• Record Label: Red
  • Release Date: Jun 15, 2010
Metascore
64

Generally favorable reviews - based on 15 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 7 out of 15
  2. Negative: 1 out of 15
  1. Whether or not the addition of Burrows is solely responsible for the improvement in consistency on this fourth album isn't clear, but Barbara is their best work by far. Current fans will be glad and new ones may be easier to come by.
  2. They're having their own sonic keg party here: coasting through the fuck-ups on the basic likeability-- the sheer shaggy melodic charm--of the hosts.
  3. Barbara is the latest addition to the New York outfit's solid discography, and if things seem kind of familiar around here, it's because the trio hasn't bothered to fix something that isn't broken.
  4. Rock act We Are Scientists typically has a good sense of what hits, but on its latest album, Barbara, the band begins to figure out what misses.
  5. True, there isn't necessarily the one big hitter that will guarantee the Scientists' vault back into the big time limelight. But Barbara is packed full of enough immediate favourites to claw back their fan base from the off.
  6. On 2008's Brain Thrust Mastery, the trio attempted to inject a bit more seriousness and Brit-pop influence into their best-when-kept-simple sound, to varying results, but Barbara finds them back in their comfort zone--fun, danceable pop-rock.
  7. Barbara accomplishes something pretty rare. It successfully combines the best elements of two very different predecessors into one complete sound. Every track on this album isn't a total winner, but enough of them are to leave a strong overall impression.
  8. 60
    A solid if not spectacular, step forward for a band unfathomably more popular in the Uk than their homeland. [Jul 2010, p.92]
  9. Barbara is pure We Are Scientists, and in the context of the band's discography, it's hopelessly unoriginal but undoubtedly strong, the kind of record that will either have you tearing out your hair in frustration at a band that showed so much promise or singing along in your car to a CD chock-full of superb sing-a-longs.
  10. Barbara shows that We Are Scientists know what works for them, and even if it never quite breaks the barrier between pleasant and great, it's almost always enjoyable.
  11. 60
    This is a conventional effort, featuring four-to-the-floor rock and likeable disco-indie. [Aug 2010, p.102]
  12. As ever, the drawback is a surfeit of earnestness; some of the irreverent humour of their live shows qouln't go amiss. [Aug 2010, p.127]
  13. Listening to Barbara is like watching the England football team; expectations are high at the outset and true to form, things get off to a rousing start. However, after the halfway mark normality sets in, there's an alarming sense of underachievement and long before its conclusion, you're dismissing them as hapless failures.
  14. We Are Scientists know how to create instantly catchy tunes, unfortunately they've yet to master making them stick in the memory bank.
  15. In the end, Barbara could've been made by a computer with a specific coding procedure: bass riffs align themselves into right angles, sharp synth lines blare, hi-hats sizzle, hooks dissolve on contact, and 2004 never ends.
User Score
7.3

Generally favorable reviews- based on 14 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 2 out of 3
  2. Negative: 0 out of 3
  1. Aug 27, 2010
    8
    I should not like this as much as I do, but I cannot help myself. There is nothing especially new here, but everything We Are Scientists haveI should not like this as much as I do, but I cannot help myself. There is nothing especially new here, but everything We Are Scientists have done so far has been polished and delivered with such self-confidence, charm and gusto that you just have to go along with it. Full Review »
  2. BowlegsMusicReview
    Jun 18, 2010
    5
    Bowlegs Music Review gave this album 5 out of 10. Review is online now.
  3. AustinM
    Jun 17, 2010
    8
    I absolutely love With Love and Squalor and Brain Thrust Mastery. Barbara is still good and has one of my favorites of the theirs on it but I absolutely love With Love and Squalor and Brain Thrust Mastery. Barbara is still good and has one of my favorites of the theirs on it but to me it just doesn't match up with their previous work. Don't get me wrong, I still love this album. I highly suggest buying the physical copy solely for the CD insert. One of the funniest and most entertaining booklets ever. Pick this up especially if you are a WaS fan. Full Review »