Metascore
75

Generally favorable reviews - based on 24 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 19 out of 24
  2. Negative: 0 out of 24
  1. May 17, 2011
    80
    On this consistently hypnotic debut, Austra carve out a place of their own among their contemporaries.
  2. May 16, 2011
    80
    Stelmanis, bassist Dorian Wolf and drummer Maya Postepski have created something that plays as a carefully balanced, organic whole, like an inadvertent concept album. That's more a testament to the skill with which it's been put together than because it lacks standout moments; in fact, half the songs here could be released as singles, as Austra are as melodic as they are melodramatic.
  3. It's unlikely that the album will be a big hit, but the best songs will grow to have a life outside of Feel It Break, on dancefloors and party playlists, which I'm sure is something Stelmanis would approve of.
  4. May 17, 2011
    80
    With the cool-o-meter currently set at all things synthy and coldwave-y, Austra look set for big things.
  5. May 19, 2011
    80
    As a debut and a fleshing out of Stelmanis' previous eponymous work, Feel It Break is a solid place to build from and a reason to expect good things from Austra in the future.
  6. 50
    The creative basis for the album's sound and feel are quite original (look no further than the two official NSFW videos released for the album here and here), but after about a half-dozen tracks, it seems like the Austra motor sort of sputtered and died in terms of creativity.
  7. May 16, 2011
    80
    What ultimately makes Feel it Break such a pleasure to explore is their inclination to consciously move away from making this a record that only works as a showcase for a distinctive singer.
  8. May 16, 2011
    70
    As the album thumps on, though, listeners who prefer dynamics over beat matching will lose patience.
  9. May 19, 2011
    74
    Upon first listen, Austra's debut album Feel It Break comes off like a cross between The Knife and a gothier version of Florence and The Machine.
  10. May 16, 2011
    60
    Students of the 19080s Brit synth-pop and Gallic cold wave will find Austra a contemporary champion. [Jun 2011, p.97]
  11. May 19, 2011
    80
    In the end, then, it's as if Austra are old hands; Feel It Break could be them overcoming difficult second album syndrome with aplomb. Goodness only knows where they can go from here; such peaks represented the end of the road for The Organ.
  12. 70
    The odd misfire aside, Feel It Break is self-assured and utterly consuming. At this rate, she'll be leading the pack soon.
  13. May 31, 2011
    80
    There's an amazing balance on Feel It Break. You should have everything you need, if your needs are met by a beautiful blend of virulent lyrics, pumping beats, with addictive dark melodies.
  14. May 20, 2011
    80
    Stelmanis brings a more musical sensibility to the formula, even if it's still miles away from mainstream pop.
  15. May 16, 2011
    73
    On Feel It Break, they've got that creeping cinematic synth-psych style down cold. Moving forward, I'm curious to hear what else they can do.
  16. Aug 19, 2011
    60
    All in all, Feel It Break as a whole is a little uneven because Austra still seems to be looking to strike the right balance between its different parts.
  17. May 17, 2011
    75
    While it would have been easy for Feel It Break to fall into new wave hero worship, it succeeds thanks to the singularity of Stelmanis' vision. Feel It Break announces her as a force to be reckoned with.
  18. May 31, 2011
    60
    Stelmanis is her own woman and on Lose It and Spellwork there's enough regal clatter to elevate her from being a mere cult concern. [Jun 2011, p.107]
  19. Aug 2, 2011
    60
    Feel It Break feels a bit front-loaded: its second half sags a bit with more ballad-oriented material, but closes on a strong note with "The Beast."
  20. May 16, 2011
    80
    it might be the best introspective rave album of the year, which is certainly saying something.
  21. May 16, 2011
    70
    her band's seedy synth pop more often recalls Kate Bush's dramatic art songs and the Knife's ghostly techno-pop (and more specifically, the soured vowels of frontwoman Karin Andersson).
  22. May 17, 2011
    75
    Austra is best when all three influences expertly converge or when none of them bother showing at all.
  23. May 16, 2011
    80
    Nevertheless, one wouldn't call Feel It Break straightforward: Stelmanis is mannered enough to keep listeners on their toes, without tipping over into being irritating, adding a dash of spice to a record capable of intriguing both art and pop crowds.
  24. May 13, 2011
    80
    Somewhat Gothic, but for all its dark corners, this debut gleams with a pop lustre. [Jun 2011, p.77]
User Score
8.0

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. Oct 25, 2011
    8
    Fronted by the classically trained Latvian-Canadian Katie Stelmanis, Austra is one of the best things to happen in music this (already good) year. Stelmanisâ Full Review »
  2. Oct 23, 2011
    8
    Feel It Break is a strong debut album from Austra, standout tracks are Spellwork, The Villain and The Beat and the Pulse. Some tracks are a tad bland but still a good album. Full Review »
  3. Jun 30, 2011
    8
    Feel It Break is as tasty as Austra is promising.