage California quartet offer skewed good-time indie pop that won't change your life but will sound fantastic blasted from a front porch on a summer day.
User Score
8.1

Universal acclaim- based on 19 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 2 out of 2
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 2
  3. Negative: 0 out of 2
  1. Jul 12, 2012
    8
    While easily accessible and quite pleasant, this album is sincere in both content and form. Its airy guitar and straightforward rock instrumentation are complemented perfectly by Zahner-Isenberg's youthful, at times whimsical, vocals. This songwriter has an impressive knack for catchy melodies and face-value hooks, but simultaneously reveals maturity through contemplative chord structure and stylistic variety. The album successfully integrates various rock, folk, and pop influences. It may not be a game-changing or ground-breaking opus, but it should definitely not be overlooked. At very least, it is a great debut from a very promising songwriter. Full Review »
  2. Nov 22, 2010
    7
    The opening track is has soothing melodies that seem to compliment as if you cuddled in your snuggie on a Sunday morning reading a love story. The album is soft and sweet, which could have a tendency to put some listeners slowly to sleep. Full Review »