Era Extrana - Neon Indian
Metascore
76

Generally favorable reviews - based on 27 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 23 out of 27
  2. Negative: 0 out of 27
  1. Sep 14, 2011
    80
    Era Extrana's lavish electro-pop proves that Neon Indian can be more than just chillwave.
  2. Oct 3, 2011
    50
    That an artist's introversion sometimes has to come at the expense of catchy songs is fine. It's the record's lack of variation (a la playful ditties like "Laughing Gas") that weighs down the proverbial whole.
  3. Sep 15, 2011
    79
    This is a far more serious record than its predecessor, but Palomo isn't always as assured in rendering the darker material.
  4. Oct 18, 2011
    60
    A three-part instrumental piece, named "Heart: Attach," brings a pleasant filmic quality to an album that elsewhere trades a little too heavily on nostalgia. [Nov 2011, p.94]
  5. Nov 8, 2011
    80
    This follow up to Psychic Chasms displays similarly exhilarating aural ambitions. [Nov. 2011, p. 139]
  6. Dec 22, 2011
    80
    It's a dream, this pop. [Nov 2011, p.100]
  7. Sep 12, 2011
    70
    The band's second disc improves on the "chillwave" (read: low-fi synth pop) of its 2009 debut, dunking dreamy early-MTV haircutband balladry in layers of psychedelic schmutz, almost hiding excellent songs in the murk.
  8. Sep 13, 2011
    67
    Era Extrana still has plenty of hooks to offer, but Palomo has to take both feet out of the bedroom to move his music forward.
  9. Leaping from its 2009 predecessor, Psychic Chasms, with the first notes of 'Heart: Attack', Era Extrana becomes a lesson in how to execute electronic music properly.
  10. Nov 3, 2011
    80
    Era Extrana radiates with enough passion to make life more than a little woozy. [Oct 2011, p.105]
  11. Sep 13, 2011
    70
    Era Extraña picks up as if that criticism (and 2010) never happened. Some tracks sound 25 years old and they're one Martin Rushent assist away from being genuine synth-pop hits.
  12. Oct 13, 2011
    80
    Make no mistake; there is a lot more quality to come from this source.
  13. Oct 6, 2011
    70
    It has a lot to offer around the edges, but is difficult to truly connect with at its core.
  14. Sep 23, 2011
    70
    It's an agreeable listening experience with moments of catchiness and beauty throughout, and hints of an evolutionary path that leave future expectations open-ended.
  15. Sep 9, 2011
    60
    Complaining about a lack of hooks can be painted as unrefined, but frankly Era Extraña hasn't shown me why it deserves hallowed deconstruction, it may be weightier, but there's absolutely no question which Neon Indian album has the most stick.
  16. Sep 12, 2011
    75
    Part of what makes Era Extrana a great follow-up to Psychic Chasms is that it features the same lazy summer feel that made Neon Indian's debut so popular.
  17. Sep 22, 2011
    80
    It's a more solid album than the critically acclaimed debut that put him there in the first place.
  18. 80
    Era Extraña sports the admirable trait of being so much like many of the best psychedelic pop records in recent memory (Oracular Spectaular pops to mind rather often), while going a long way in forging Neon Indian's own, very distinct musical identity.
  19. Sep 26, 2011
    70
    For all of the fine craft on display, there's little obvious emotion. No matter, though, as there's room for everyone, and this makes for ideal driving music and it should sound sensational in a club.
  20. Sep 13, 2011
    78
    While the album isn't perfect, it offers a more complete experience; it's a little bit strange, but it's also a little bit brilliant.
  21. Sep 20, 2011
    60
    While Palomo advances his songwriting by attempting a concept album, he fails to vary the songs enough to allow their inner essence to shine, to glow, to hook inside the listener, to haunt them.
  22. 80
    It'd be a daunting feat for anyone to furnish a respectable sophomore LP after the hype of a debut like Psychic Chasms, but Alan Palomo succeeds here, blessed with an innate ability to temper previous charms with present provocations.
  23. Sep 28, 2011
    80
    Era Extrana is a collection of brooding, eddying and actually kinda loud indietronica that wears its Joy Division and New Order influences on its (mixing) sleeve and contains enough catchy melody lines to flirt with pop... and take it all the way to second base.
  24. Sep 13, 2011
    80
    By focusing more on originality and the aural progression of this album, Neon Indian is clearly honing their craft and proving that the musical trend they helped to create, won't be going out of style anytime soon.
  25. Era Extraña does not flow as smoothly as Psychic Chasms but the influences are in all the right places and it seems that Alan Palomo is wearing them proudly on his sleeve.
  26. Oct 10, 2011
    80
    His first album as Neon Indian was sun-struck and woozy; the mood, on the follow-up, has grown a little darker and on "Future Sick" the wooziness veers into nausea. Which makes the sunnier moments, when they come, all the more heightened.
  27. Sep 20, 2011
    75
    Neon Indian's second album is a collection of more serious and straightforward pop tunes that separate his penchants for the past and its oddities, and shed nearly all trademarks of the dubious genre he haphazardly pioneered.
User Score
7.8

Generally favorable reviews- based on 28 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 7 out of 7
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 7
  3. Negative: 0 out of 7
  1. Feb 22, 2013
    9
    Whereas Psychic Chasms played on the more summer ridden, upbeat agenda, Era Extrana carries a sound that plays with cloudier tones. Its also a louder record at moments, displaying moments of energetic arena rock and noisy guitar riffs. The love of video games is still present and a welcoming flirtation with a bit of a dancier tone, particularly with "Polish Girl" and "Suns Irrupt." This is a wonderful follow-up that shows creative determination to make interesting music. Full Review »
  2. Jan 20, 2012
    10
    This album pushes Neon Indian's sound forward in a good direction. It continues to explore dreamy psychedelic electric textures, but the production has been upped a bit and the songs are more emotional. They continue to infuse amazing interludes into a coherent album as they did on Psychic Chasms, but it is so much more fluid and engaging here. I listened to Psychic Chasms a lot, but this is just a huge step beyond that. Highlights to me are "Era Extrana" and "Future Sick", but the entire album is really top notch space pop in my opinion. Darker, more developed, and more enjoyable. I think Neon Indian aced it with this album. Full Review »
  3. Jan 8, 2012
    8
    It's a little odd for me how this album sounded muck alike MGMT's Oracular Spectacular. Despite that, it is a powerful continuation to the excellent "Psychic Chasms", but, in a second listening, the songs sound the same, like if they little pieces of a huge story. Can't wait for their third album. Full Review »