Generally favorable reviews - based on 27 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 24 out of 27
  2. Negative: 0 out of 27
Buy On
  1. Feb 5, 2013
    From the opening moments of the trippy, lo-fi intro "From the Sun" all the way to the funky-as-a-Hendrix-ballad closer "Secret Xtians," II takes risks and achieves greatness.
  2. Feb 25, 2013
    Unknown Mortal Orchestra have crafted a tight, enjoyable sophomore album that solidifies their sound and sets them apart from their peers and musical ancestors.
  3. Feb 5, 2013
    When II is truly on, it's proof that great albums aren't the sole measure of a great band, a subtle advance that puts Unknown Mortal Orchestra right back where they started: something of a mystery, but one that will certainly be interesting going forward.
  4. Uncut
    Feb 4, 2013
    The scratchy lo-fi production doubles its mystery, resulting in an album of sensual pleasures and magical power. [Mar 2013, p.77]
  5. Feb 5, 2013
    The Portland trio make decaying states of consciousness seem like heaven with psychedelic guitar-pop that's alluringly out of focus.
  6. Jan 31, 2013
    In terms of vulnerability, adrenaline-overdrive and frivolous riffing, however, II is firing on all cylinders.
  7. Jan 31, 2013
    Portland-via-New Zealand psychedelic soul auteur Ruban Nielson returns here with another batch of cozy nuggets.[Jan-Feb 2013, p.90]
  8. Jan 31, 2013
    There's something about the production that makes this album sound as if it's being beamed in from a faraway planet
  9. Raw melody made Unknown Mortal Orchestra exciting two years ago; now they’ve matched it with attention to detail.
  10. Feb 12, 2013
    Overall, while II is a success, it’s just not quite the great record it should have been.
  11. 70
    While II doesn’t kick around quite the same as its predecessor, it makes up for that with subtleties.
  12. Feb 5, 2013
    There’s more consistent musical plasma coursing through the veins of II.
  13. 75
    [A] frustratingly muted but nevertheless enthralling follow-up.
  14. Magnet
    Feb 11, 2013
    Unknown Mortal Orchestra's sophomore effort is marked by a certain familiar mystique that does well to recall the charisma and dazzling psychedelia of its predecessor. [No. 95, p.59]
  15. Feb 12, 2013
    II triumphantly bypasses novelty for a more meaningful level of significance: An album whose songs, personality, and band-chemistry come together for something that could well outlast its own current weirdness.
  16. Feb 4, 2013
    The Portland-based psych-rock outfit’s second album is an absolute triumph.
  17. Mar 13, 2013
    Sounding like it was recorded in a musty shoebox, II nonetheless overflows with tweaky charm.
  18. Feb 4, 2013
    If there are discernible musical differences, it’s that there’s a little more clarity and slightly less reliance on the fuzz pedals.
  19. Feb 28, 2013
    The production is minimal, leaving II feeling pure and honest.
  20. 63
    Somebody needs to boot Nielson off his why-fi connection: beneath the murk is the work of a riveting craftsman.
  21. The trance-like pace of II serves to reinforce the album rather than weaken it.
  22. 83
    With II, UMO remains humble in composition and production, creating an honest album that comforts in the strangest ways.
  23. Feb 5, 2013
    More often on the album’s 10 tracks than not, Nielson keeps the balance, giving each part equal time in the foreground and using understatement to his advantage.
  24. Feb 5, 2013
    Far-out, fascinating, fantastic--just plain F-ing good.
User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 39 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 34 out of 39
  2. Negative: 2 out of 39
  1. Feb 11, 2013
    This is a good album. A big improvement from their debut for sure. The ideas on this album are more developed and better executed than theyThis is a good album. A big improvement from their debut for sure. The ideas on this album are more developed and better executed than they were on their first release. The album starts off with three gems; "From the Sun" "Swim and Sleep" and "So Good at Being in Trouble" are all great examples of the growth and maturity this band's songwriting has gone through all three songs being examples of great ideas that are executed superbly. The middle of this album, however, does drag. "The Opposite of Afternoon" is a definitely a song that grows on you after a few listen, as is "Monki". The album also ends off strongly with "Faded in the Morning" and "Secret Xtians". Overall I'd say this is a great album, and a step in the right direction for Ruban and the gang. Ruban's songwriting definitely matures here, and boy, let me say, he absolutely shreds on guitar. The production is also perfected as the lo-fi/psych. rock feel is still there but it's a lot smoother and easier to take in right away. This album has just gotten me even more excited about this bands potential and future releases. Overall a pretty good album with a few gems. Full Review »
  2. Jun 10, 2016
    I got my hands in the vinyl version of this album, and must say it is a delightful record, to be listened from beginning to end andI got my hands in the vinyl version of this album, and must say it is a delightful record, to be listened from beginning to end and repeatedly. It is way better than their debut. Full Review »