Beta Love - Ra Ra Riot
Metascore
59

Mixed or average reviews - based on 20 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 6 out of 20
  2. Negative: 1 out of 20
  1. Jan 25, 2013
    90
    Ultimately though, whether robotic or human, binary or organic, it is Ra Ra Riot's gift for addictive, romantic songcraft that gives Beta Love its heart.
  2. Jan 22, 2013
    52
    Ra Ra Riot are best when they stick with what they wanted to get away from.
  3. Mar 12, 2013
    40
    Beta Love ultimately feels unfinished. [Apr 2013, p.109]
  4. Jan 22, 2013
    42
    It tries so hard to please that it becomes perversely repellant.
  5. Jan 25, 2013
    50
    Racing through 11 disjointed songs in 30 minutes flat, Ra Ra Riot never give their material a chance to breathe. Instead, we're left with somewhat impressive ideas, squandered with impressive vigor.
  6. Jan 22, 2013
    50
    Beta Love feels too much like the band's token electronic record. [Feb 2013, p.92]
  7. Jan 22, 2013
    40
    Beta Love is a fine album for the dance floor, a poor one for the headphones, and a disconcerting new direction for the band.
  8. Jan 22, 2013
    60
    Unfortunately, too many songs have that thin, cheap quality that so many indie dance bands were into a decade ago. Good thing they're so ridiculously catchy.
  9. 70
    None of the tracks break four minutes. Yet there are clear moments of self-reflexivity that make the new direction an easy adjustment.
  10. Feb 20, 2013
    64
    Ra Ra Riot devotees will also recognize this electronic turn. The change, although typical of seemingly every 21st-century band, is respectfully executed, retaining Ra Ra Riot’s unique style, making this third album far less superfluous than most indie-rock bands’ later efforts.
  11. Feb 25, 2013
    40
    This album may have been a growing pain in their attempt to evolve past their initial signature baroque pop, but it sounds like they missed a few steps that needed to be taken.
  12. Jan 22, 2013
    50
    Despite the experimentation, most of the album sounds as brittle as a demo.
  13. Jan 22, 2013
    70
    When Mr. Miles gets too literal, as on "Binary Mind," you can begin to feel cornered. Far better is his bittersweet keen on "Angel, Please" and "For Once" and "Is It Too Much," songs of direct melodic and emotional thrust.
  14. Feb 4, 2013
    46
    The result is an unfortunately hollow album, recycled in its sound and empty in its emotion.
  15. Jan 23, 2013
    75
    Beta Love is the best of both worlds: surprisingly slick and danceable, while subtly amplifying their art-school charm.
  16. Jan 22, 2013
    30
    The band's decision to eschew their trademark orchestration in favour of a more synth-driven sound was, sadly, a mistake.
  17. Mar 13, 2013
    40
    This is a confused mess of a record, with nonsensical lyrics, trite musical clichés, and not a lot else.
  18. 60
    Pop-radio metamorphosis hasn’t been fully achieved, and there are plenty of moments where pure beauty shines through.
  19. Jan 23, 2013
    70
    Ra Ra Riot's third LP, Beta Love, is a lot like a colorful box of candy--a bright and infectious collection of songs that hooks you on first taste.
  20. 50
    For an album that embraces the theme of technology, Beta Love sounds stuck in the past, belonging to an era in which the novelty of overusing the synthesizer has not yet worn off.

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