Brilliant! Tragic!


Generally favorable reviews - based on 21 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 12 out of 21
  2. Negative: 2 out of 21
Buy On
  1. May 26, 2011
    The lyrics are undoubtedly tragic, but they are what give Brilliant! Tragic! its brilliance.
  2. Uncut
    May 23, 2011
    Art Brut's fourth album marries attractively sloppy garage-rock riffing to boozy bad-sex confessionals and bittersweet self-examination. [Jun 2011, p.77]
  3. Mojo
    May 16, 2011
    Brilliant! Tragic! soars on the crumbling wings of an Adverts-brand art-punk and Argos's much-improved bellow. [Jun 2011, p.96]
  4. Alternative Press
    May 16, 2011
    On Brilliant! Tragic!, Argos has channeled his inner Johnny Rotten, seemingly vacillating between contempt and boredom. Fortunately, the band play with a similar sense of toughened rawness. [Jun 2011, p.106]
  5. Dec 19, 2011
    Brilliant! Tragic! is a little uneven in its mix of new and familiar ideas, but for a band as clearly defined -- and sometimes confined -- by its approach as Art Brut is, to start changing the formula is a big step forward.
  6. 70
    While the album is again principally focused on Eddie Argos, it's not exactly the same Argos. He has his quieter moments, his darker moments, even a rare, purely happy one. It's not a huge difference, not one that makes this seem like it's somebody else's album, but it's a difference nonetheless.
  7. May 24, 2011
    Accept the band for what they are: ironic sort-of-punkers-but-mostly-jokesters who like to pun Axl Rose and play Pixies-infused squelch-rock-which is exactly what they do on their new album, Brilliant! Tragic!
  8. May 23, 2011
    Nobody is suggesting that Brilliant! Tragic! isn't a flawed album, but it is also one which delivers some of the richest, fullest thrills of Art Brut's career.
  9. May 16, 2011
    The results vary: "Lost Weekend" is some kind of romantic peak, while the Lennon-esque "I Am the Psychic" is not.
  10. May 24, 2011
    That said, the serviceably catchy yet unobtrusive indie-rock instrumentation on Brilliant! Tragic! is some of the finest the group has offered, starting with the first couple of songs, which explore charted territory.
  11. With some great tracks, and some tracks that are only just okay, Brilliant! Tragic! is definitely worth listening to at least once or twice this summer.
  12. May 27, 2011
    Argos' delivery on Brilliant! Tragic! is a necessary and not unwelcome change, a way to keep the songs compelling and unpredictable.
  13. Under The Radar
    May 27, 2011
    Argos' smarm-charm remains solid, and the band behind the man can still walk the walk. {May 2011, p. 76]
  14. May 23, 2011
    On Art Brut's fourth – and sturdiest – album to date, he delivers his wry recaps between sudden thrusts of guitar and rigid, right-angle percussion.
  15. 60
    On 'Brilliant! Tragic!' all the usual themes crop up – loving Axl Rose, feeling sexy, the Republic of Sealand – but there's something strangely self-conscious about it all, like the way that Argos is trying to drum up, Big Brother-style, ever-stranger ideas, but without quite believing in them.
  16. May 20, 2011
    With fewer memorable songs than superior efforts like Art Brut vs. Satan or Bang Bang Rock & Roll!, Brilliant! Tragic! is neither as good nor as bad as its title suggests. In the interest of accurate advertising, I propose that the band renames the album Decent! Enough!
  17. May 18, 2011
    Since the lyrical content now borders on morose and even sadistic, the music also follows the leader with a muck of baseless solos and thrilling codas to compensate for the otherwise linear compositions.
  18. May 23, 2011
    At least he hasn't lost his wry sense of humor. But about this newfound singing business: Argos has discovered a voice that sounds a bit like Jarvis Cocker's, only if he'd lost it after a long night out drinking-- a little hoarse, whispering low so as not to upset the hangover.
  19. May 27, 2011
    Oddly, he's got a ton of talent, a great band, an excellent producer, and lots of committed fans, but he still comes across as needy and overbearing.
  20. May 25, 2011
    Argos's unrepentant superstar imitations aside, Brilliant! Tragic! holds some well-written standouts.
  21. May 23, 2011
    The jokes are reasonably funny and the riffs rock reasonably hard. But Argos never convinces you that his unlikely persistence is paying off.
User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 5 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 2 out of 2
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 2
  3. Negative: 0 out of 2
  1. May 24, 2011
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  2. May 24, 2011
    Art Brut's 4th album seems to have divided critics; there are those who don't seem to like the fact that Argos has changed his delivery style,Art Brut's 4th album seems to have divided critics; there are those who don't seem to like the fact that Argos has changed his delivery style, and seem to think that Eddie should have carried on with the 'spoken word' delivery. Then, there are those who praise the new 'singing' Eddie and see his different vocal style as a positive change. For the life of me, I can't figure out why people aren't more positive about it; it adds variety to the album and it means that the band are still challenging themselves, adapting and evolving with each album. The people who have criticised the new sound seem to want Art Brut to to continue in the same vein as their previous three albums; they don't want them to move on or change their style. The thing is, even with his new found singing voice, this album is unmistakably Art Brut; spiky riffs, wry, observational lyrics and rough, raw production. Full Review »