Baby 81 - Black Rebel Motorcycle Club
Metascore
71

Generally favorable reviews - based on 29 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 21 out of 29
  2. Negative: 0 out of 29
  1. A painfully disappointing artistic failure.
  2. The bulk of Baby 81 draws from the dark underbelly of the Woodstock generation. [Jun 2007, p.156]
  3. Whatever happened to BMRC's rock & roll? Sounds like they found it.
  4. In the context of their seemingly blinkered attempts at finding some source of inspiration they've produced an entertainingly atmospheric, melodic record to bracing and accessible effect.
  5. This "Baby…" is bloated and bursting from its nappies - and that goes for the songs as well as duration.
  6. Baby 81 is simply BRMC doing what they do best, and for the first time since their debut record six years ago they actually sound like a band that enjoyed themselves while making this album.
  7. 82
    Baby 81 is the offspring of all three albums. [#25, p.96]
  8. "Baby 81" isn't an all-out fuzz free-for-all, though, and the California trio retains some of the gentler ideas it explored last time out.
  9. Revolutionary? Not really. But another strong turn.
  10. The creative engine has stalled on Baby 81.
  11. 70
    Baby 81 finds BRMC back in control of the street corner, cigarette squints and rock'n'roll swagger intact. [Summer 2007, p.90]
  12. 80
    Baby 81 finds a band evolving past expectations into a newly intriguing proposition. [Jun 2007, p.101]
  13. Given it's gestation, it's fairly amazing that Baby 81 wasn't stillborn. To find it's kicking with such vigor is little short of remarkable.
  14. They have clawed their way back with an album encapsulating much of what initially made them such an exciting group.
  15. Baby 81's not nearly as original or as interesting as their past releases – including Howl.
  16. It's the sound of a band trying to play it both ways, and succeeding at neither. [May 2007, p.61]
  17. BRMC is a big, dumb band who writes big, dumb songs.
  18. 'Baby 81' sees a band lose focus from what made them tick in the first place.
  19. Baby 81 isn’t nearly as complete as Howl despite their admirable willingness to try different things.
  20. Baby 81 is a wicked crystallization of all the sounds on the first album, tightened up and brightened up and even louder and more textured.
  21. On tracks such as single Weapon Of Choice, Berlin, 666 Conductor and Need Some Air, BRMC can show anyone a clean set of scuffed heels. [May 2007, p.123]
  22. 80
    [BRMC] have never sounded more self-assured. [May 2007, p.84]
  23. A masterful little work of sonic soundscapes, dark edges, muted colors, and low, simmering sexuality.
  24. The songwriting isn’t BRMC’s most memorable, but Baby 81’s noise-roots fumes are pretty thick.
  25. While this is BRMC at their best, consistency is still their biggest enemy.
  26. The righteous Southern revival swagger of these electrified riffs collect over Jago’s drums to rain down the real rawk people have mistakenly praised Kings Of Leon for providing, absolutely destroying them at their own game.
  27. 80
    BRMC seem invincible; or back to their searing best, at any rate. [May 2007, p.87]
  28. Baby 81 still contains a decent collection of songs, it’s just that not only do most of them not stand out from the band’s previous work, they also pale in comparison. [#17, p.82]
  29. 80
    Still clenching its beloved Americana, BRMC spits a familiar noise that has transformed from a mountain of stifling volume into a dense layering of sophisticated references. [May 2007, p.93]
User Score
8.2

Universal acclaim- based on 58 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 30 out of 36
  2. Negative: 1 out of 36
  1. May 14, 2011
    9
    not as original as the debut.. somthing got lost in the shoegaze sense of the band... but not everything has to be original to be good. if the songs are strong enough and the production is solid. your on the right track Full Review »
  2. AfrofromAbove1979
    Jul 27, 2007
    10
    Glorious Glorious Glorious!!! My favourite of 2007... American X: a masterpiece of 9:11 minutes... Baby 81: a masterpiece of 60:26 minutes... BRMC: a masterpiece forever. Full Review »
  3. PaulF
    Jul 16, 2007
    10
    Wow, I thought BRMC's earlier albums were amazing - this totally blows them out of the water. Absolutely fantastic!