Celebration Castle

Metascore
77

Generally favorable reviews - based on 24 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 20 out of 24
  2. Negative: 0 out of 24
  1. Their second album isn't quite as good as their first album because its hooks are slightly less inescapable.... But the difference is slight, and other differences are positive.
  2. Spin
    91
    What it sounds like to be sucked into doomed romanticism rather than aspire to it. [Jun 2005, p.108]
  3. Celebration Castle confirms what anyone who heard Laced With Romance suspected -- that the Ponys are growing into one of the best and most powerfully pleasurable rock bands of their generation.
  4. Part of what makes this album work so well is that Gummere is willing to cede the mic to other bandmembers whose contributions contrast nicely with his own vocals.
  5. If you’re looking for a roaring, well-executed good time, look no further: the Ponys are practically peerless.
  6. The band's audible confidence in its music gives it the ability to negotiate sudden shifts of tempo, volume, distortion and tone without fussiness or confusion, demonstrating what Franz Ferdinand might sound like if the Scots were a little less together.
  7. Blender
    80
    What raises them above the hordes of young revivalists is their way with a cranky bon mot. [Jul 2005, p.121]
  8. Mojo
    80
    No duffers here, never a dull moment, satisfaction guaranteed. [Jul 2005, p.100]
  9. The Ponys' playing here is taut and immaculately cohesive, and appropriately the album sports an engaging live-in-the-studio production.
  10. Where the debut sounded like a drunken nihilist romp, Castle sounds like an artistic presentation of a drunken nihilist romp.
  11. The Ponys' arms are so full of the good old stuffs, they can't offer much that's new or really interesting, yet they're talented enough to make it difficult to care about that sort of thing.
  12. While some admirers of the band might bristle at the thought of a more understated Ponys album, Celebration Castle turns out to be a very fine piece of work in its own right.
  13. Cruising through a quieter set of cornfields than its predecessor, Celebration Castle never fully grasps the energy of Laced with Romance, but its songwriting and guitar work are equally as strong.
  14. The band's grace and curse is that it's more song-oriented than sound-oriented.
  15. Celebration Castle does rather suffer from a midsection slump.
  16. Uncut
    70
    Although less immediately catchy, Celebration Castle... soon warms up. [Jul 2005, p.94]
  17. The Ponys do what they do so brilliantly, and yet so casually, they make it seem simple.
  18. New Musical Express (NME)
    70
    They blend chiming, Television-style guitars and swooning miserabilism. [4 Jun 2005, p.58]
  19. Magnet
    70
    Its songs rest at the tipping point between melodic and atonal without seeming like middle-of-the-post-punk-road accords struck between dissenting intraband camps. [#68, p.106]
  20. Ponys sound like they're having a nice enough time, albeit with a lip-biting determination not to let things boil over.
  21. This record is solid and merits a listening, particularly for fans of similar straight-ahead rockers like the Constantines.
  22. Alternative Press
    60
    Their uncalculated sound puts them a step above their shamelessly careerist peers like the Von Bondies. [Jul 2005, p.182]
  23. The Ponys have achieved a certain level of competence, and if you're willing to accept that in place of originality or innovation, Celebration Castle is worth checking out.
  24. They’ve attempted to tighten up where their debut hung slack – shorter, less songs, less room to drag. Yet dragging is all that Celebration Castle does, falling deeper into the garage-meets-new wave dichotomy that looks good on paper but would require considerably more talent to execute.
User Score
8.9

Universal acclaim- based on 7 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 4 out of 4
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 4
  3. Negative: 0 out of 4
  1. axelb
    Apr 10, 2006
    9
    as always if you love a first album and the follow up is coming up you start wondering if it won't be an enormous disappointment as the as always if you love a first album and the follow up is coming up you start wondering if it won't be an enormous disappointment as the first album had it all, didn't it? well, this one is one of those rare albums that adds without taking away.....it adds colour and doesn't lose it's addictively driven rock and roll feel....i gotta say: I love the Ponys a whole lot ... and more. Full Review »
  2. JoeC
    Jul 1, 2005
    10
    Love the second release. Even better live!!!!!
  3. Francis
    May 17, 2005
    9
    Their sophomore LP is really great, more post-punk than Laced With Romance . . . it's tome for them to get on the front page. Nice Their sophomore LP is really great, more post-punk than Laced With Romance . . . it's tome for them to get on the front page. Nice album, greats songs . . . already a 2005 hilight !! Full Review »