Instinct - Niki and the Dove

Generally favorable reviews - based on 23 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 18 out of 23
  2. Negative: 0 out of 23
  1. Jun 8, 2012
    One of the essential debuts of the year so far.
  2. Jun 8, 2012
    In what has already proved to be a strong year for breakthrough artists the duo have gone and raised the bar once again, and in doing so, created one of the most essential albums of the year.
  3. Jun 8, 2012
    Overall, this is a daring, dynamic and dramatic debut.
  4. 83
    Malin Dahlstrom does art-funk just as well as she does feather-headdress anthems. [10 Aug 2012, p.75]
  5. Aug 7, 2012
    Warmhearted and epic, Instinct aims for the moon--and sticks the landing.
  6. Aug 6, 2012
    Instinct is a vivid and varied debut, and ultimately a more rewarding listen than if Niki and the Dove had just explored one facet of their sound.
  7. Aug 6, 2012
    Flourishes like the instrumental outro on "Last Night" and the shifting tempos of "The Fox" speak to the duo's willingness to experiment with tone and rhythm in ways that are forward-thinking without being labored or self-indulgent.
  8. Aug 3, 2012
    Awash with grand ambitions, Niki & The Dove is one of the few bands whose grasp actually matches their reach. The result is dazzling.
  9. They're at their strongest when at their hardest.
  10. Nobody does this kind of thing quite like the Swedes, and NATD are a welcome addition to that nation's synthpop hall of fame.
  11. Aug 10, 2012
    There's something about the visceral, elemental nature of Niki and the Dove's production that takes you right there, shivering and pulling the collar of your coat close as wind whips under the viaduct.
  12. Aug 9, 2012
    Instinct is an electro-pop album, but it's got that New Order-style darkness that gives it a comforting weight; this is that kind of bummer music that will make you dance.
  13. Aug 6, 2012
    The album clicks because beyond the date-stamping visuals and the music's timeless project to unite art and pop, the longtime partnership behind Niki & the Dove has finally found a proper voice, and a proper name.
  14. 70
    Instinct plays as an open love letter to all forms of pop, while subverting those same objects of affection.
  15. Jun 8, 2012
    The best electro-pop debut since La Roux. [Jun 2012, p.80]
  16. Jun 8, 2012
    The music they make is frequently stunning.
  17. Jul 31, 2012
    While Instinct's creativity and sense of adventure are to be commended, the album never builds any real momentum.
  18. 63
    [Their] strange blend of influences can be fascinating... but Instinct - clocking in at a bloated 14 tracks and 56 total minutes - runs out of gas way before reaching the finish line.
  19. Aug 28, 2012
    There isn't a whole lot of diversity in the musical canvas here... Nevertheless, the album remains ridiculously infectious. Try as you may not want to, you'll be hard pressed to walk away not liking it, or without at least one of the ditties stuck in your head.
  20. Aug 23, 2012
    With Instinct, Niki and the Dove have made an album that will surely resonate with the American crowds already grooving to the likes of Hot Chip, Passion Pit and Twin Shadow while providing Sub Pop with a whole new planet of sound to colonize.
  21. Jun 8, 2012
    More fury and less moderation and this would have been outstanding; as it is, it's just very good.
  22. 60
    Since much of it has been released in EP form before, you can't help but fear Dahlström and her foil Gustaf Karlöf might have peaked before they have really begun.
  23. Oct 12, 2012
    Beneath the distractingly high-pitched, multi-tracked vocals and tastefully tribal drama, there's nothing more threatening than a synthesized Florence + The Machine. [Jul 2012, p.107]
User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 40 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 2
  2. Negative: 0 out of 2
  1. Dec 17, 2012
    The Knife meets Kate Bush, this album is full to the brim with infectious hooks and off-kilter melodies. It's nothing overly unique or ambitious and it can be seen as playing it a bit safe but I'd be lying if I said the hooks weren't stuck in my head for the entire summer break. Full Review »
  2. Oct 7, 2012
    If Cirque de Solei married the stepchild of Price and Enya. I don't have anything else to say about this album, yet I need to hit the minimum of 150 characters. Full Review »