Cloak and Cipher

Metascore
71

Generally favorable reviews - based on 14 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 12 out of 14
  2. Negative: 0 out of 14
Buy On
  1. Aside from some quirky song titles, there's little about Land of Talk that's abnormal. In the end, they're just solid all the way around.
  2. Ultimately, you sense Powell pushing, giving and breaking through.
  3. Cloak and Cipher is unpretentious in every respect, escalating their previous subtleties with furious, transcendent melancholic moments. While many Canadian bands find themselves teetering on the edge after much premature praise, it comes as a pleasant surprise that Land of Talk keep getting better.
  4. 80
    This Montreal band's second full-length expands the abrasive post-hardcore and tender, tuneful poles of 2007's Some Are Lakes with help from members of Arcade Fire, Stars, and Besnard Lakes.
  5. The fact remains, however, that Cloak and Cipher is an impressive piece of work, and inevitably that idea of novelty up there is just a cultural standard, determined by every other album ever released. It's an interesting thing to consider if you're trying to articulate the context around a piece of work, but it's not too much more than that.
  6. Oct 22, 2010
    70
    Cloak and Cipher won't wow you with hooks or musical prowess, but it does signal an exciting start for a band with tremendous potential, and it serves as an excellent first glimpse of a lead singer with loads of talent.
  7. As its' title suggests, this record is not what it seems at first listen, but one that's worth the extra effort to decipher all of its introverted intricacies.
  8. Although largely interchangeable with its predecessors, Cloak and Cipher still sounds fresh enough to please Land of Talk loyalists, and engaging enough to showcase their appeal to new listeners as well.
  9. Alternative Press
    70
    Lovely and bewitching, Cipher unfolds like an elegantly written novel. [Sep 2010, p.112]
  10. Those great choruses? Still great, but not when songs are dragged out this long and the payoff arrives right on schedule, about four times a song. It's indulgent, but it's hard to make songs sound this big. Fortunately, it won't be enough to wring-out the magic found in a great many of these songs, and surely won't be able to stall Land of Talk who, with Cloak and Cipher, are progressing quite nicely.
  11. Cloak flows more like an assortment of four-track experiments than a cohesive album, if only because each song uses a different jumble of elements.
  12. The songs all melt together after a while - they're charming but not memorable.
  13. She's good at finding obscurity, but sometimes not to her benefit. Ms. Powell wrote a lot of the lyrics on Cloak and Cipher with scrambled input from books and various other texts, and she doesn't do much to smooth out the results, savoring the disjunctive and the cryptic.
  14. With an all-star cast like this, it's not surprising that Cloak and Cipher is beautifully played and layered. However, too often it feels like the album's overall sound comes at the price of distinctive songs.
User Score
tbd

No user score yet- Awaiting 1 more rating

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 2 out of 2
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 2
  3. Negative: 0 out of 2
  1. Nov 29, 2010
    9
    happy to see this album getting at least a little love. i've been a fan of land of talk since their first EP and have loved watching themhappy to see this album getting at least a little love. i've been a fan of land of talk since their first EP and have loved watching them continue to develop and gain sophistication. sure there aren't any singles per se, but this album will grow on you. seeing them live really made me commit to loving this album. hands down my favorite show of the year. Full Review »
  2. Nov 5, 2010
    8
    I wasn't too familiar with the band but decided to give this album a chance, it proved to be worth the purchase. The first song will get stuckI wasn't too familiar with the band but decided to give this album a chance, it proved to be worth the purchase. The first song will get stuck in your hand instantly, but don't think this is a one hit wonder, the whole album is pretty strong, although the end does taper off. It's worth checking out if you enjoy strong female vocals and good musicianship. Full Review »