Couples - The Long Blondes

Generally favorable reviews - based on 20 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 12 out of 20
  2. Negative: 0 out of 20
  1. Couples is simply a successful attempt to sound both different and better.
  2. Eloquent, glamorous, spirited and now more sonically innovative than ever, the quintet have affirmed their place as one of Britain's most exciting bands with this release.
  3. With Couples they've managed to turn two years of inter-band heartache into an ambitious, forward-thinking pop record that tops their debut by quite some distance.
  4. 80
    They've forged a sound that's ambitious and close to unique. [May 2008, p.109]
  5. 80
    Tracks like 'Couples' prove their trademark sound is still as strong (and smart) as ever. [May 2008, p.102]
  6. It also strikes a blow for taking chances and not resting on your accomplishments, but most importantly, Couples is an exciting, challenging listen full of brains, daring, and plenty of icy heart.
  7. From the sassy squeal of Here Comes the Serious Bit to the tension-cranking film noir of Round the Hairpin, Jackson's vocals are nuanced, and the band's punk past goes hand-in-hand with their pop future.
  8. In lyrics and music, The Long Blondes have managed to put out a sophomore album just as addictive and catchy as their debut "Someone To Drive You Home."
  9. Couples clearly demonstrates that, never mind the occasional misstep and overt Blondie influences, this is still one adventurous band who won’t be placed in a box anytime soon.
  10. This album reins in the melodrama, but the detached posturing that replaces it will liklely leave some fans feeling jilted. [Spring 2008, p.78]
  11. 70
    The moody disco on Couples is both sleeker and spookier than the sexed-up indie rock of th Blondes' promising 2006 debut, "Someone to Drive You Home."
  12. It's more cohesive than their debut, and just as catchy.
  13. Despite the occasional flashes of brightness, it sounds like they’ve taken that brief (an homage to the mundanities of love) to heart.
  14. Their forays into electronica work best.... Sadly, there are too many one-dimensional guitar-pop songs that expose Jackson's flat, robotic voice. [May 2008, p.136]
  15. Its darker, brooding electro, like the mesmerizing distortion-filled Round The Hairpin, represents a newer, grown-up force for the Sheffielders that’s even more seductive than lip gloss and vintage heels.
  16. The Long Blondes sophomore album, Couples, is a disappointing follow-up to their sublime 2006 debut, "Someone to Drive You Home," but not as disappointing as it initially appears.
  17. Couples is by no means a terrible record, I just preferred The Long Blondes when they were young, free and single.
  18. In an attempt to be taken seriously, they've sacrificed too much of their effervescent appeal--after all, enthusiasm and artfulness need not be mutually exclusive.
  19. Couples proves that Kate is no Jarvis, and, more importantly, The Long Blondes are no Pulp.
  20. This time, however, the subject matter is more mundane, and Jackson's flattened vocals are paired with less imaginative post-punk guitars and synths.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 72 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 9 out of 33
  2. Negative: 22 out of 33
  1. NoelS.
    May 11, 2008
    I love their first album - it's on constant play on my iPod. However, this new one sounds like a bunch of quickly thrown together Blondie b-sides. I mean, seriously, it's really not that good. Full Review »
  2. RaphS.
    May 11, 2008
    Truly awful not just by comparison to someone to drive you home. just generally. there's not urgency, no sex appeal, absolutely no emotion. just loads of posturing. check out rilo kiley's under the blacklight for a much better pseudo-fleetwood-mac execution. Full Review »
  3. AnoushkaP.
    May 11, 2008
    This album is perfection. I think some reviewers have very narrow taste, and I'm hardly surprised that NME didn't think much of it. The rag is full of useless shouty bands with expensively dishevelled hair masquerading as an image/personality/talent. Full Review »