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Boys Outside Image
Metascore
80

Generally favorable reviews - based on 16 Critics What's this?

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  • Summary: The Beta Band's Steve Mason releases his first solo album under his name.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 15 out of 16
  2. Negative: 0 out of 16
  1. He's turned a hard patch into something transcendental. However brief, however ephemeral, there's a sense of spiritual overcoming that encompasses not just his own history, but the experiences that listeners bring to these sad songs, as well.
  2. Boys Outside is a confident, stripped-down affair that benefits from the pop smarts of co-producer Richard X (Sugababes).
  3. 80
    Less electronic than the albums he made under his King Biscuit Time and Black Affair aliases, it's Mason's best post-Beta Band work. [Jun 2010, p.98]
  4. This album offers an elegant blend of trilling piano, strummed guitar and crisp digital beats, but it's dominated by Mason's voice, and his monastic chants prove as soothing and stirring as when they wafted across The Beta Band's deathless debut 'Dry The Rain'.
  5. So Boys Outside has its experimental elements after all, but only by degrees. Mason starts with sturdily constructed songs, then loosens the screws one by one.
  6. This is the most balanced album of Mason's career, or certainly the least precipitous. There is still a yawning void beneath him, but for once it doesn't sound as if he's about to fall into it, and you can't help but share his relief.
  7. In this stripped-back setting, in which Mason's muted guitar and piano melodies are given a subtle electronic frosting by producer Richard X, his meditations on depression and heartbreak are devastatingly direct

See all 16 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 1
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 1
  3. Negative: 0 out of 1
  1. Sep 16, 2010
    9
    What a great album. A slow burner that invades the room and your mind. So nice to here guitars drums and piano complemented by just the rightWhat a great album. A slow burner that invades the room and your mind. So nice to here guitars drums and piano complemented by just the right dose of electronics. The songs are beautiful and the voice is lovely. Steve Masons vocals are very distinctive almost "gregorian" in nature and permeate a wonderful tapestry of sound. One of my favourite cds of the year and one that I will play in the future as it has a classical quality about it. Highly recommended for the lovers of intelligent, background or distinctively vocal music. Collapse