Gloss Drop - Battles
Metascore
79

Generally favorable reviews - based on 37 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 29 out of 37
  2. Negative: 0 out of 37
  1. So much better than a Ferrari that never needs a tune-up, muse I. In the studio they're less accident prone, and they still tintinnabulate some. But now they also grunt.
  2. Jun 7, 2011
    90
    Though the sound can come off as aggressive, if not anxiety-inducing at times, it's the tiny revelations that make the vicious drumming, harsh guitars and freaky vocals worthwhile, summing up for an experience that is as delightfully fucked up as it is musically seamless...with unexpected steel drums making appearances in between.
  3. Jun 6, 2011
    90
    Despite (or maybe because of) the absence of Braxton, Battles has soldiered on into new musical territory, and discovered a place that is simultaneously confrontational and inviting, esoteric and playful, technical and infectious-and very, very good.
  4. Jun 6, 2011
    90
    [Gloss Drop] is one of the most startling, visually emotive albums we've heard in years. Vividly audacious.
  5. Jun 3, 2011
    90
    Braxton's clever, found-sound loops are missed, but the remaining members' rampant ideas and inexorable groove keep Battles engrossing.
  6. 90
    Well paced and thoroughly engaging, the Braxton-less Battles have accomplished the seemingly impossible with Gloss Drop: They've actually gotten better. [Jul 2011, p.107]
  7. Jun 6, 2011
    88
    "Playful" isn't often the first word that comes to mind when listening to music with this kind of cerebral veneer, but it's a perfectly apt description of Battles' subversive and frequently delightful brand of avant-pop.
  8. 83
    Gloss Drop, with its syncopated beats and chiming new-wave keyboards, dials up the warmth from their math-y, angular debut and injects far more humanity than most dance records allow.
  9. Gloss Drop may be a less solid and coherent album than Mirrored, but it is still a remarkably promising follow-up. As always, the music is cerebral, engaging, technically stupefying, and utterly original.
  10. Jun 30, 2011
    81
    Battles still sound determined here to inject their precision-geared prog-pop with the kind of humor and adventure one rarely encounters among bands that possess chops like these.
  11. Jun 6, 2011
    81
    Gloss Drop shows a band still well ahead of the curve in terms of how they perform music, and one that understands how an aesthetic can be stretched to its most experimental limit and retracted to a simple confection without a wide chasm between the two modes of expression.
  12. Aug 12, 2011
    80
    The disc's closing one-two punch of "white Electric" and "Sundome," render Glass Drop a triumph, and a major evolutionary leap. [July 2011, p.44]
  13. Jul 22, 2011
    80
    Like those early EPs, Gloss Drop relies more heavily on complex rhythms and wonky melodies to get its point across.
  14. Jun 20, 2011
    80
    Battles is, first and foremost, an instrumental group, but the tracks on Gloss Drop that do feature a guest vocalist are the undisputable highlights.
  15. Jun 14, 2011
    80
    Every track is dizzying, eventful and a little zany.
  16. Jun 14, 2011
    80
    Battles have a fascinating, distinct sound of their own; they don't need Gary Numan crooning overtop.
  17. Jun 8, 2011
    80
    Stripped down to a three-piece since Tyondai Braxton's surprise departure, Battles' sophomore effort may not have a nailed-on stand-out like their debut's Atlas but their dizzying electro-prog has a great deal more focus this time around.
  18. Jun 7, 2011
    80
    Gloss Drop is the most self-sufficient world Battles have made yet, and a pretty good argument in favor of music that gets less and less interesting the more you know about it.
  19. Jun 6, 2011
    80
    Gloss Drop may be more accomplished than the band's debut; even if it's not quite as much of a powerhouse as Mirrored was, it shows that the trio version of Battles is lean, creative, and surprisingly adaptable.
  20. The second studio album from the experimental New York trio oozes colour.
  21. Jun 6, 2011
    80
    Gloss Drop is an impressive record: impressive for both its sense of experimentation and its attempts to be polarizing in that it is a whack of a lot more commercial.
  22. Jun 3, 2011
    80
    The departure of vocalist Tyondai Braxton appears to have knocked them off stride a little, but they are certainly an ensemble group, and a raft of guests keep things frisky. [Jul 2011, p.77]
  23. Gloss Drop is powered by a tireless, ingenious sense of play. Admittedly, it is sometimes the sort of playfulness displayed by quantum physicists and pure mathematicians. But hey, get the numbers right and everything else just slots into place.
  24. Jun 8, 2011
    75
    Battles' sophomore full-length is arguably more perseverant triumph than massively accomplished successor. But for a band that's prided itself on spontaneous adaptation over calculated formula, the experimentation with vocally rooted material could hint at an amazing next step.
  25. 75
    Gloss Drop is another infectious, drug-induced carousel ride in which electric guitars sound like short-circuiting circus organs and drums punch through the mix like atom bombs--but there's a distinctly multi-cultural vibe here.
  26. Jun 7, 2011
    74
    Despite all the guests, and the nods to global pop, Gloss Drop will still be best enjoyed by groove heads, whether they come from the rock or dance worlds, but if you worried Battles would run out of surprises on album two, who knew they'd find common ground between post-punk devotees, Yes fans, and the children of UK funky?
  27. Jun 6, 2011
    74
    The record stands as a solid collection from a trio of exceptionally talented individuals.
  28. 70
    Gloss Drop is a definitely strong final outcome.
  29. 70
    As a whole, the album has a lot of impressive musicianship, outstanding atmosphere, and interesting composition. That said, it lacks a lot of the pure, frenetic energy with which its predecessor pushed and pummeled.
  30. Jun 21, 2011
    60
    Radical tech rockers' microshift to the center ground. [July 2011, p. 100]
  31. Jun 7, 2011
    60
    Previously, their appeal was an alien fusion of ferocious single-mindedness and forbidding complexity. Here, Battles often struggle to sound strange enough. [July 2011, p. 107]
  32. Jun 6, 2011
    60
    Despite its problems, Gloss Drop is a mild accomplishment.
  33. Jun 3, 2011
    60
    There is no question that this is a technically adept, well realised and urgent recording, but what seems to be a lacking is the je ne sais quoi that made Mirrored such a colossal debut album.
  34. Jun 3, 2011
    60
    That it's the track here [Ice cream] that most closely resembles Battles with Braxton in the fold is evidence enough that this band is missing a vital organ. Sadly, it would appear to be the heart.
  35. Jun 3, 2011
    60
    Elsewhere, hints of Brazilian and Trinidadian rhythms suggest a loopy robot carnival. But, unlike Mirrored, there are dry, impenetrable patches, making Gloss Drop an album that ultimately impresses more than it charms.
  36. Jun 20, 2011
    50
    In a word, Gloss Drop just sounds confused, and its structures don't challenge or excite.
  37. 40
    Clearly, these New York math-rockers have yet to learn the values of de- cluttering, with most of these dozen pieces involving furious industry to no great advantage.
User Score
8.3

Universal acclaim- based on 28 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 10 out of 10
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 10
  3. Negative: 0 out of 10
  1. Jun 8, 2011
    10
    I've been waiting to hear this record for years. Mirrored is my favourite album of the 00s and Gloss Drop seems to raise the bar even further.I've been waiting to hear this record for years. Mirrored is my favourite album of the 00s and Gloss Drop seems to raise the bar even further. After several listens I can safely say that this will be the record of the year, no matter what is released in the other 6 months of 2011. This is how the future of music sounds and it sounds damn good. Full Review »
  2. May 11, 2013
    10
    Despite the loss of their frontman, Battles still maintain that hyper math/experimental rock they had in their previous LP Mirrored. And thisDespite the loss of their frontman, Battles still maintain that hyper math/experimental rock they had in their previous LP Mirrored. And this time, they've put out a more dance-rock like outfit with guest vocalist coming it. It's technically making a friendly, easy-to-listen yet complex album. I can't stop dancing! Must listen. Full Review »
  3. May 18, 2012
    9
    While the album lack vocals, it's reinforced with plenty tweaked guitar strums, rad bass lines and constant beat. The tracks that really standWhile the album lack vocals, it's reinforced with plenty tweaked guitar strums, rad bass lines and constant beat. The tracks that really stand out for me is Futura and Ice Cream. Full Review »