Bosnian Rainbows - Bosnian Rainbows
Metascore
72

Generally favorable reviews - based on 12 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 9 out of 12
  2. Negative: 0 out of 12
  1. Jun 24, 2013
    80
    Without a weak song on board, Bosnian Rainbows is a daring, excellent debut that is as compelling as it is ambitious.
  2. 80
    For all of its freshness, there are clear influences at play here, most notably The Banshees or Yeah Yeah Yeahs. [Summer 2013, p.95]
  3. 70
    Whatever they’re reaching for as Bosnian Rainbows is far more exhilarating than what either party’s put to tape in recent years, specifically Rodríguez-López.
  4. Jun 24, 2013
    70
    It's very different, and whether or not it's better than The Mars Volta is a debate for others; what is clear is that Omar Rodriguez Lopez--and friends--still have a lot more to offer.
  5. Jul 15, 2013
    80
    Teresa Suarez's voice, naked and vulnerable amid woozy sounds and intricate soundscapes, is the real focus of Bosnian Rainbows. [22 Jun 2013, p.52]
  6. Jun 24, 2013
    80
    Bosnian Rainbows is no less powerful for its focus, segueing from fractured futuristic funk rock, to thorny melodic pop, to resonant power balladry with a fire and confidence confirming the Bosnian Rainbows as no mere "project," but indeed a whole new direction. [Jul 2013, p.86]
  7. 80
    Bosnian Rainbows finds Omar in controlled, more conventional territory than he has been in a while. There’s structure, sub-four-minute songs, melody. It’ll never be Nick Grimshaw’s Record Of The Week and it’s still prog, but it’s a punky prog that at least feels like it is actively trying to make friends with you.
  8. Jun 25, 2013
    73
    With the exception of a few songs, the album tends to fade into the massive sea of post-rock and new wave revivalists. Even the Yeah Yeah Yeahs can’t get away with it anymore. When songs do work, however, they shoot to thrill.
  9. Jul 10, 2013
    60
    At its best when following pop inspirations on Torn Maps or Turtle, it's still a challenge--just less so than the 11-minute jazz-rock freak-outs of old. [Aug 2013, p.95]
  10. Jul 15, 2013
    50
    As art-rock abnegation, it's impressive. But when he teases flamboyance on the death disco "Morning Sickness," you long for a little more excess.
  11. Jun 25, 2013
    67
    Bosnian Rainbows combines a lot of elements together, but it sometimes feels that they’re not sure which way they want to go. There are laidback, layered slow jams that make up the bulk of the record, but the LP’s best moments come when it adds more guitar-driven material.
  12. Jun 24, 2013
    60
    Admirably democratic, but a few dictatorial vetoes might not have gone amiss. [Jul 2013, p.71]
User Score
7.8

Generally favorable reviews- based on 8 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 3 out of 3
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 3
  3. Negative: 0 out of 3
  1. Sep 4, 2013
    9
    If you're reading this review hoping for a fanboy rant about The Mars Volta breaking up, you might as well just stop now, since my experience with the members' various previous bands is pretty minimal. So I'm hoping this review can offer an interesting perspective to this recently formed group & their debut album as someone without the biases or comparisons that would inevitably come with being a fan of the members' previous projects. And I was very impressed by this album overall. What we have here is 48 minutes of eccentric yet somewhat accessible indie rock. It's characterized by tight precise drum grooves, guitar lines with a hint of reverb that can go from driving to emotional to chaotic in minutes, and expressive & passionate vocals with lyrics to match. And it's all complimented with subtle electronics that help create an overall atmosphere for the album to live in, one that borders on soft but definitely has an edge to it. Even though nearly every song here has a few potent hooks that'll stick in the back of your mind, for someone that wants a good accessible gateway to the more experimental stuff I'd look to the singles “Torn Maps” & “Turtle Neck”, which still have all the best elements of this album but do it in a bit more of a straightforward & catchy way, though the transition from the dream pop chorus & verses to the awesome distorted meltdown about halfway into Turtle Neck might throw some people off. This is an interesting listen for sure, and I honestly can't think of a song here that I don't really like. I feel like I haven't been listening to enough less-accessible stuff this year & this certainly helps with that. It's nothing completely mind-blowing, but if you're looking for some great experimental indie rock, this is one of the first albums I'd recommend.

    Top 5 tracks: Turtle Neck, Torn Maps, I Cry for You, Mother Father Set Us Free, Morning Sickness
    Score: 90/100
    Full Review »
  2. Jul 2, 2013
    9
    If you listen to this album for what it actually is, its quite enjoyable. With roots in alternative, punk and electronic, its a great mix for the public's appetite for new music they have not yet heard. Bravo O-R L! Full Review »
  3. Jul 2, 2013
    6
    As a big At the Drive-In and Mars Volta fan, It's nice to see Omar doing something new. TMV seemed to be running out of steam for the past few years leading up to the Noctourniquet release. I really enjoy the new style Bosnian Rainbows brings. It's much lighter than either TMV or ATDI and has a more playful nature to it without being too goofy or silly. That said, upon several listens only about half of the songs really stand out to me. Check out "Worthless", "Morning Sickness", "Torn Maps" and "Turtle Neck" for the high points of the album. Many of the other songs just kind of meander along repetitively like Eli or lack a cohesive direction like the album's closer song.

    Specifically I find the best points of the album are when the guitar cuts through and gives the music a real bite, like Omar's creative punk stylings in "Torn Maps" or his syncopated arpeggios in "Turtle Neck". However, the guitar is instead used more passively much of the time, making it blend in with the keyboards in a big hazy wall of synth. There's already two or three layers of keyboards going on at any given time so it feels redundant.

    I have to say though, I love Teri's vocals. She can sing with real ferocity in songs like "Always on the Run" and "Torn Maps" but also maintains a beautiful, ethereal tone in "Turtle Neck" and "Morning Sickness". She brings a really diverse sound to the music and can always match the mood of the tracks with an appropriate style.

    In conclusion, the band has a lot of potential, but I feel a little disappointed that the tracks they released before the album hit were basically the best they had to offer. A little more of a quality check and track pruning would've gone a long way to stronger debut.
    Full Review »