Fate

Metascore
72

Generally favorable reviews - based on 23 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 15 out of 23
  2. Negative: 0 out of 23
  1. So instantly pleasing, the trickery is transparent, a hook to keep listening until the content of Toby Leaman and Scott McMicken’s songs makes itself known.
  2. Fate still manages to be a master class in illusory "good" songwriting. The bulk of it is so fenced into classicist templates-- chamber-y pop meets maximum R&B with the occasional smidge of "tasteful" gospel/parlour games ("Hang On") that, even when merely competent, it can still win over those unimpressed with all that punk and hip-hop riff raff of the past three decades.
  3. For now, it looks like Dr. Dog will stick to their sunny, over-produced pop songs, finding safe ground, pitching tent, and making camp for the night.
  4. Fate exposes the larger problem with Dr. Dog’s catalog -- namely, that the band have become so comfortable where they are that they are content to merely play to type.
  5. Fate feels less like a straight tribute to Dr. Dog's elders and more like a finely tuned collage.
  6. Unfortunately, it's also phenomenally uninteresting. That isn't to say that the album is bad. Put it on at a low-key party and nobody will complain--but they probably won't ask you what it is either.
  7. With such impeccable raw materials, it's inevitable that several songs here are irresistible, notably Fate and The Old Days, the former a trembling love song, the latter a clattering hoe-down. Even so, a little more idiosyncrasy wouldn't go amiss.
  8. Uncut
    60
    Dr. Dog have stepped up to the plate for the fifth album and hits a homer. [Sep 2008, p.88]
User Score
8.8

Universal acclaim- based on 26 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 12 out of 14
  2. Negative: 1 out of 14
  1. EliC
    Apr 8, 2009
    3
    Well, after loving their first two albums, I was very disappointed to learn that Dr. Dog have now discovered computerized pitch correction. Well, after loving their first two albums, I was very disappointed to learn that Dr. Dog have now discovered computerized pitch correction. (And they seem the enjoy using it. A lot.) Gone are the realistic lazy harmonies of their previous releases that really sounded like there were 3 guys right in the room with you, trying their best to hit the notes, and coming just close enough to make it work. Listening to "Fate" is more like a computer is in the room with you, synthesizing artificially-perfect vocals with perfectly-tracked drums. The sound is entirely too polished to make the whole vintage thing work. Tube amps are appropriate. Teen-pop production sparkle is like, so not. The songwriting lacks something as well. I'd never wanted to skip a Dr. Dog song before this album. Full Review »
  2. krinklykrinkles
    Feb 17, 2009
    9
    Solid album. just short of perfect. probably the best underrated band out today.
  3. KatieS
    Dec 18, 2008
    10
    I effing love this album... I don't rarely disagree with so many critics, but I think anyone who rated this below an 8 may need to check I effing love this album... I don't rarely disagree with so many critics, but I think anyone who rated this below an 8 may need to check his/her blood pressure. It's an album that feels good to listen to every.... single.... time you put it on. Enough already, Pitchfork. This is brilliant. Full Review »