• Record Label: Sub Pop
  • Release Date: May 17, 2011

Generally favorable reviews - based on 14 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 12 out of 14
  2. Negative: 0 out of 14
Buy On
  1. May 17, 2011
    While he's certainly revisiting his familiar aesthetic, VanGaalen has refined his style, resulting in a focused, cohesive album with a rocker's confidence powering through each track.
  2. Jun 29, 2011
    While Diaper Island doesn't represent a significant break from VanGaalen's existing body of work, it ultimately haunts and endures in just the right amount--making this one of the strongest entries in an already consistent discography.
  3. Jun 14, 2011
    Sure, there are imperfections along the way, but this is an immeasurably intriguing and constantly developing journey that's best experienced alone.
  4. 80
    Sharper production focuses the singer's woozier tendencies, revealing a succession of hooks to adorn his take on Neil Young's grooving folk-rock and Blur's twisted indie.
  5. Uncut
    Jun 3, 2011
    His fine fourth album sees him thicken his sound a little, layering jazzy brass and full-blooded surf-rock twangs over austere acoustic foundations. [Jul 2011, p.96]
  6. May 27, 2011
    Creating such a tightly-knit record is a simple style a myriad of singer-songwriters have lived by, and in that sense Diaper Island feels just as uncompromising, if in a different way, as the equally miserable Blood on the Tracks.
  7. May 18, 2011
    He uses his guitar and ghost-like warble to render the ephemeral as concrete as cantaloupe.
  8. May 17, 2011
    Hard to imagine any of his future albums beating this one, but it's entirely possible, and all signs seem to point toward this inventive young producer/songwriter being on the rise.
  9. May 17, 2011
    It's gritty and honest. Beneath the surface-layer thrill of some of these songs are subtle character shifts and brave one-liners, all of which confirm VanGaalen's status as gripping songwriter as well as a producer.
  10. Jun 30, 2011
    It's that subtle interplay between humour and sadness that makes for meaningful, lasting music, and VanGaalen walks the line with the best of them.
  11. 70
    Sweeter than its landfill-conjuring name suggests, Diaper Island supplies the harsh guitar harmonics, reverb and claustrophobic atmosphere VanGaalen does best, but aligns them with some of his prettiest songs.
  12. May 24, 2011
    For much of Diaper Island, he hits his sweet spot of raw indie folk-rock, but for others he seems to be bending his personality to fit the demands of guitar noise, instead of the other way around.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 5 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 4 out of 5
  2. Negative: 0 out of 5
  1. Jun 30, 2011
    Another beautiful outing. At once messy, haunting and moving. It's difficult not to appreciate his musicianship - He's the only one doing whatAnother beautiful outing. At once messy, haunting and moving. It's difficult not to appreciate his musicianship - He's the only one doing what he's doing, and he always seems to be doing something a little different... Full Review »