Cults

  • Record Label: Columbia
  • Release Date: Jun 7, 2011
Metascore
74

Generally favorable reviews - based on 25 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 18 out of 25
  2. Negative: 0 out of 25
Buy On
  1. Jun 6, 2011
    70
    Cults is a bit like a sugar rush: exhilarating at first, and then exhausting. Still, the sounds and ideas they play with are too intriguing to dismiss entirely, even if some of the mystery around them is gone.
  2. Jun 7, 2011
    80
    It might be easy to become a prisoner of the moment when it comes to a flavor-of-the-month like Cults, but this initial effort is one that shows off strong enough pop chops to win them their fair share of true believers, now and hereafter.
  3. Jun 6, 2011
    85
    At just over a half hour, Cults feels like the perfect length-- just long enough for the bus ride to school (or to work). But more importantly, it executes what it sets out to do masterfully while allowing the group room to grow and mature.
  4. Uncut
    Jun 3, 2011
    40
    This injection-moulded pastiche isn't exactly bad, but feels totally pointless. [Jul 2011, p.86]
  5. Q Magazine
    Jun 7, 2011
    60
    Their kooky appeal wanes over the course of an album, reminding you that sometimes cults stay that way for a reason. [July 2011, p. 106]
  6. Mojo
    Jun 21, 2011
    80
    The New York boy-girl duo make sweet love to a musical memory. [July 2011, p. 107]
  7. Jun 21, 2011
    70
    Cults are excellent songcrafters, expert at boosting drama with dynamics and unexpected sounds. But what sets their music apart is feeling: the mood of wistful romance that hovers over the songs, the idea that love is an insoluble mystery.
  8. 70
    Musically it's the cream of nostalgic pop, and the lyrics exhibit a wafty elan; but in purely conceptual terms, Cults is too busy flying on clouds of giddy adolescent wonder to plunder the depths of its pretensions with conviction.
  9. Under The Radar
    Jun 6, 2011
    60
    Cults is a solid first album from a very interesting new voice in pop music. [May 2011, p.76]
  10. May 31, 2011
    60
    The result is a pleasant, occasionally beautiful, collection of singles that doesn't take itself as seriously as the buzz surrounding it (so you don't have to either).
  11. Jun 8, 2011
    75
    Cults is an endlessly self-assured debut, exposing a budding creative force with a sense of history and a rebellious streak. Long live the new flesh.
  12. May 31, 2011
    80
    Unsettling and charming is a hard combination to pull off, but Cults have managed just fine.
  13. 70
    For a debut album, it works, giving fans a taste of what to expect from Cults in the future. But, the album could have benefited from swapping a few tracks around and sticking with the earnest catchy sensibilities and immediately favorable pop-like nature.
  14. Jun 16, 2011
    60
    The subversive elements often feel like unnecessary posturing, but the production wisely hides them behind more obvious assets like sunny pop hooks, singalong choruses and Madeline Follin's childlike voice.
  15. Jun 10, 2011
    50
    Although I'm usually a fan of the short and (hopefully) sharp delivery, at 34 minutes the album feels insubstantial in terms of length as well as material.
  16. Jun 14, 2011
    50
    Cults is mostly just an album of girl-group signifier piled on top of girl group-signifier.
  17. Jun 6, 2011
    70
    Their music perfectly encapsulates the dark, '60s-style girl pop of the current nostalgia-mining, romance-hardened zeitgeist brought on by bands like Vivian Girls and Best Coast.
  18. May 31, 2011
    80
    Despite the genre signifiers there's more than enough personality of their own here for Cults to transcend both their blog hit wonder and the timeworn sound they lovingly homage.
  19. Jun 6, 2011
    74
    Lazy bass lines stroll through lightly sprinkled, chiming keys, delivering sugar-powdered pop.
  20. Jun 1, 2011
    70
    The punchy indie exuberance pervading this record is its calling card but beneath the surface there's a whole lot more going on.
  21. Feb 2, 2012
    80
    Fantastic songs that have an uncanny ability to lodge their way firmly into your head.
  22. 75
    It's all good fun, but (mostly) all been done before.
  23. 80
    Hip young American male/female duo Cults look to classic 1960s pop history for the 11 bite-sized pop nuggets of this impressive debut.
  24. Any apprehensions about whether or not Cults could turn "Go Outside" into a successful full-length should be hastily put to rest.
  25. For near-perfectly executed indie-pop, we the lucky listeners don't have to wait for a "next time." Cults have struck gold the first time out.
User Score
8.1

Universal acclaim- based on 43 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 9 out of 10
  2. Negative: 0 out of 10
  1. Jun 7, 2011
    7
    It's unfortunate that Cults are still learning some of the basics of production; excessive reverb in particular plagues the album. What anIt's unfortunate that Cults are still learning some of the basics of production; excessive reverb in particular plagues the album. What an otherwise near-perfect track "Go Outside" was while it was free on bandcamp has turned into somewhat of a mess on the album. "Most Wanted" is in a similar situation, but with an additionally far-too-loud-and-bright bass line on top of reverb the size of the grand canyon. Whether or not the original duo decided to put reverb on everything including the kick drums (sigh) or their major label producers did, the songs are still catchy and charming. Catch the old versions of "Go Outside" and "Most Wanted" still up at cults.bandcamp.com while they're still there, because they're far better, but otherwise this album is still worth the money. Full Review »
  2. Jun 3, 2012
    8
    Give it a few listens if the reverb is too much to handle at first. It grows on you quickly. Cults sound deceptively simple, but there's aGive it a few listens if the reverb is too much to handle at first. It grows on you quickly. Cults sound deceptively simple, but there's a lot to ding into, explore, and appreciate here. Full Review »
  3. Feb 23, 2012
    5
    It's easy and fun at the expense of complexity and intelligence. It's indie for the masses. The Media industry is catching onto thisIt's easy and fun at the expense of complexity and intelligence. It's indie for the masses. The Media industry is catching onto this marketable niche. Not that that's a bad thing, this isn't bad music (per se) and I can't speak for everyone, but there is much better music that is just as available. Full Review »