Cryptograms - Deerhunter

Generally favorable reviews - based on 17 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 13 out of 17
  2. Negative: 0 out of 17
  1. While Cryptograms presents its own obstacles, it's easily enjoyed as a whole. Memorable melodies and an awkward, charismatic narrator are often peeking from behind the dissonance-laden mists that self-consciously choke them.
  2. Yeah, the alternate/alternating track sequence is screwy for the first seven songs or so — Deerhunter build momentum only to lose it. But it gives the album’s backside something of a black-and-white-to-Technicolor moment.
  3. When the proper songs throughout are so uniformly good in spite of their fractured approaches, complaining about scarcity seems despicably greedy.
  4. Although it's definitely a bit bi-polar, Cryptograms still gets high marks for offering up a slew of great tracks and actually gaining strength the longer it goes on.
  5. Its unified, gorgeous, unpretentious originality shines like a beacon of hope in the ever dumbed down world of commercialized indie rock. [#17, p.91]
  6. The sequencing allows the listener space to breathe at the most opportune moments, and its leaps from ambience into adrenaline-soaked enthusiasm for hand-clap-happy high-jinx are worthy of celebration.
  7. [Cryptograms] occasionally surprises with its accessibility. [Apr 2007, p.58]
  8. Cryptograms is a tonal wash of brisk speed kicks and seasick comedowns, the kind of thing you could lose an afternoon to.
  9. This is not a complete or coherent narrative of despair, as the two album halves don’t particularly work with one another—it really feels like two EPs sewn together. But the effort is more than evocative enough to scare the hell out of you, at least for a little while.
  10. Cryptograms is by no means a flawless record, but taking the time to speak its language, tap into the dueling forces that make it tick, is an intriguing reward.
  11. Half of me thinks the group was aiming for a bit of something hypnotized and dreamy, that they worship Spacemen 3 and the patience that entails. But then the other half thinks Cryptograms is something gritty and furious, maybe something religious, but still something of a turtlehead waiting to poke through.
  12. This album has something for everyone and will appeal to the kids who like ambient drone pieces and folks who love songs with great pop hooks - and everyone in between.
  13. 60
    Live may well be the best place to encounter them. [Feb 2007, p.73]
  14. 60
    Both sides would be well served by a bit of mingling. [Mar 2007, p.91]
  15. 60
    Cryptograms is a pleasant enough record, but it remains to be seen if Deerhunter can add up to more than the sum of its gear and influences. [#75, p.96]
  16. An album as ultimately disappointing as it is initially thrilling.
User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 33 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 12 out of 14
  2. Negative: 1 out of 14
  1. Oct 23, 2011
    The album takes quite a few listens to sink in. The first half of the album is mostly comprised of instrumental tracks, whereas the second half is made up of some nice psychedelic pop. Overall a great album with the stand out track being Spring Hall Convert. Full Review »