Degeneration Street


Generally favorable reviews - based on 21 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 13 out of 21
  2. Negative: 1 out of 21
Buy On
  1. 91
    The Dears were churning out sweeping, blustery epics long before "dramatic indie rock from Canada" was its own subgenre, and Degeneration Street, the band's fifth album sees them perfecting the template.
  2. Mar 14, 2011
    This is a staggering record, displaying not only a golden streak of songwriting but also a band newly energised to their cause - making it a return to form of near biblical proportions. Highly recommended.
  3. Mar 14, 2011
    Few albums this year will match up to the level of proficiency and commitment here and yet it remains a distinct probability that the world still won't listen. An album that will shadow most others.
  4. Q Magazine
    May 2, 2011
    As ever, the gravel-voiced Lightburn sounds as if singing for his life rather than his supper yet, without sacrificing that epic feel that always set this band apart, he's broadening his horizons. [Apr 2011, p.101]
  5. Mojo
    Apr 15, 2011
    Fifth, and best, album from Montreal's big dreamers. [Apr. 2011, p. 94]
  6. Mar 2, 2011
    Degeneration Street, the group's fifth studio album, finds the band not only back at capacity, but bursting at the seams with engaging melodies, memorable choruses, and renewed apocalyptic fervor.
  7. Feb 24, 2011
    If this album is proof of anything, it's that the Dears once again have a long career ahead of them.
  8. 80
    Twelve members and five records in and the Dears have made their best album yet -– Degeneration Street is one of the rock albums to live up to in 2011.
  9. Feb 15, 2011
    Degeneration Street is a credit to Lightburn's songwriting acumen and stubbornly heightened emotions. The Dears make some bulky records, but no half-hearted ones.
  10. Mar 2, 2011
    The Dears' fifth album, Degeneration Street, marks yet another chapter in the band's career, with past bandmates Robert Benvie (guitars/keyboards/vocals), Patrick Krief (guitars/vocals), and Roberto Arquilla (bass/vocals) returning to the fold, and newest member Jeff Luciani on drums.
  11. Feb 11, 2011
    Lightburn's amoebic tenor is still the main attraction: soul crooner one minute, punk shouter the next, he's a prime candidate for rock's next Broadway musical.
  12. Feb 15, 2011
    It's the most Dears-like thing they've ever produced: an ambitious, insanely layered, eclectic (sometimes too eclectic) concept album about the thick, looming boundaries that separate Heaven from the Hell we call Earth.
  13. Feb 16, 2011
    Degeneration Street is a bit of a tease, a solid alternative-rock album with some exciting sounds that afford only a peek into the Dears' potential.
  14. Uncut
    Mar 29, 2011
    At 14 tracks, what begins as a demonstration of impressive ambition ends up dragging. [Apr 2011, p.78]
  15. 60
    Ultimately, though, its success still falls on Lightburn's shoulders, a vocalist who's always straddled the line between impassioned and overwrought.
  16. Mar 7, 2011
    Though not without merit, the overriding sensation is one of empty melodrama.
  17. Mar 4, 2011
    They're clearly aiming for epic but more often accomplish exhausting. It's admirable to see a band unselfconscious enough to present such unapologetically maudlin balladry (in a good way), but there's only so much of it you can take in one sitting.
  18. Alternative Press
    Feb 23, 2011
    The album runs a tad long--and it's difficult to suss out the band's individual voice from underneath the weight of their influences. [Mar 2011, p.92]
  19. Mar 14, 2011
    It's not a bad record (they knew I was going to say that) and in the Eighties-MTV alternative rock-lite rush of Thrones it does have one genuinely great pop moment, which as far as I'm aware is more than can be said for any of its predecessors.
  20. 40
    There are moments on Degeneration Street that suggest Dears' creative mainspring Murray Lightburn is hoping to effect an Arcade Fire-style vault from indie saltmines to popularity; but it's all too little, and at five albums into their career, too late for that.
  21. Feb 15, 2011
    With inchoate, banal lyrics and blustering tunes that go for it all, all the time, Degeneration Street sounds like the product of too much euphoria. Definitely catch the Dears on the comedown, if at all.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 4 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 1
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 1
  3. Negative: 0 out of 1
  1. Feb 24, 2011
    This review contains spoilers, click full review link to view. An excelent album, no more words. what else can i say....oh yes.. just a question; what kind of persons work in Pitchfork?, o better say "PItchFUCK", they have their tastes in their backs; is terrible that persons like these work writing something that they call a review. Full Review »