Friend And Foe

  • Record Label: Barsuk
  • Release Date: Jan 23, 2007
Metascore
78

Generally favorable reviews - based on 20 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 16 out of 20
  2. Negative: 0 out of 20
  1. While they are not afraid to bang the drums and rock out, Menomena keep the majority of this album behind a beautiful mask of complimentary melodies.
  2. "Friend and Foe" might be the first truly great record of 2007.
  3. 88
    Ranging from the epic to the understated, Menomena manages to be innovative and accessible.
  4. The line between cheese and accessibility can be thin, and whistling or handclaps or a hidden track or an overt songwriting method can all reek, but Friend and Foe has, just as ostensibly, no wasted space. The hinge is in the balance the band manages with every inkling of sound or production seeming both spontaneous and stultifying, both labored-over and cast off.
  5. Friend and Foe follows through on the potential of their unique sound, proving their wildly great debut was no fluke.
  6. There are subtle shifts at work with the band, and most allow their shady songcraft to emerge from overt experimentalism--perhaps too aware of its own inventiveness--into the realms of "art-pop."
  7. Now that Menomena's technique feels less jarring and daring, though, the group has done a decent job of pouring its euphoric weirdness into bruised, beautiful songcraft.
  8. Under The Radar
    80
    There is nary a weak track here. [#16, p.93]
  9. Menomena now has to be regarded as one of today's more intriguing rock outfits.
  10. Hard to describe but easy to recommend.
  11. There's a sort of magic in the way this Portland threesome balances structure and chaos, pop and noise.
  12. Friend and Foe may be part unbridled energy, part thoughtful arrangement, part innovative experimentation, but it's the synthesis of these that makes it so fantastic.
  13. It’s grandly impressive and points to potentially greater things in the future.
  14. No filler, not one outtake, Friend and Foe succeeds in living up to the hype of Menomena's first LP by growing wiser with every loop of sax and blast.
  15. Friend and Foe compensates for its occasional melodic malaise with its vigorous, exploratory prosody.
  16. It sounds like a campfire sing-along at the most evil band camp in the underworld.
  17. Urb
    60
    This could be the second half of Menomena's debut. [Jan/Feb 2006, p.81]
  18. Alternative Press
    60
    The combination of thundering drums with whimsical vocals and melodies can be charming, insanely catchy and headache-inducing, sometimes all at once. [Feb 2007, p.114]
  19. Whereas I am the Fun Blame Monster was unmitigated fun, Friend and Foe attempts something more soberly contemplative. This regrettable attempt at maturity comes off as forced and feigned rendering the band as boring as any other affectedly serious artist.
  20. While Menomena’s sound has matured and their musical prowess has grown considerably, similarities between songs of old and new are unmistakable.
User Score
8.7

Universal acclaim- based on 51 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 24 out of 27
  2. Negative: 2 out of 27
  1. AndrewC.
    Aug 31, 2008
    10
    Buy for the stunning album artwork alone! This album (and Menomena) are criminally underrated. Yes it has received mad buzz and accolades but Buy for the stunning album artwork alone! This album (and Menomena) are criminally underrated. Yes it has received mad buzz and accolades but admittedly it's a complex Full Review »
  2. NicolasB.
    Feb 14, 2008
    9
    So good just utterly magnificent, songs go from brilliantly delicate to belligerent and emotional; best songs are muscle 'n flo, wet and So good just utterly magnificent, songs go from brilliantly delicate to belligerent and emotional; best songs are muscle 'n flo, wet and rusting and air raid. Full Review »
  3. JayK
    Jul 20, 2007
    9
    Thee best album I have ever heard. The Debut I am the fun blame monster is good at times but this album is consistently brilliant.I have Thee best album I have ever heard. The Debut I am the fun blame monster is good at times but this album is consistently brilliant.I have listened to this album for about 6 months and still hear new sounds everytime I listen it.I have been waiting for this album since spiritualized peaked with ladies&gentlemen..a long wait Full Review »