Generally favorable reviews - based on 9 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 4 out of 9
  2. Negative: 0 out of 9
  1. The Mary Onettes have mastered the art of writing catchy four-minute tunes without compromising themselves, but nor do they take any risks.
  2. Islands’ dreamy pop features a more general feeling of throwback moodiness. The shift bodes well for Philip Ekström’s longevity as a songwriter, and even though there are times when the nostalgic sound seems to be begging for hooks huge enough to make the band a household name (at least to kids dancing at indie nights a few decades from now), there’s no denying that The Mary Onettes know their way around a dramatic pop song.
  3. Under The Radar
    Islands bring the lyrical gravity of a lead weight to the band's gorgeous sonic palettte. [Holiday 2009, p.79]
  4. Yes, the high points of the previous record are duplicated here-- but so too are the same problems that occasionally bogged down that record.
  5. Islands is by no means a bad record. It's pleasant but it's unnecessary, and in an era of so many bands and so many releases, that's just not good enough.
  6. Whilst Islands displays nuggets of well executed nostalgia, one can’t help but wonder if they have any style that isn’t old, borrowed or depressingly blue.
  7. Catchy as it may be, Islands remains steadfast in the landscapes it portrays. The constraints of four-minute pop songs are defied with ease, weaving and stretching throughout said landscapes.
  8. Uncut
    "Once I Was Pretty" and "The Disappearance Of My Youth" only confirm they know their territory and stick to it. [Feb 2010, p.93]
  9. Q Magazine
    But while their second album is lyrically all quiet desperation, boasting such giveaway titles as Once I Was Pretty and The Disappearance Of My Youth, musically it's an altogether more uplifting proposition of stately A-ha styled synth-pop. [Feb 2010, p. 112]

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