La Foret

Metascore
82

Universal acclaim - based on 21 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 20 out of 21
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 21
  3. Negative: 1 out of 21
  1. 100
    These are songs about horrible times in horrible lives; hearts are rotten long before they break and the sounds they make are awful and haunting and beautiful.
  2. Entertainment Weekly
    91
    At times quaintly dreamy, at others spastically nightmarish. [22 Jul 2005, p.78]
  3. La Forêt has the sort of courage-minus-contrivance that is exceedingly (and ironically) rare in music of its dramatic and thematic ilk.
  4. A dark and beautiful album with true emotional resonance and weight.
  5. In the best possible way, the album is a painful listening experience, forcing the listener into immediate and excruciating catharsis: you look into the eyes of a cold stranger, and see nothing but ugliness and painful regret.
  6. It's business as usual, but there is not a damn thing wrong with that when it comes to this group.
  7. Even more than some of the group's other albums, La Foret seems guided by dream logic, flowing and crashing unexpectedly.
  8. La Forêt isn't nearly as overtly poppy as Fabulous Muscles was, but it's just as well written.
  9. The New York Times
    80
    No question, it's not for everyone; it's both fey and aggressive. But it's quite real. [11 Jul 2005]
  10. It sounds a whole lot like you’d expect the new Xiu Xiu album to sound.
  11. Easy listening this amn’t, but if you want a rollercoaster ride into deep recessions and to be thrilled by the sounds that surround you, then this could be the perfect album for you.
  12. The Wire
    80
    The mood is always unsettled and unsettling, either furious or fragile. [#258, p.67]
  13. Magnet
    80
    La Foret sounds like what rock might've become if all the British Invasion bands had hailed from postwar Berlin. [#69, p.112]
  14. La Forêt... backs off dramatically from the pop side of Fabulous Muscles to expand upon its quiet, murky dimension.
  15. While these experiments don't always quite work, at the very least the group isn't falling into a rut.
  16. This isn’t a band looking to be loved so much as it desires a swift kick in the teeth.
  17. Too many songs here move at a glacial pace and seem to take away from Xiu Xiu’s strength: an ear for melody, a love for dissonance, songs that go interesting places and engaging instrumentation.
  18. By bringing in more musical variation into the mix, Stewart has managed to keep things interesting enough again, the arrangements making his frantic outbursts more palatable than ever.
  19. It makes for a difficult listen but will be fulfilling for those who find their way out on the other side.
  20. The album relies less on hooks and more on a sparse energy, but the listening is engaging enough to keep the listener around to the end, focusing more on cohesion rather than theatrics.

Awards & Rankings

User Score
8.3

Universal acclaim- based on 25 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 6 out of 9
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 9
  3. Negative: 3 out of 9
  1. DonaldH
    Jul 12, 2005
    10
    I've been a giant Xiu Xiu fan, and what I've come to expect from them with each album is a sense of surprise, and I have to admit, I've been a giant Xiu Xiu fan, and what I've come to expect from them with each album is a sense of surprise, and I have to admit, I was -very- surprised by this album. It's subdued, to say the least. If Fabulous Muscles showed off his influence from bands such as the Smiths and Joy Division, this album shows off his classical art music bent, displaying a serious knowledge of John Cage and George Crumb. It's an amazing disc, and just like each of their other discs, it a charm and character that is uniquely its own. Give it quite a few listens, though. I doubt many people will truly digest it for the true quality it is at first. Full Review »
  2. Aug 6, 2014
    10
    "La Foret" is perhaps my favorite Xiu Xiu album. These songs are brilliant, subversive, confessional gems, constantly hurtling over the edge"La Foret" is perhaps my favorite Xiu Xiu album. These songs are brilliant, subversive, confessional gems, constantly hurtling over the edge into uncomfortable, brutal truth in the best possible way. "Muppet Face" remains my favorite Xiu Xiu song. The range of styles, the turns from soft to abrasive, and Jamie's gorgeous, wavering voice--it's just so good. Full Review »
  3. Matt
    Oct 25, 2005
    3
    Ugh, I can't get into this. I'm sure some people will like it, but I just can't do it. I can listen to a lot, and I usually Ugh, I can't get into this. I'm sure some people will like it, but I just can't do it. I can listen to a lot, and I usually like the "weirder" music, but I can't sit through it here. And by the way, I don't listen to commercial radio or watch music videos. Full Review »