Impersonator - Majical Cloudz
Metascore
77

Generally favorable reviews - based on 23 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 19 out of 23
  2. Negative: 0 out of 23
  1. May 16, 2013
    90
    With such a wide-open sound, even the confusing and painful parts sound hauntingly beautiful.
  2. An aura of mystery and ambiguity hangs over Impersonator. The emotions and resulting thoughts are always present and felt, but their cause isn’t always clear.
  3. May 21, 2013
    70
    This is a remarkably self-assured album, precise in its themes, particular in its language and modest in its ambitions.
  4. Jun 24, 2013
    80
    There’s a central and important paradox at work here, something that elevates the record above what might otherwise be emo-aspirations of gushy earnestness. Singer Devon Welsh makes himself the first target of an incisive analysis.
  5. 80
    By paring pop music to its core human elements, Majical Cloudz has written a record that’s bare enough to breathe inside.
  6. 80
    It’s refreshing and still, a fine listen; Impersonator is in the end, its own refined identity.
  7. May 28, 2013
    70
    Even when 'Turns Turns Turns' or the astonishingly upfront 'Bugs Don't Buzz' offer vital, personal refuge, an evil, grating side to you will crave a crescendo, a clamouring climax all coloured and epic. Majical Cloudz is the antithesis of such, but when he flirts with dangerous grey areas, he actually ends up striking gold.
  8. May 28, 2013
    80
    If the easily distracted are at risk of sleeping through this, fans of emotional tours de force will have a great new addition to their 'best albums of the year' list.
  9. May 21, 2013
    80
    For as often as Impersonator threatens to dishearten, it's anchored by an equal and opposite force: a humanity so earthbound and maternal that it washes away your petty sorrows in a birdbath of optimism.
  10. May 20, 2013
    72
    Welsh and Otto reach those who can find self-fulfillment in unearthing complexities, especially ones that lie underneath a surface subtlety.
  11. 70
    Majical Cloudz may be dark, but there's light poking through.
  12. May 23, 2013
    80
    By utilizing a synth-based soundtrack just as organic, emotional, and unadulterated as Welsh’s voice and lyrics, Impersonator successfully matches man with machine and gives each an equally powerful, equally human voice.
  13. May 16, 2013
    60
    The album’s emphasis on repetition occasionally sounds too self-conscious, but it’s a rare excess in an otherwise restrained--if not necessarily subtle--collection of ballads.
  14. May 22, 2013
    82
    Impersonator gently twists your arm like this, song-by-song and note-by-note, and it is as discomfiting as it is transcendent.
  15. May 22, 2013
    80
    For whatever these songs may seem to be--remembrances of mourning, reflections on the underclass, or even a simple plea--there’s always a lingering sense of something else, an echo of a hidden power beneath the obvious.
  16. 75
    It is an album that needs to be experienced in its entirety, but in the age of remixes, the blogosphere, and Adderall, who will have the time or patience to dig into Impersonator? Those who do will find parts of it beautiful and rewarding, if they can stomach the emotional drain.
  17. Jul 11, 2013
    60
    The austerity of the songs occasionally makes the listener feel as though they have stumbled upon some hand-scrawled diary entries. [Aug 2013, p.102]
  18. May 16, 2013
    70
    The music Montreal duo Majical Cloudz makes is cold, stark and confrontationally intimate.
  19. Jun 24, 2013
    70
    What’s impressive is that, for all its hymnal melodramatics, Impersonator somehow bypasses insufferability.
  20. 70
    Tedious genre classification aside, it’s a fascinating record that begs softly for closer inspection and possibly even adoration.
  21. May 24, 2013
    70
    This isn’t an album that I foresee myself returning to very often, but under the right set of circumstances--such as the live performance that I attended last December--these are songs that contain the potential to deliver an unforgettable, emotionally cathartic experience.
  22. May 16, 2013
    60
    At times the backdrop is so subtle that the end result is almost like an aria. Elsewhere the tunes deliver more pf a punch. [Jun 2013, p.75]
  23. May 29, 2013
    55
    The majority sounds like demos for a fuller, richer album that Welsh undoubtedly has the skills to write.
User Score
8.0

Generally favorable reviews- based on 18 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 3 out of 3
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 3
  3. Negative: 0 out of 3
  1. Dec 21, 2013
    9
    The music is minimal, which is great. It leaves room for this guys commanding voice, his wonderful singing, and heartbreaking lyrics to take center stage, resulting in a truly captivating album. Very grateful to have heard this amazing piece of music. Full Review »
  2. Nov 1, 2013
    9
    Very interesting album. It's nice to hear something so minimal yet so catchy at the same time. A very odd combination for an electronic album (although it would be difficult to solely describe this album as electronic). This album does a lot more with less. The lyrics and vocals are very emotive and refreshing and they do compliment the type of music being played. Full Review »
  3. May 26, 2013
    9
    In a world where it seems each electronic producer and musician is trying to 'out dance' the competition, it is unbelievably refreshing to hear an album so ingrained with emotional purity and honesty as Impersonator. While this album is an excellent example of synth-pop, it leaves many of its contemporaries in the dust due to its stripped back approach and focus on writing songs dripping with heart-wrenching clarity and simplicity. There are none of the crutches used by many electronic artists (auto-tune, blaring bass lines, etc.) to hide creative gaps in their writing. Only elements complimentary to Devon Welsh's cathartic lyrics and surprisingly powerful singing. While I can see this album being dismissed by many, especially due to it's lack of outward excitement, it will also gush a refreshing amount of emotion and intelligence to anyone willing to give it a few spins. I anticipate this being one of the years best. Full Review »