• Record Label: 4AD
  • Release Date: Oct 7, 2008
Metascore
78

Generally favorable reviews - based on 16 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 13 out of 16
  2. Negative: 0 out of 16
  1. Through all of the musical intricacies and variances, Rossen and Nicolaus have truly created one of the best albums of the year.
  2. In Ear Park improves on Grizzly Bear’s psychedelic folk æsthetic by both fleshing it out and making it more accessible.
  3. Without a heavy-handed disposition, Department of Eagles manages to convey the sentiment of another time while reaching a modern audience.
  4. Ambitious and complex, it's stuffed with cocooning harmonies and shimmering, sunlight-smacking-the-Pacific melodies--a languid, easy West Coast record (think Randy Newman or SMiLE), infused with classic East Coast anxiety.
  5. Ear Park provides a valuable service while showcasing Rossen as skilled composer and arranger in his own right.
  6. This album is a big step forward for Department of Eagles, a playground of sound that celebrates the pull of memories and music.
  7. This second album (featuring Grizzly Bear's Chris Bear and Chris Taylor) is a sumptuous sequence of symphonic meditations on memory and loss that somehow manage to give a more expansive twist to the already elegiac mood of Arcade Fire's Funeral.
  8. What makes it outstanding is its strong songs, as well as Rossen and Nicolaus’ stunning attention to detail, marking Ear Park as a spot for extended and repeated visits. [Fall 2008, p.75]
  9. 80
    Fans of Fleet Foxes, Bon Iver and Mercury Rev's Deserter's Songs take note. [Nov 2008, p.19]
  10. It could all, of course, be unbearably mannered, but the duo's constant striving for layered perfection, contrasted with the very human qualities of the vocals, keep it grounded in some sort of feeling. [Sep 2008, p.61]
  11. In Ear Park sounds so much like Grizzly Bear that it’s difficult to recognize, at first, that it does occasionally retain the bedroom DIY aesthetic for which Department of Eagles are known, especially in the sense of its canned percussion, and at the album’s best it keeps the music attempting the scope and lushness of Grizzly Bear.
  12. Songs begin lethargically and the vocals and instruments grope at each other, struggling to agree on how to establish the rhythm. Once they coalesce, each blooms, but the tracks refuse to linger in the thrall of the climax.
  13. No one will begrudge him returning to his day job with Grizzly Bear, but anyone who hears In Ear Park will be hoping he takes another working holiday as soon as he gets the chance.
  14. Its mildly art-damaged sound is just right for indie kids who like their beauty a little messy.
  15. 60
    Rosen and Nicolaus stride forth as songsmiths of a much more assured vintage, harp, piano, brass and chocolatey harmonies coming together in vividly orchestrated numbers. [Nov 2008, p.94]
  16. Atmospheric and richly layered, their best moments tap the same ecstatic eclecticism of fellow travellers Sufjan Stevens and Beirut's Zach Condon. [Nov 2008, p.114]
User Score
8.7

Universal acclaim- based on 15 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 3 out of 3
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 3
  3. Negative: 0 out of 3
  1. MikeF.
    Nov 25, 2008
    10
    A beautiful, floating dream of an album.
  2. OliverC.
    Nov 5, 2008
    9
    I give it an 85% With the exception of a few tracks, it is a masterful work. Really beautiful melodies and atmospherics, and it builds some I give it an 85% With the exception of a few tracks, it is a masterful work. Really beautiful melodies and atmospherics, and it builds some wonderful moments without sacrificing the catchy hooks. Consider this a follow up to Yellow House and you can't be disappointed. Full Review »
  3. MirandaH.
    Oct 24, 2008
    9
    So excited for Floating on the Lehigh...now I can live down Billy Joel's Allentown in peace.