• Record Label: Sub Pop
  • Release Date: Jun 29, 2010
Metascore
75

Generally favorable reviews - based on 26 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 21 out of 26
  2. Negative: 0 out of 26
  1. The lyrics are less interesting, the songs are uneven, and while ultimately Expo 86 sounds like Wolf Parade-and sounds good, even-it doesn't feel like Wolf Parade, if that makes sense.
  2. This is a typically odd, zany album, but that's precisely what makes it so good -- because Wolf Parade's twisted, crazy, surreal world becomes yours, and it feels both absolutely normal and absolutely right.
  3. Expo 86 emphasizes the fact that novel beginnings are meant to prosper whilst winking at the past from time to time.
  4. Expo 86 is good, it's just not great. Wolf Parade, the 2010 model, are good, not great.
  5. Their sound, now more than ever, is a paradox: despite the Cure-ish grey waves of guitar and Spencer Krug's morose vocal tics, Wolf Parade can't conceal the fact that being in a band is clearly terrific fun for them.
  6. Expo 86, if nothing else, feels like the realization of a Wolf Parade sound; the exquisite Apologies carried the long shadow of its producer Isaac Brock, and Mount Zoomer felt too often like two personalities careening off each other rather than finding some common ground.
  7. The Montreal quartet is mostly successful in this balancing act, delivering a handful of thematically-obtuse pop missiles heavy on reverb and guitar, with trademark synths still lurking low in the mix.
  8. The album is a perfect mixture of the band's first two records, blended with an equal part of their rock swagger and part their post-electro swing.
  9. While this is definitely a darker album, the fuzzy synthesizers help to give the songs warmth, preventing the album from becoming suffocating.
  10. Expo 86 is both smart and dense enough to warrant your attention.
  11. Expo 86 puts up a good showing. The best songs are catchy as hell but complex enough to stay sharp even after repeated listening.
  12. Expo 86 feels divided down the middle, and both writers deliver some of their best work to date.
  13. Expo 86 proves that Krug and Boeckner still can do what's always been most important, namely writing songs that still kick *** at every available opportunity.
  14. What remains is an above-average rock record of solid, if nonetheless half-developed, guitar-and-keyboard hooks. At its core, Expo 86 is the work of a great band seemingly disinterested in its own existence, its collaborators too absorbed in their side passions to churn out anything more than merely acceptable music.
  15. Though songs are on the lengthy side (around five minutes), they don't drag, and there is enough powerful bass and drums to complement electronic noise.
  16. Expo 86 is a brilliant reinforcement of what occurs when true chemistry exists in a band.
  17. Expo 86 is ultimately too dense for its own good, with interesting things happening on a surface that's so difficult to pierce that there's eventually little urgency to keep trying.
  18. Expo 86 just straight up rocks. It never lets up on the monstrous riffs it delivers in its first 10 seconds.
  19. Expo 86, if nothing else, feels like the realization of a Wolf Parade sound; the exquisite Apologies carried the long shadow of its producer Isaac Brock, and Mount Zoomer felt too often like two personalities careening off each other rather than finding some common ground.
  20. It might be difficult to expect such restlessly creative musicmakers to sit still for long, but Expo 86 shows that Wolf Parade could be a place worth settling in for a while.
  21. Jan 14, 2011
    65
    For its third album, Expo 86, the band tempers the musical diversity of its predecessors and focuses more on standard rock fare.
  22. Jan 14, 2011
    60
    While the band is probably not in danger of rubbing shoulders with Nickleback on commercial airwaves in the next few months, they wear their new sonic heft well. [Summer 2010, p.86]
  23. The band come up with hooks aplenty, delivering anti-pop gold on the guaranteed-to-disappoint-no-one Expo 86. [Aug 2010, p.156]
  24. It has the feel of something assembled at a factory with Wolf Parade parts left over from previous albums. It consolidates strengths rather than taking any bold steps forward.
  25. Yet perhaps in spite of themselves, the members of Wolf Parade--who also put in time with a handful of other bands, including Handsome Furs and Sunset Rubdown--are also improving as songwriters, crafting shapelier melodies and figuring out how to use rhythm to drive toward an emotional climax.
  26. Ambition might sound like an odd thing to chide a band for, but if Wolf Parade had figured out when to push the hooks and when to pull back the excess, Expo 86 would have shone.

There are no user reviews yet.