Hal

Metascore
68

Generally favorable reviews - based on 16 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 10 out of 16
  2. Negative: 0 out of 16
  1. Echoes of the Beatles, Harry Nilsson, the Beach Boys, and Phil Spector are everywhere, and while those aren't exactly unique or even very interesting reference points in 2005, Hal again go beyond imitation and use their influences as a good band should, as guides and not blueprints.
  2. Q Magazine
    80
    The sort of tunes The Beautiful South mislaid on the nation's pub jukeboxes years ago, often tinged with a soulful alt-country lilt. [May 2005, p.116]
  3. There's not much drama or keeping-it-realness in Hal's golden, Beach Boys-influenced world, but who can't use a dollop of guilty pleasure?
  4. Uncut
    80
    Whereas The Thrills' second album fizzled commercially because of an increasingly arch knowingness which many found alienating, Hal--perfectionists, eschewing irony--keep the envelope taut, the air fresh. [May 2005, p.106]
  5. Mojo
    80
    The melodies are so lush and the arrangements so stylish that you can't deny them. [Jun 2005, p.105]
  6. There’s nothing groundbreaking here, and this record could very well sound sickeningly syrupy come December, but Hal have found a way of reflecting the sun from a time when it wasn’t quite so poisonous.
  7. Hal is basically just a pleasant, fun album.
  8. So what is there to learn here? How about ‘Hal are generally good, although they’re usually better when they’re trying to blow our minds rather than win our heart’.
  9. New Musical Express (NME)
    70
    The results are undeniably lush, yet slightly lacking in soul. [16 Apr 2005, p.50]
  10. Full of serious songs with sunny, heavily polished arrangements.
User Score
7.7

Generally favorable reviews- based on 6 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 4 out of 4
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 4
  3. Negative: 0 out of 4
  1. mrsoul
    Aug 8, 2005
    10
    a masterpiece! grows on you like a peachy smelling plant. like all great music, makes you love. the harmonies, like all good ones, possess a a masterpiece! grows on you like a peachy smelling plant. like all great music, makes you love. the harmonies, like all good ones, possess a sense community, hence the love. really divine and humane. Full Review »
  2. PhilM
    May 24, 2005
    9
    A gem of an album that reveals more hidden depth with each listen
  3. Allistair
    May 11, 2005
    9
    The feel good album of the year. HAL is probably the only band that replicates the sounds of 60s pop classics to make a masterpiece of their The feel good album of the year. HAL is probably the only band that replicates the sounds of 60s pop classics to make a masterpiece of their own. A must have of 05. Full Review »