• Record Label: Merge
  • Release Date: Aug 23, 2005
Metascore
83

Universal acclaim - based on 15 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 12 out of 15
  2. Negative: 0 out of 15
  1. At ten tracks, Bright Ideas doesn’t have a lot of fat, but it ultimately feels like it could have been more successful on the EP format McCaughan is so fond of.
  2. Portastatic is exactly as advertised: catchy, sometimes dumb, occasionally rockin', but always at least competent pop.
  3. Under The Radar
    60
    While McCaughan retains a lot of his vitality, he can't completely shake off the specter of comfortable maturity. [#11, p.116]

Awards & Rankings

User Score
9.0

Universal acclaim- based on 5 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 5 out of 5
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 5
  3. Negative: 0 out of 5
  1. leshectic
    Oct 10, 2005
    9
    Excellent rousing indie rock where Mac loses the repetitive Superchunk thrash and grows into a master of catchy laterday GBV-like up-tempo Excellent rousing indie rock where Mac loses the repetitive Superchunk thrash and grows into a master of catchy laterday GBV-like up-tempo rockers (highlighted by the heart of the order in "Through with People", "White Wave", "I Wanna Know Girls", and later "Soft Rewind") tempered with introspective ballads ("Truckstop Cassettes"). Previous efforts 'Summer of the Shark' & 'Autumn was a Lark' were quality but come across as mere solid compilations in comparison. Gone (for better or worse) are the lo-fi homerecorded feel of early Portastic. The aforementioned songs rank easily with Mac's best. The weakest track may be the opener "Bright Ideas", but listeners are rewarded through the remaining disc. The song sequencing makes this a quick enjoyable listen. Lately criminally dismissed as too consistent, this lively diverse set pushes Mac back to the top of the Indie Rock heap. A peak performance. Full Review »
  2. BrianM
    Sep 7, 2005
    9
    This is possibly the best Portastatic record to date. It has the "no-longer-a-side-project" feel. The songs are as strong as any Superchunk This is possibly the best Portastatic record to date. It has the "no-longer-a-side-project" feel. The songs are as strong as any Superchunk release or if not better. This is one of the better albums Mac has been with in the last couple of years. "I'm Through with People" has to be one of his best songs. Overall, this is well worth a shot. Full Review »
  3. raulz
    Sep 7, 2005
    8
    Mac scores again with his side-project Portastatic. Bright Ideas merges the spryer elements of Superchunk with the softer tone of Portastatic Mac scores again with his side-project Portastatic. Bright Ideas merges the spryer elements of Superchunk with the softer tone of Portastatic to a wonderful end.I enjoy it and it is the type of disc that unfolds over time. Full Review »