Metascore
76

Generally favorable reviews - based on 21 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 18 out of 21
  2. Negative: 1 out of 21
  1. Unlike their debut's thrilling-but-ramshackle garage rock, this time round the words are harnessed to the kind of big, bold tunes that will lodge the five-piece in the mainstream consciousness.
  2. By only gently nudging the musical formula on It's a Bit Complicated, Art Brut have succeeded in crafting a satisfying half-mature sequel, but may have only delayed, rather than thwarted, the sophomore jinx.
  3. Full of the kind of bathetic genius English pop used to excel in, Art Brut are life-affirming - and are worth 500 of almost every other new guitar band.
  4. One trick pony's they may arguably be, but they've done the same trick twice and pulled it off.
  5. It's a Bit Complicated proves that Art Brut are masters of writing pop songs about loving pop songs passionately.
  6. As good as much of the new British rock can be, it is experiencing a creeping seriousness these days. "It's a Bit Complicated" is a welcome corrective.
  7. The music here lacks some of the high spots of "Bang Bang," especially the ecstatic rises-and-falls found int he arragement of 'Good Weekend' but it's consistently hard-driving, dancy and punky--withoutbeing dancepunky. [Summer 2007, p.78]
  8. Art Brut manage to retain a frenetic brilliance.
  9. The lowdown: it sounds pretty much the same as "Bang Bang," but not as good. It's not that the record is "bad"--it isn't--but that it, like its title suggests, is less brash, less fuck-all incautious about its rocking.
  10. 80
    Any notions of the dreaded sophomore slump disappear seconds into their new album It’s a Bit Complicated.
  11. 80
    Complicated shows a real grasp of musical history. [Jul 2007, p.99]
  12. 70
    This follow-up just isn't as lovable. [Jul 2007, p.110]
  13. It all adds up to something lovably unpretentious – and pretty unique.
  14. The band's arrangements show a more robust sense of melody than they did on their debut.
  15. The big difference behind the two albums’ superficial sonic similarities lies in the direction of this one’s gaze: panoramic, rather than immediately ahead. Whereas Bang Bang Rock and Roll was drunk, It’s a Bit Complicated is sober enough to think about being drunk.
  16. Idiosyncratic yet entertaining guitar-based pop. [22 Jun 2007, p.69]
  17. It's really not that complicated at all - it's just good fun.
  18. Here and there, Complicated sets up some promising scenarios—worrying about a platonic friend's reaction to a mix tape, or trying to initiate sex for the sake of outdoing a girlfriend's exes—but they never pan out.
  19. It’s a Bit Complicated doesn’t quite live up to the thrill of [the] debut, but it’s still just as good as its predecessor.
  20. More so than the debut's, these songs fare like standup comedy on repeated listens: Once the punch lines are spoiled, who wants to listen to a joke again?
  21. With Argos still writing gems and the band stepping up musically, Complicated should be as irresistible as its predecessor. For newcomers, it may be. For fans, it's still enjoyable, but familiar.
User Score
7.8

Generally favorable reviews- based on 26 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 9 out of 12
  2. Negative: 1 out of 12
  1. May 5, 2011
    9
    Eddie Argos is a stalwart of English eccentricity, to be mentioned in the same breath as Jarvis **** Mark E. Smith, Luke Haines and Ian Dury.Eddie Argos is a stalwart of English eccentricity, to be mentioned in the same breath as Jarvis **** Mark E. Smith, Luke Haines and Ian Dury. The second Art Brut album only confirms this fact. Full Review »
  2. DanB.
    Sep 19, 2007
    5
    Who is this guy, Rex Harrison? He speak-sings! That said, People In Love is amazing. I can't stand it anymore, but only because I Who is this guy, Rex Harrison? He speak-sings! That said, People In Love is amazing. I can't stand it anymore, but only because I listened to it about 500 times in a row. Full Review »
  3. BrendanD.
    Aug 2, 2007
    8
    Art Brut is Gen-Y's Ramones. Doubt me? Listen to their first record. "Formed a Band" is the same kind of mindf*ck of a thumping rock Art Brut is Gen-Y's Ramones. Doubt me? Listen to their first record. "Formed a Band" is the same kind of mindf*ck of a thumping rock song, bursting out of the speakers the way that "Blitzkrieg Bop" did in 1976. "I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend" is echoed (and pulled to full fruition) in "Good Weekend." Art Brut's first record was such a wonderful listen that, much like "Leave Home" was for the Ramones, "It's A Bit Complicated" was bound to be a letdown. And yes, it is, in comparison to "Bang Bang Rock & Roll." But there's a lot of growth here. The backing harmonies and doo-wops have come out of the closet (so to speak), providing subtle vocal textures over which Eddie Argos's subversively sincere vocals raise the bar for deadpan, self-mocking speak-singing (Argos, I argue, has more in common with Bob Dylan than Joey Ramone, but I suppose that's debatable). "It's a Bit Complicated" certainly isn't the masterpiece that "Bang Bang Rock & Roll" was, but it's damned good. And if these guys are truly the Neo-Ramones, the best is yet to come -- remember, "Rocket to Russia" was the Ramones' THIRD record. Full Review »