Howlin' - Jagwar Ma

Generally favorable reviews - based on 17 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 16 out of 17
  2. Negative: 0 out of 17
  1. 90
    It’s a tightrope across a canyon down which many a pie-eyed baggy daredevil has fallen. Jagwar Ma make it look effortless.
  2. Aug 12, 2013
    Howlin is good enough to make you forget most of the bands they were influenced by too, as it both embraces and somehow transcends the '90s in a flash of sound and vision.
  3. Jul 10, 2013
    In short, it's the kind of pop music that works in any era. [Aug 2013, p.89]
  4. Jun 17, 2013
    The naysayer might dismiss it as an elaborate pastiche, but this would be to miss the point of an often intoxicating LP that's more than the sum of its parts. [Jul 2013, p.108]
  5. Jun 10, 2013
    Howlin' works impeccably as a whole. Equally uplifting and calming, it's the dancefloor via the beach.
  6. 80
    It’s designed for the outdoors, for huge crowds and for losing your mind to. There are few artists that have perfected the kind of engrossing and engaging dance delights that Jono and Gabriel are demonstrating here.
  7. Jun 10, 2013
    The accomplished sonic collages of Howlin' finely balance Jagwar Ma's influences and in doing so transcends into something singularly thrilling and cohesive.
  8. Jun 10, 2013
    Howlin is an intoxicating first showing from a band with bags of potential and, although it loses its way somewhat towards the end, it is brimming with the confidence of a vastly more experienced band.
  9. Aug 14, 2013
    Drenched in echoed vocals and layered synth lines, Howlin maintains an incredibly optimistic, carefree tone.
  10. Jun 21, 2013
    The music is a heady swirl of baggy beats and unabashed Beach Boys melodies, while the lyrics are wholly uninterested in anything intellectual.
  11. Mindlessly hummable and pure of vision, Howlin’ sounds just as good coming from your headphones as it does from Marshall stacks.
  12. Nov 1, 2013
    The back half of Howlin’ falls off a bit, which is kind of inevitable with an album that starts as strongly as this one does.
  13. 70
    The hits are so strong that you won’t mind trudging through a few missteps along the way.
  14. Jul 31, 2013
    Songs like "That Loneliness" can make Jagwar Ma sound a little clean-living, while the ingenuous "Let Her Go" simply bowls you over with sun-bleached pop-psych. [Sep 2013, p.90]
  15. Jun 12, 2013
    Ignoring the pair of low-key, forgettable tracks that close the album, Howlin is a cracking summer album.... but whether the album has a shelf life beyond that remains to be seen.
  16. Jun 10, 2013
    Despite its pleasures, Howlin struggles to surpass the faint feeling of pastiche that runs through "Uncertainty" and the frankly ridiculous pop flutter "Let Her Go."
  17. Jun 10, 2013
    These grooves are floppy-limbed, loosely propelled by basslines that sound like ones Ian Brown left behind under a pub table.
User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 32 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 5 out of 5
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 5
  3. Negative: 0 out of 5
  1. Aug 28, 2013
    Wow these guys are the new darlings of the music reviewers! I am yet to see a negative review. I agree with VIMTV this album feels like a compilation rather than a cohesive album. But there is still enough on here to give you an idea of where they're coming from, but not perhaps where they're going to. An often catchy debut for sure, but how will they follow this up? If the answer is with more of the same, then you can keep moving. Catchy, subtle, 90s-esque & rather likeable. This album kind of fizzles out towards the end. Full Review »
  2. Sep 14, 2013
    This album impressed me, the music is massively influenced by both Madchester and Psychedelia, but the result is unique enough and modern enough to be a sound that is definitely their own. We could do with this band becoming a big deal. Full Review »
  3. Aug 20, 2013
    Jagwar Ma hail from Australia, thus we expect their music to be eclectic by nature. Their debut record Howlin didn’t let us down; this thing is crawling with styles and genres ranging decades all culminated in one, concise, polished package. This is clearly a pop album; the dance beats and poppy vocal hooks cement that fact. However, the beats, samples, and guitar and bass instrumentation have a unique authenticity to them which sets this album apart from its peers. Howlin is far from perfect; there are several tracks that are simply not as good as the stronger tracks, and it feels more like a compilation than a true record. We were still pleasantly surprised with this debut and will gladly come back to this album in the future. Full Review »