Badlands - Dirty Beaches
Badlands Image
Metascore
76

Generally favorable reviews - based on 8 Critics What's this?

User Score
7.6

Generally favorable reviews- based on 8 Ratings

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  • Summary: This is the latest album for the Canada-based Taiwanese lo-fi indie singer Alex Zhang Hungtai.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 6 out of 8
  2. Negative: 1 out of 8
  1. Apr 15, 2011
    91
    Every inch of Badlands is coated in sheets of echo and shadow, giving the record an atmosphere much more in tune with the darker, twisted tones of his influences than his bedroom-bound peers. Even when Badlands softens up, as it does with the shop-window balladry of "True Blue" and "Lord Knows Best," the result is every bit as unsettling as it is romantic.
  2. Apr 15, 2011
    80
    When you have someone who's both gifted in setting the scene and telling the story as Hungtai is, you wanna live out the illusion as long as possible, and not just wait for the sequel.
  3. Dec 7, 2011
    80
    It feels like Hungtai is still developing his sound to its fullest, but Badlands is still an intriguing and often haunting official debut.
  4. At only eight tracks, Badlands is a short album, but it packs plenty of ideas into its brevity.
  5. Apr 15, 2011
    70
    It's an enjoyable record (if somewhat slight, for a full-length), but its best moments are a lot like those faded mom-and-dad photos Huntai likes to use: iconic, intriguing, but not quite his own.
  6. Apr 15, 2011
    60
    Under 30 minutes long, Badlands is a short burst of concentrated energy that gradually slides into less compelling instrumental murk.
  7. Apr 15, 2011
    30
    The songs can't go anywhere due to the length of the loops and the conceit of assembling them, so Huifang hisses over the "music" in this hiccuping, Fonzi-fied affectation that is one of the most blatant and unoriginal guises to come down yet in our lazy, near-sighted approximation of what we construe as challenging or worthwhile music in 2011.

See all 8 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 1
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 1
  3. Negative: 0 out of 1
  1. Dec 18, 2011
    10
    Pretty awesome. Recorded on a cassette and it sounds like it. Super cool 50's karaoke/trip hop hybrid (worn out vinyl, reverb, loops, and samples).