Metascore
67

Generally favorable reviews - based on 16 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 9 out of 16
  2. Negative: 1 out of 16
  1. Arcade Dynamics still might not be for everyone, but singles like "Hamilton Road," "Art Vandelay," and "Killin' the Vibe" should not go unheard.
  2. Jan 20, 2011
    80
    The greatest appeal of this record is how little acting takes place, how little consideration has been given to "fully realizing the sound." Because when it comes time to take it or leave it, I'll take the whole thing without any regrets.
  3. Jan 20, 2011
    74
    This is a subtle refraction of the Ducktails aesthetic, where the brittle abstraction and detours down lo-fi cul-de-sacs are siphoned into songs that are breezier, less inward looking, more in thrall to the possibilities of pop.
  4. Feb 4, 2011
    70
    As an entity it's perhaps best seen as the siesta to Landscapes' nocturnal astral tryst – lighter and less intensely psychedelic, but immensely enjoyable nonetheless.
  5. 70
    Still, the nostalgic, ethereal quality of the music makes everything more refreshing and exciting than someone merely dabbling.
  6. Jan 24, 2011
    70
    On Ducktails III: Arcade Dynamics, Mondanile introduces his voice as an element into his solo music, and in turn takes one step forward and two steps back; though his songs are perfectly adequate, the reference points and production are easier than on any previous Ducktails release, and they suffer for it.
  7. Jan 20, 2011
    70
    This is part of Arcade Dynamics' charm: The release is pop-friendly with few tracks making the three-minute mark, until the fuzz of ambient outro "Porch Projector" kicks in.
  8. Jan 20, 2011
    70
    Characteristically, Mondanile's outings have a sketchpad feel to them, and there are quite a few half-finished ideas onboard, including a dreamy ten-minute outro of simple fingerpicking to the echoes of faraway fireworks. However, a few standouts bring Arcade Dynamics to life.
  9. 70
    Mondanile isn't rewriting any of the rules here, but he does show that he can stand on his own as a pop songwriter perfectly well, and frequently does so in an addictive fashion.
  10. Mar 1, 2011
    60
    There are several memorable songs here, but the offhand, one-take atmosphere makes the project slighter than it might have been. [Feb 2011, p.50]
  11. Feb 25, 2011
    60
    It's difficult to dislike Arcade Dynamics, maybe even impossible, given that it's so relentlessly inoffensive. On the other hand, it's not an album likely to engender much passion, either. Whatever the case, if you need another soundtrack for a summer afternoon, you could do worse.
  12. Feb 1, 2011
    60
    Arcade Dynamics is marginally more developed than previous releases. [Mar 2011, p.88]
  13. Jan 20, 2011
    60
    While Arcade Dynamics is a major turn for Mondanile, it's aesthetically in line with the trajectory of many modern acts that also hide behind effects and atmosphere as they develop their songwriting chops.
  14. Jan 24, 2011
    40
    Arcade Dynamics, then, falls somewhere in between the cleaned-up Real Estate sound and the noisier aesthetic of Landscapes.
  15. Jan 20, 2011
    40
    With Arcade Dynamics, a bit of that moral fiber is lost, resulting in a pleasant number of hooks that hone the psychedelic tag a bit too conventionally.
  16. Mar 23, 2011
    30
    Art for art's sake may impress at parties, but recorded it brings teh good times to a screeching halt. [Feb. 2011, p. 70]

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