Cryptograms

  • Record Label: Kranky
  • Release Date: Jan 29, 2007
Metascore
77

Generally favorable reviews - based on 17 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 13 out of 17
  2. Negative: 0 out of 17
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Cryptograms is a tonal wash of brisk speed kicks and seasick comedowns, the kind of thing you could lose an afternoon to.
  6. 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.
  7. Paste Magazine
    80
    [Cryptograms] occasionally surprises with its accessibility. [Apr 2007, p.58]
  8. 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.
  9. When the proper songs throughout are so uniformly good in spite of their fractured approaches, complaining about scarcity seems despicably greedy.
  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. 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.
  12. Under The Radar
    80
    Its unified, gorgeous, unpretentious originality shines like a beacon of hope in the ever dumbed down world of commercialized indie rock. [#17, p.91]
User Score
8.3

Universal acclaim- based on 40 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 11 out of 15
  2. Negative: 1 out of 15
  1. Oct 28, 2014
    6
    If you listen to Deerhunter's back catalogue, you could be forgiven for thinking that Cryptograms came later in their career, in theirIf you listen to Deerhunter's back catalogue, you could be forgiven for thinking that Cryptograms came later in their career, in their experimental period. Unlike most indie rock bands, Deerhunter have gotten more melodic and less experimental as their career has progressed. Cryptograms works best when listened to in its entirety in the one sitting. This allows you to immerse yourself in the record and really get your teeth into it. On the other hand, while I find this the best way to listen to the album, it also highlights the downsides to the record. At times the band simply overindulge with certain ideas resulting in some tracks sounding repetitive and ultimately boring which is something I could never say about the bands best works (which I feel are Microcastle and Halycon Digest). For me, its more a very interesting album rather than a very good album. "Red Ink" is the standout track for me. Full Review »
  2. Oct 23, 2011
    8
    The album takes quite a few listens to sink in. The first half of the album is mostly comprised of instrumental tracks, whereas the secondThe 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 »
  3. nashaq
    Feb 4, 2009
    6
    I think this album has been a bit over rated, it seemed 'fashionable' to like this album (I actually prefer Microcastles). Some I think this album has been a bit over rated, it seemed 'fashionable' to like this album (I actually prefer Microcastles). Some good songs but then a few mediocre. Full Review »