Face Control

  • Record Label: Sub Pop
  • Release Date: Mar 10, 2009

Generally favorable reviews - based on 20 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 12 out of 20
  2. Negative: 1 out of 20
  1. Face Control, the new record by Handsome Furs (Alexei Perry and Dan-from-Wolf-Parade), sounds like "Born in the USA," if the Boss had allowed a little more evil in the mix, and tried replicating Alan Vega’s demented yelps. Yeah, it’s THAT good...
  2. It is a step forward for an artist with a wealth of potential and a tremendously moving voice. Should he cease his overzealous grab for stylistic and thematic conventions--or perhaps if he simply learns to cover more ground--there’s a good chance Handsome Furs will reach a level of maturity and sophistication at which their current offering merely hints.
  3. Lyrical inscrutability peppered with the occasional waft of clarity has always been a Boeckner trademark, and Face Control continues that.
  4. 80
    Face Control is a small triumph of intoxicating claustrophobia, full of crumbling, poignant melodies spurred along by thecold, unfeeling whip-crack of a cheap drum machine.
  5. 80
    Face Control's programmed electronics, in fact, ring deeply human, and Boeckner's tortured vocals express shared experience rather than alienation.
  6. There’s no denying the chemistry between these two; it throbs all over their impressive new disc.
  7. It's just a solid album, and just another example of Boeckner and Perry's tingling creative chemistry.
  8. Happily, their latest album, Face Control--recorded after the duo stormed the clubs of Eastern Europe for inspiration--is a huge improvement.
  9. Fans of off-kilter pop will enjoy at least a few of the stronger cuts, but too much of Face Control sounds like the unfinished blueprint of a much better album.
  10. It's a smarmy affair, and there's a compelling interplay between his wild-eyed desperation and her cool, clean sheen of thumps and melodies.
  11. Through all of the missteps along the way, Face Control is a good album that with some more attention and ingenuity could have been so much better.
  12. The album’s elements--large scale pop and tightly controlled electro--don’t always work together, but they come together on the very last track, 'Radio Kaliningrad.'
  13. There’s an emotional heft here that wasn’t present before.
  14. Face Control does have at least a few things in common with a good poem: it’s a carefully crafted, modest, personal work that’s as much about purging the demons and anxieties that have been kicking around in the author’s dome as it is about creating something beautiful.
  15. This is easily the most flavorless fruit yet to fall from the Wolf Parade family tree.
  16. Under The Radar
    There simply aren't as many full-bodied, satisfying songs. [Winter 2009, p.72]
  17. An interesting listen, Face Control has an eerie vibe, as though something beneath the surface is just a bit off.
  18. Alternative Press
    The net effect is unsettling distance, not pointed commentary. [Apor 2009, p.134]
  19. They’ve just created a good version of a great record, which may have been their intention all along.
  20. Filter
    Together they've embraced more experience and experimentation for captivating results. [Winter 2009, p.100]
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 16 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 5 out of 5
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 5
  3. Negative: 0 out of 5
  1. BrendanG
    Mar 13, 2009
    Maybe not their "deepest" work, but certainly the catchiest.
  2. martinw
    Mar 12, 2009
    This record is fantastic. it sounds like bruce springsteen fronting J.U.S.T.I.C.E but erm...good.
  3. KyleM
    Mar 11, 2009
    This is the best thing Dan Boeckner has put his name on outside of the first Wolf Parade full length, no question.