• Record Label: Matador
  • Release Date: Apr 11, 2006

Generally favorable reviews - based on 18 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 13 out of 18
  2. Negative: 1 out of 18
  1. Elan Vital is easily the band's most adventurous disc to date. [Jun 2006, p.178]
  2. Amazingly, though Elan Vital easily could've become their resounding Sandinista flop, Zollo's clean vocals, knife-sharp melodies and subtle politically charged songwriting help secure its nomination as Pretty Girls' London Calling.
  3. There aren't many post-punk influenced bands around that sound as original and as removed from their influences as Pretty Girls Make Graves. There also aren't many that could write an album jammed with so many memorable songs.
  4. The use of electronics, violins, trumpets and a whole litany of instruments at times is difficult to take in, and may indeed be too far a revolution for some.
  5. This is the thinking person's dance music with lyrical content to match.
  6. 80
    This is repeat-play head music that still manages to hotwire the heart. [May 2006, p.102]
  7. Takes some weird chances. [Jun/Jul 2006, p.123]
  8. Many of Élan Vital's tracks take their cues from The New Romance's anthemic "This Is Our Emergency," never letting the oddball touches get in the way of the forward momentum.
  9. 75
    Uneven but fascinating. [May 2006, p.92]
  10. It's the sound of the band mutating from the exciting, mysterious person in the club to the partner you pee in front of and take shopping for carpets. [15 Apr 2006, p.35]
  11. 70
    Elan Vital takes the visceral, intense beauty of... The New Romance and turns it up a notch. [May 2006, p.119]
  12. It is, at one time or another, twee reggae, hipster rock-ism, synth-pop balladry, post-Interpol gothickry. It's an inconsistency that's both noble and annoying.
  13. The album packages a loosened-up (read: defanged), groove-centric sound, infinitely more urbane but so much more boring, too.
  14. These initial songs are noteworthy by any measure; the remainder of the album, then, is a bit of a let-down, especially on first listen.
  15. They’re obviously enjoying success and using it to explore a wider musical range, but they haven’t translated that admirable tendency into a coherent vision.
  16. The artistic forward motion is encouraging and highly commendable, but the results are that of a band with a new lineup in that shaky third album-redefining stage. [#13, p.88]
  17. Zollo’s delivery is as anthemic as ever, though suddenly she seems sedated, which describes this incarnation of PGMG perfectly.
  18. An excruciating listen. [May 2006, p.129]
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 15 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 8 out of 11
  2. Negative: 2 out of 11
  1. AlexandriaC
    May 3, 2007
    andrea is a very talented singer, and will continue to portray this, even though the band has split. this deserves a 10.
  2. dasmith
    Jun 13, 2006
    There best yet.....I like pyrite pedestal and selling the wind the best I think.....
  3. Tom
    May 12, 2006
    it's not surprising that q magazine bashed this record - this is the magazine that gave the kooks' album four stars, so that just it's not surprising that q magazine bashed this record - this is the magazine that gave the kooks' album four stars, so that just underlines their total irrelevance. as for the album itself, it's on a par with new romance, but nowhere near as good as their debut, good health. i guess i just prefer their old, energetic sound. still a great live band, though. Full Review »