• Record Label: Barsuk
  • Release Date: Mar 21, 2006
Metascore
74

Generally favorable reviews - based on 20 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 14 out of 20
  2. Negative: 0 out of 20
  1. The duo... have actually improved, and the album sports stronger songs, a fuller sound, more emotional weight, and an exuberant soul that spills out of the speakers like milk and cake at a kid's birthday party.
  2. The songs skirt the edge of cute, but Gardner and Hammel's forthrightness and skillful arrangement keep them from becoming too sugary.
  3. 83
    [They] spruce up their cutesy indie pop with grander melodies, gigglier choruses, and a wider variety of sounds. [Apr 2006, p.91]
  4. Maturity beat[s] out playfulness. [May 2006, p.162]
  5. Mates Of State have always been poppy, catchy, and filled with love and joy, but here it all sounds greater, more heartfelt, and ambitious. [#13, p.87]
  6. This is rousing pop distilled down to its molecular structure, executed with confidence.
  7. It's irresistible. [16 Sep 2006, p.36]
  8. The fattened sound, however, doesn't mean an altered band, just a better one.
  9. They... make imaginative use of their spartan keyboards/drums/vocals lineup. [31 Mar 2006, p.64]
  10. 70
    Compared to the relative intensity of its opening numbers, precious few other moments on BIB escape the intertia of your average campfire bray-along, which is too bad since the sexy new studio sheen validates the Mates' many virtues. [#19, p.90]
  11. 70
    A simple pop prettiness mated with all lovie dovie. [Apr 2006, p.97]
  12. While the band is always fun and catchy, it can be a bit much after a while.
  13. 70
    Beneath the cheery chug and carnival-like fizz beats a sombre heart. [Oct 2006, p.117]
  14. Rather than the simple three-part-appeal that marked earlier albums (vocals, drums, and keys), the production here makes them sound like they are fronting a bona fide rock and roll band. This is a bad thing: this new complexity undermines their giddy, naïve appeal, and it drowns the vocals.
  15. A cohesive whole that bursts at the seams with a barely contained exuberance, Bring It Back finds a happy family unleashing sonic sunshine, spilling out of the speakers with unchecked abandon.
  16. Plucky, precious and sometimes cloying.
  17. 60
    Tones down the spazziness and turns up the googly-eyed lyrics about marital bliss. [Jun 2006, p.141]
  18. By the time the final tracks roll around and Gardner and Hammel still haven't changed their sound much, their lovey-dovey frivolity gets old.
  19. It all seems a bit too canned and contrived.
  20. There’s a really good EP waiting to be edited out of this.
User Score
8.4

Universal acclaim- based on 11 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 7 out of 7
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 7
  3. Negative: 0 out of 7
  1. Joel
    Oct 26, 2006
    10
    Wonderful album, the duo's best record to date. These songs are as catchy as they get. Its starts with one listen then you find your Wonderful album, the duo's best record to date. These songs are as catchy as they get. Its starts with one listen then you find your self repeating the album over and over. Great sing along album. Puts me in a great mood. Full Review »
  2. SamK!
    May 12, 2006
    10
    love it. Ive allways loved them. I get a little annoyed with "Like you Crazy" but, man. haha such a good album!
  3. AaronQ
    Apr 28, 2006
    8
    Still growing on me with every listen. Bigger, more instrumentation, but I miss the complexity and playfulness of the older albums. However, Still growing on me with every listen. Bigger, more instrumentation, but I miss the complexity and playfulness of the older albums. However, obviously more mature. I like it more and more with each listen. Full Review »