If I Had A Hi-Fi - Nada Surf
If I Had A Hi-Fi Image
Metascore
74

Generally favorable reviews - based on 14 Critics What's this?

User Score
7.7

Generally favorable reviews- based on 6 Ratings

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  • Summary: Experience has only made their work richer, bringing gravity to the subject matter and lightness to the sound of this new album. Keeping things honest--and often rapturous--has become a modus operandi.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 11 out of 14
  2. Negative: 0 out of 14
  1. It's the best sort of covers album, reverent to the source material but not beholden to it.
  2. Consequently and unlike most covers records, If I Had a Hi-Fi (which, rather neatly, is a palindrome) sounds wonderfully fresh and easy, but also yields some unexpected pop trinkets.
  3. This is how the covers album should be done, with tight technique and loving affection blending together to give the new versions life and bite.
  4. Their approach avoids downright imitation of their source material, and they somehow capture a broad swathe of popular music in their own style.
  5. Covers, of course, are always fraught with peril, and at times singer/guitarist Matthew Caws’ inflection has a way of fermenting the source material’s latent cheese.
  6. Nada Surf show they can play well with others on If I Had a Hi-Fi, though they'd do well to apply the lessons learned here to some new tunes for their next album.
  7. Were Nada Surf not so comfortable with their own style, If I Had a Hi-Fi might play entirely as an indier-than-thou stunt performance instead of a fun, if somewhat slight, one-off record.

See all 14 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 0 out of 1
  2. Negative: 0 out of 1
  1. Aug 27, 2010
    5
    If I had a hi-fi, I would listen to the originals, Nada Surf's and everybody else's. When Tori Amos covers Slayer, makes "Raining Blood" her own and manages to be far more disturbing than the original - I see the point of the cover and tip my hat. When Nada Surf covers Spoon... I refuse to participate. Collapse