Form & Control - The Phenomenal Handclap Band
Metascore
59

Mixed or average reviews - based on 17 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 4 out of 17
  2. Negative: 1 out of 17
  1. Jan 26, 2012
    70
    The drumming that helps ground it all is elastic and malleable, making this follow-up a more successful and well-rounded album that seems to be just the beginning of something really good.
  2. Feb 13, 2012
    60
    Ultimately, Form & Control serves it purpose as a ready-made playlist for your next party, but perhaps the band's oversimplifying of its sound has stripped away some of its mystique in the process.
  3. Apr 5, 2012
    60
    Form & Control exhibits a duality that splits the difference in the disparity of the Clap's soulful psych-pop/dance club fusion.
  4. 50
    The Phenomenal Handclap Band return with its sophomore release, Form & Control, which feels more centered, yet as retro as ever.
  5. Feb 13, 2012
    60
    The second album from the Phenomenal Handclap Band may not contain anything as exciting or danceable as the highlights of their debut but, despite its disappointments, there is still plenty on Form & Control for anyone who enjoyed their debut to appreciate.
  6. Feb 14, 2012
    20
    Form & Control's only real highlight is its title track... But when it's surrounded by so much dross, it's hardly redeeming, and getting loaded may well be the only way to endure the rest of this tripe.
  7. Feb 14, 2012
    80
    Their second album has a cosmic disco groove ('The Following'), thought-out harmonies ('The Unknown Faces at Father James Park') and electro- pop moments ('The Right One'), creating the kind of warm glow you may get from a house party in a log cabin.
  8. Mar 2, 2012
    60
    Phenomenal Handclap Band have created an extraordinary record, an accumulation of countless styles and eras of music that at times works impeccably. But too often it just a little too frenzied to adore.
  9. Laura Marin and Quinn Luke cram excessive lyrics into songs such as 'Shake', creating stodge instead of sleekness.
  10. Jan 26, 2012
    65
    Too often, it's elevator-funk, waiting room disco.
  11. Mar 15, 2012
    42
    Form & Control immediately shows the band's strengths and their weakness: It's a smooth, utterly precise study of the formal elements that make disco and electro-pop tick, but with far too little of the body heat that actually gets that stuff going.
  12. Feb 21, 2012
    60
    As sophomore efforts go, Form & Control is a great success.... Unfortunately, what it lacks are hooks.
  13. Jan 30, 2012
    80
    If there had been a disco episode of Star Trek, then Phenomenal Handclap Band would have provided the go-to floor-fillers. [Feb 2012, p. 109]
  14. Feb 10, 2012
    40
    Form And Control is a pleasant enough offering, but there's nothing phenomenal on show here.
  15. Feb 9, 2012
    60
    While 'The Written Word' and the title track are bonanzas for fans of arm-waving disco-house, the "control" element of the title is present all the way through, and the songs never quite transcend the feeling they're a bit too school for cool.
  16. Jan 26, 2012
    60
    All and all, it's a little too cool for its own good. [Feb 2012, p.97]
  17. Jan 30, 2012
    50
    PHB are equally comfortable with light rocking as they are heavy popping. [#39, p.75]
User Score
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No user score yet- Awaiting 2 more ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 0 out of 1
  2. Negative: 0 out of 1
  1. Apr 26, 2012
    4
    New York's octet regales us again with disco-soul compositions on second LP "Form and Control" and - like the preceding album - the songs are rather average quality. Above all, what lacking is a distinctive number, which would become the signature of the album. The title track does not enrapture and although songs such as "Give" and "Winter Falls" raise the release's level - but they make it slightly. Full Review »