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Isles Image

Generally favorable reviews - based on 16 Critics What's this?

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Generally favorable reviews- based on 6 Ratings

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  • Summary: Reggae and pop come together on the debut release from the Chicago-based brother-and-sister duo of Natalie and Elliot Bergman.
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  • Record Label: Columbia
  • Genre(s): Reggae, Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Indie Pop, International, African Traditions, Afro-Pop, Reggae-Pop
  • More Details and Credits »
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 9 out of 16
  2. Negative: 1 out of 16
  1. Entertainment Weekly
    Mar 8, 2013
    Natalie Bergman and her brother Elliot are too inventive to get cast as style-rock band, experimenting with African thumb pianos, dub-reggae grooves, and sultry soul vocals with deep pass-the-dutchie raspiness. [15 Mar 2013, p.62]
  2. 70
    Natalie’s embattled relationship tales balance the island vibes, and Elliot’s expressive backdrops frame each without battling for attention.
  3. 70
    The mood is enriched by an ambitious approach to what seems on the surface to be modest pop songs, which reveal themselves to be far more elaborate, challenging and unusual.
  4. Mar 12, 2013
    Ultimately, Isles falls somewhere between juvenile and sophisticated, which puts it comfortably in the mystifying realm of American pop.
  5. Mar 15, 2013
    Sure Isles coasts at times, snoozes on occasion and pales if compared to, say, Taken by Trees’ similarly tropical but superior Other Worlds but its bonhomie and infectious, wide-eyed perkiness still warrants a good ol’ holiday-romance romp in the dunes.
  6. Mar 11, 2013
    While the album is described as a myriad of styles, there’s nothing to really demonstrate this: only the reggae and reggae-related genres are consistently and tiresomely reflected.
  7. 30
    It’s about as exotic as a cocktail umbrella.

See all 16 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 1
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 1
  3. Negative: 0 out of 1
  1. Sep 1, 2013
    Natalie and Eric came out of nowhere with an album that sounds like it's been shaped over the course of a decade. The usual derision thatNatalie and Eric came out of nowhere with an album that sounds like it's been shaped over the course of a decade. The usual derision that would come with a white, brother and sister indie band playing reggae is not here, because let's face it there aren't that many white, brother and sister, indie reggae playing bands. They are a breath of fresh air. The sounds are authentic and flow with ease. They are also catchier than syphilis. And it's not all reggae here and not all female vocals either. Eric steps in for the track 'When It's Over', detailing the demise of a relationship.
    The lyrical content is piercing, but not intense. Instrumentation is accentuated beautifully with horns and genuine reggae and ska basslines. This is a very fresh, incredibly likeable debut and one that fills a gap, modernizes a genre and remains as true to their inspiration as you could hope a band to get. I genuinely hope to hear more from WB.