• Record Label: Sub Pop
  • Release Date: May 11, 2010

Mixed or average reviews - based on 21 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 6 out of 21
  2. Negative: 1 out of 21
  1. Weird it may be, but when CocoRosie get it right, as with the cutesy pop and dark piano melancholy mix of Lemonade, or the beautiful ethereal balladry of the title track for example, they are unstoppable.
  2. Full of contradictions, the album is primitive and ultra-modern, dark and enchanting, tranquil and energetic.
  3. 76
    For this blissfully weirdo fourth outing, the sisters Casady freakishly but joyfully plunder the odder bits of medieval folk, drum and bass, Western saloon and Mitteleuropa gothic elements.
  4. Grey Oceans is CocoRosie's most beautiful and, more importantly, least bloody irritating record to date.
  5. 70
    The sisters Sierra and Bianca Casady plus a few guests (jazz pianist Gael Rakotondrabe, Argentine drummer Bolsa) improvise another trek through their active imaginations, doing whatever makes sense (or not) to them that day.
  6. This cohesiveness is the very thing that was lacking from previous efforts, and ultimately dulled their impact. Kudos to the Casadys for finally accenting their highly inventive songwriting in a unified manner.
  7. While they have many good ideas, sometimes they have too many good ideas at once and end up gilding the lily (or putting a blue fake fur mustache on it, as the case may be).
  8. So after the outré highs and lows of Grey Oceans have played their last syllable, it's hard to know what to think of it, apart from being slightly underwhelmed for the most part.
  9. http://www.tinymixtapes.com/music-review/cocorosie-grey-oceans
  10. Uncut
    It's hard going, but one can only applaud the ambition. [Jun 2010, p.83]
  11. Mojo
    Another helping of skew-whiff artiness from teh oddball Casady siblings. [June 2010, p. 99]
  12. Q Magazine
    Thier fourth album is a step back in the right direction. [Jun 2010, p.120]
  13. Some will have the patience and tolerance for searching repeatedly through Grey Oceans to uncover moments of thoughtful beauty. But they're a little harder to find than they should be.
  14. While Grey Oceans is less caustic than their other work, it still has that lay-it-all-on-the-line quality that's worked for Antony Hegarty, Devendra Banhart, and Joanna Newsom. The difference is that the album never feels like anything's at stake, whereas past records embraced experimentation at any cost.
  15. What saves Grey Oceans is the occasional good idea: the Eastern-tinged Smokey Taboo mixes tablas and wilting strings with Bianca's woozy, half-rapped vocal to impressive effect, while the very peculiar Fairy Paradise is, more or less, Dance of the Sugarplum Fairy as remixed by Paul van Dyk.
  16. On the whole, Grey Oceans seems to be the same old thing. I wouldn't recommend this to a first time listener of the band.
  17. It either needs to at least nod to actual humanity or just be off-the-wall insane, but doing neither, it just comes off as fake. Grey Oceans falls in-between the cracks of the extremes, and while still an interesting album, feels too shallow and too Serious.
  18. No matter your feeling on CocoRosie, whether love them for their innovation or hate them for their grating pretension, when you hear Grey Oceans you might find yourself missing those more challenging (or more inventive) days.
  19. Undoubtedly containing their best material since their debut, Grey Oceans has the unfortunate inability to get all that material in the same place.
  20. Occasionally beautiful, often irritating.
  21. More often, however, CooRosie appear uninterested in the listener's experience--and that can make Grey Oceans a bit of a slog. The cost of their commitment is you.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 21 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 16 out of 21
  2. Negative: 3 out of 21
  1. jeremy
    May 17, 2010
    People just don't get them.
  2. Oct 15, 2011
    The scattered memories from the childhood, tastes of forgotten dreams, the thoughts that live in the bottom of our minds... All these thingsThe scattered memories from the childhood, tastes of forgotten dreams, the thoughts that live in the bottom of our minds... All these things come to me while I listen to this strange yet beautiful music. You might not like this music, but I am sure it's worth a try. Full Review »
  3. Jan 23, 2017
    Despite being born in the United States, the duo that is CocoRosie feels completely out of the world, and at times hauntingly beautiful, withDespite being born in the United States, the duo that is CocoRosie feels completely out of the world, and at times hauntingly beautiful, with their fourth studio album, Grey Oceans. However, while their experimental folk style and rich atmospheres sound immensely enticing, the overall execution of the record has many moments where it falls flat on its face, completely ruining an otherwise ingenious and great album.

    The root of the problem with this release seems to stem from the overuse of one of CocoRosie’s defining elements… their experimentation. While songs like “Trinity’s Crying” lead to enchanting soundscapes of wonder, and equally as beautiful singing, other songs like “Hopscotch” completely take you out of the experience you’re having with the album, and make it a struggle to get back to the immersion. Indeed, this over-experimentation constantly takes good song ideas and removes their beauty, leaving the album a bit bland feeling. When the songs are left alone, with just the right amount of kooky ideas, you get songs like “Grey Oceans,” “R.I.P. Burn Face,” “The Moon Asked The Crow,” and “Lemonade.” When the songs have unneeded and extra concepts added to them, you get songs like “Undertaker,” and “Fairy Paradise” (the latter of the two containing jarringly off time vocals).

    With these problems mixed in with victories, it is not hard to see why CocoRosie has always been such a polarizing artist. Some love them, some hate them, and personally I’m just left with an empty feeling that screams “This could’ve been something amazing… but it wasn’t.”
    Full Review »