• Record Label: Merge
  • Release Date: May 19, 2017
Metascore
83

Universal acclaim - based on 20 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 20 out of 20
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 20
  3. Negative: 0 out of 20
Buy On
  1. 91
    Though it’s a tad long, and there are points where I get the sense that the band is still feeling out this new sound, Darnielle and crew have crafted a marvelous record that earns its place in the esteemed Mountain Goats canon while standing tall on its own merits.
  2. Jun 2, 2017
    90
    Goths is full of surprises, places where the music shifts direction in a way that changes a song’s emotional trajectory in a stunning way.
  3. May 17, 2017
    90
    This album is a love letter, written in elegant cursive (and blood, obvs), for anyone and everyone that holds the underground to their heart.
  4. May 17, 2017
    90
    The LP is both amusing and poignant, full of strange imagery and punch lines that are characteristic of Mountain Goats.
  5. Jul 6, 2017
    85
    Darnielle’s lyrics never let nostalgia float off in the ether. There’s a geography to Goths that adds complexity and specificity.
  6. Q Magazine
    Jun 6, 2017
    80
    While these 12 songs carry a lick of humour, there is a sublime tenderness here too. [Aug 2017, p.107]
  7. May 25, 2017
    80
    His voice remains distinctive though, and like all his records, Goths is worth hearing.
  8. May 22, 2017
    80
    Goths is Darnielle’s most evocative work since the occultist All Eternals Deck and even though it remains loosely conceptual like Beat the Champ, it’s all tethered to this palpable, too-casual melancholy, the kind that comes with telling a cautionary tale one too many times.
  9. May 18, 2017
    80
    Here, the 50-year-old sometime novelist is in masterly form, reappraising his teenage goth years.
  10. May 18, 2017
    80
    After over 20 years of writing fine songs and making great records, John Darnielle and the Mountain Goats are actually getting better and more interesting, and Goths is a genuine triumph.
  11. May 12, 2017
    80
    Darnielle deftly weaves through memories of an impressionable period in his life and its accompanying soundtrack while avoiding the pitfall of nostalgia or sentimentalism for the music of his youth.
  12. Mojo
    May 10, 2017
    80
    Songwriter Darnielle expertly renders the acute emotions of adopting a new tribe and the resignation that life often forces. [Jun 2017, p.89]
  13. Uncut
    May 10, 2017
    80
    Spry, antic and engaging. [Jun 2017, p.34]
  14. May 10, 2017
    80
    Goths is vivid and light on its toes. [Apr - Jun 2017, p.84]
  15. May 19, 2017
    75
    As part of the band’s rich story, It’s still a journey worth taking, both for the band and listeners. But the latter will find themselves staring out the window, brooding over the gray and dismal scenery a bit more.
  16. May 18, 2017
    75
    From a conceptual standpoint, Darnielle has achieved an exclusive analysis of the brooding would-be darkwaver, though the brilliance of the inside jokes could fall on deaf, pale ears here.
  17. 70
    While edgy, honest and witty observations are made about youth culture, there is a tendency to sprinkle moments of easy listening jazz throughout the record, which is a bit of a downer in a non gothic sense. Still, the brutal honesty and candor are present and much appreciated, one of the few characteristics that truly identifies a Mountain Goats record.
  18. May 18, 2017
    70
    If you're encountering The Mountain Goats for the first time, perhaps this isn't the ideal place to begin.
  19. May 10, 2017
    70
    Goths is one of Darnielle and co.'s most daring and well-conceived feats. [Jun 2017, p.82]
  20. 67
    Despite the uneven results between that last track and the album’s superlative opener, Goths is a record that grows on you.

Awards & Rankings

User Score
7.7

Generally favorable reviews- based on 27 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 22 out of 27
  2. Negative: 2 out of 27
  1. Jul 4, 2017
    9
    This album is absolutely fantastic. The band is playing in some very fresh musical territory. Fans who hanker to hear a return to the boomboxThis album is absolutely fantastic. The band is playing in some very fresh musical territory. Fans who hanker to hear a return to the boombox recordings of Tallahassee and All Hail West Texas will probably be disappointed; the band's progression away from their characteristic old-school lo-fi ep sound continues on Goths. The last few albums have been "meh" in my opinion: not great but not terrible either. This album is phenomenally engineered, with well written songs and some great orchestration. Fun horn section accompaniments and some killer bass playing add some very nice layers to many of the songs. I never thought that I would "groove" to The Mountain Goats. A darkly hilarious masterpiece. I love it. Full Review »