Halcyon Digest - Deerhunter
Metascore
86

Universal acclaim - based on 33 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 32 out of 33
  2. Negative: 0 out of 33
  1. It's not as immediate as previous Deerhunter albums, but Halcyon Digest has an appeal all its own: It's as difficult to grasp - and as hard to shake - as a memory lingering at the back of your brain.
  2. Halcyon Digest is, to my mind, the best we've seen from Deerhunter, and a hint that their best is still to come. It's a fascinating document to study, but I'm not sure that makes it all great music.
  3. We'll never be able to parse every lyric or tease out every technical intricacy - though somebody will probably try - but that is what Halcyon Digest is all about: nostalgia not for an era, not for antiquated technology, but for a feeling of excitement, of connection, of that dumb obsession that makes life worth living no matter how horrible it gets.
  4. 80
    A rather lovely record...Fully audible at last, Cox's downcast lyrics invest these hazy tunes with gripping poignancy. [Oct 2010, p.90]
  5. Deerhunter might be fascinated by the vanishing tricks people play, but Halcyon Digest is a thing of unmistakable substance. [Nov. 2010, p. 113]
  6. 80
    With Halycon Digest, Deerhunter are dealing in an altogether different kind of tension. [Oct. 2010, p. 90]
  7. For all its occasional lack of bite and drama, Halcyon Digest's tender, transgressive pop proves a fine and focused addition to a uniquely haunting body of work. Cherish it like you would a phantom limb.
  8. The songs on Halycon Digest all feel familiar in a way, like warped versions of songs that played on the radio in some not-too-distant past; sort of how pop songs are portrayed in post-apocalyptic movies: as something to be cherished, because they're all too rare. [Fall 2010, p. 59]
  9. Halcyon Digest isn't always a cohesive listen, but the record gels where it counts--it's all great.
  10. Halcyon Digest is a triumph of multilayered nuance, and repeated listens reveal its genius buried just beyond the obvious.
  11. While Deerhunter may not be a solo project--though a couple of the songs here were recorded solo--this band is the musical realm of Bradford Cox. And if he hasn't found the same amount of fame as Win Butler or even Avey Tare, then probably it's because the lethargically gorgeous world he has crafted isn't inclusive enough allow large numbers of people in.
  12. Deerhunter aren't just revivalists, though: in the main this is timeless music, seemingly made with the conviction that loveliness will always be lovely.
  13. Deerhunter have long proved themselves to be one of the most inventive bands around and the most deserving of the boatloads of hype and bandwidth that has been devoted to their work. Halcyon Digest solidifies that notion even as they sound like they are evaporating into the ether.
  14. Deerhunter has graduated, by degrees, from conjuring moods to writing proper songs, and fourth album Halcyon Digest finds Bradford Cox and company strip-mining new aural territory and toeing the line between structure and abstraction.
  15. Halcyon Digest might be an easy listen, but it takes effort to digest. Brief moments of transcendence break through the album's cracked, depressed facade, though even those are fleeting.
  16. With every album, Deerhunter strip away more layers of textural ambience and reveal what some fans knew all along: that they're a pop band.
  17. At the end of the first album on which he's managed to keep all of his organs inside his body, it's like Cox is finally letting us see his heart.
  18. Deerhunter has come into its own, and the halcyon result is not to be missed.
  19. As they've made it to their fourth album, they've quickly become one of indie's most reliable bands, each new album bringing the promise of some of the year's best music.
  20. Throughout all this, though, lies a sense of warm experimentation that should feel familiar to fans of Deerhunter's unique brand of ambience-loving indie-rock. Halcyon Digest is simply another solid entry in the discography of a mighty band.
  21. 90
    Bradford Cox's jagged, swirling atmospherics reach an apotheosis on this hazy but blissful offering.
  22. Halcyon Digest is bliss, it is Deerhunter's best album to date-their first not to belie some raptorial need to plum my ears with mooching loudness.
  23. Oct 26, 2010
    100
    Halcyon Digest goes by like a breeze, and when it's finished there's nothing better to do than play it again.
  24. Halcyon Digest is as comforting in its familiar feel as it is startling for its sonic variety.
  25. Dec 20, 2010
    78
    Most of the album could pass as solo recordings, like the slow-motion slumber of "Earthquake!" and the girl group gauze of "Basement Scene," but that's balanced with more concise, full band selections that sound like half-remembered 1960s pop songs.
  26. As one of music's most consistent bands, their ideas continue to surprise and astonish on Halcyon Digest's soaring highs.
  27. Halcyon Digest is the perfect LP to spin twice, love unrepentantly, and walk away from. This refreshing tonic (poured from the cash bar of overrated newer bands) is straight from the heart of Mr. Bradford Cox, poet and purveyor of Deerhunter's zen pop psych.
  28. Familiar but undeniably brand new, Halcyon Digest is forty-six minutes well spent--a loop that can repeated as many times as you'd like. Stay patient. If you skip out on a track, you'll be missing something.
  29. Upon repeat listens, there's not one point of Halcyon Digest that feels like it was overly thought out.
  30. Having defined its gauzy sound on previous albums, Halcyon Digest Deerhunter finds the group expanding it with knockout results.
  31. Only Deerhunter makes echoes without egos, grounding even Bradford Cox's most wayward divergences in an all-encompassing blend of simple rock stylings.
  32. Conceive it as DJ electronica that makes its point, starting all partial and halting before gathering itself to a properly modest climax. Except that it's played by a live band. And has OK lyrics. Smart, nothing‑-pretty darned intelligent.
User Score
8.5

Universal acclaim- based on 116 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 27 out of 28
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 28
  3. Negative: 1 out of 28
  1. Sep 28, 2010
    10
    After every new album that has amazed me this year, I immediately tell myself "Best of the year". But after a few weeks, I dont quite feel theAfter every new album that has amazed me this year, I immediately tell myself "Best of the year". But after a few weeks, I dont quite feel the same way. So this time, I will not say "Best of the year". But damn, it certainly has a chance at taking this spot. Definitely the most beautiful of the year Full Review »
  2. Oct 9, 2010
    3
    You know, I've listened to the bulk of Deerhunter and Atlas Sound's collective output, and I've realized a couple things...first, as much asYou know, I've listened to the bulk of Deerhunter and Atlas Sound's collective output, and I've realized a couple things...first, as much as everyone claims that this album is unique and a step ahead, it's stylistically no different from their previous album, Microcastle--same heavily treated guitars droning on for way too long, same vocals wailing with forced emotion in the distance, same clunky percussion. This album is by no means a step forward, and a step forward is what Deerhunter really needed. Second, the album doesn't hook you in and make you want to listen to it all the way through--the opener is a snoozer at best. Bradford Cox may like to write "thought-provoking" instrumentation, but he falls flat on his face when he tries to pen music that's in any way catchy. You have to force yourself through the first couple songs, which I suppose was intentional--Deerhunter panders to an elitist indie clientele, right? Overly dry and pretentious music is sure to weed out the majority of listeners and leave only devoted followers of the band. For everyone who isn't a Bradford fanboy, I highly recommend passing this one by. Halcyon Digest is really not worth the extra time or money. Full Review »
  3. Sep 28, 2010
    7
    A blur is forming too much between Deerhunter and Atlas Sound. A majority of the songs are wonderful. The tribute to Jay Reatard and the songA blur is forming too much between Deerhunter and Atlas Sound. A majority of the songs are wonderful. The tribute to Jay Reatard and the song with the saxophone (!) The shame is...where is the saxophone and banjo and all these other instruments in the other songs? Halcyon Digest is a solid album - don't get me wrong, but the transition from Cryptograms to Microcastle is still much more impressive. Full Review »