Metascore
79

Generally favorable reviews - based on 20 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 18 out of 20
  2. Negative: 0 out of 20
  1. This is ageless music, and utterly, one hundred per cent essential.
  2. Easily one of the most essential sessions albums ever released, this, and probably one of the year’s most essential, full stop.
  3. Government Commissions is a must-have for any Mogwai fan, as the live version of “Like Herod” alone is worth the price of the full CD.
  4. Back-to-back tracks recorded years apart seem inseparable, and some of the recordings here are the strongest the band – or anyone else – has ever put to tape.
  5. An essential Mogwai purchase. [26 Feb 2005, p.66]
  6. Bottom line is that Mogwai are an insanely powerful live band, and these sharp recordings play like a unified set rather than a scraped-together compendium of disparate sessions.
  7. 80
    Many of these sessions trump the original album versions. [Mar 2005, p.100]
  8. The only thing that holds this collection down at all is the fact that you're listening to it at home, and, no matter how good your audio setup, it will never come close to the band's famously loud and beautiful live sets. And, at that, this comes close.
  9. Though die-hard Mogwai fans are probably the most likely to pick this up, Government Commissions works so well that it could also double as a Mogwai greatest-hits collection.
  10. The faithful will be rewarded with this immaculately recorded set of live versions, while the release could provide a solid introduction to those who've yet to discover the virtues of having heavy, emotional music that still manages to let you fill in the blanks.
  11. The press release accompanying this record also states that Government Commissions is a greatest hits record of sorts, but this really is a love letter to Mogwai fans, some who feel the intensity of the band's live performances have bettered their studio output.
  12. Let’s get two things about Government Commissions out of the way. The first is that the set is utterly inessential.... The second thing is that the first thing doesn’t matter.
  13. If you have everything by the Scottish gang of five, this is good excuse to remind yourself of their genius in different circumstances. If you are new to them, then it is a fine introduction to a band whose importance and integrity over the years is unquestionable.
  14. All the tracks are spotlessly performed by the group, but don't differ from the recorded tracks all that much except in a few cases.
  15. This is, by no means, Mogwai’s finest hour, but Government Commissions deserves praise for its proof positive of the consistent quality of the band.
  16. A terrific treat for the faithful and a fine portal for Mogwai newbies. [Apr/May 2005, p.127]
  17. The quality of the music here, whether you agree that some of the session versions match or improve upon their originals or not, make this a collection worth picking up for sheer song quality alone.
  18. Hardly an essential addition to the Mogwai catalogue (diehards excluded, of course).
  19. 60
    There's nothing here to surprise anyone familiar with Mogwai's chiefly instrumental, epic soundscaping. [Mar 2005, p.120]
  20. Inevitably, though, there's an unevenness to the improvised soundscaping. [Mar 2005, p.101]

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