• Record Label: Virgin
  • Release Date: Sep 14, 2004
User Score
8.3

Universal acclaim- based on 12 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 10 out of 12
  2. Negative: 1 out of 12

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  1. MattM
    Sep 20, 2004
    10
    Wonderful stuff. Close for my album of the year. The opening track gets the stereo cranking and the rest of the CD is a really exciting listen too.
  2. iant
    Sep 19, 2004
    9
    the new album is very good. I personally think it is slightly better than the first album. because they sound like a more complete band and conors voice is far stronger. im amazed by the bad reviews its getting. they have made a very good album with every song having single potential.
  3. DaveM
    Apr 6, 2005
    9
    The cynicism of some of the lyrics are an overwhelming contradiction to the feel good tone, of what is, an undeniably stellar second album. Titles such as Faded Beauty Queens and Whatever Happened to Corey Haim seem to explore the fickleness of life and how quickly people fall from the pedestal upon which we place them. The brilliance of this album is that the it is a joyous feast, no The cynicism of some of the lyrics are an overwhelming contradiction to the feel good tone, of what is, an undeniably stellar second album. Titles such as Faded Beauty Queens and Whatever Happened to Corey Haim seem to explore the fickleness of life and how quickly people fall from the pedestal upon which we place them. The brilliance of this album is that the it is a joyous feast, no matter how cynically laden with irony the lyrics are. Expand
  4. PatrickO
    Feb 16, 2006
    10
    Excellent
  5. [Anonymous]
    Sep 22, 2004
    9
    Wonderful sophomoric effort...full of highly infectious pop...ear candy at its sweetest.
  6. CP
    Oct 27, 2005
    1
    Embarassingly weak songwriting that makes me yearn for Bruce Willis's "The Return of Bruno." It's that bad.
  7. GaryW
    Feb 6, 2005
    9
    A logical progression from the first album, I find this album just as enjoyable. With its more aggressive and over-the-top production (real string arrangements on three tracks), the band rock a bit more assertively while still coming up with infectious hooks and fine melodies. I can't believe the harsh reviews this album is getting. I get a positive jolt out of it every time I hear A logical progression from the first album, I find this album just as enjoyable. With its more aggressive and over-the-top production (real string arrangements on three tracks), the band rock a bit more assertively while still coming up with infectious hooks and fine melodies. I can't believe the harsh reviews this album is getting. I get a positive jolt out of it every time I hear it--one of my top five of the year. Expand
  8. PhilW
    Mar 8, 2005
    9
    I picked up this CD in the bargain bin at my local record store. I expected to hate it after all the bad reviews it received, but it's one of my faves for the year. It sounds more competently written and played than their highly acclaimed debut, and I love the combination of slightly world-weary lyrics and upbeat, hummable pop.
  9. JohnR
    Nov 9, 2005
    9
    Very hard to understand what all the critics must have heard, listening to this album. It's basically pretty close to phenomenal. Spledid, accessible songwriting with brilliant arrangements, though the strings-parts are a bit too much now and then. Without a doubt one of my 2004 favourites.
Metascore
62

Generally favorable reviews - based on 22 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 11 out of 22
  2. Negative: 0 out of 22
  1. Q Magazine
    40
    It sounds exactly the same as the first record... Another solid, unremarkable effort. [Oct 2004, p.116]
  2. By third song, "Faded Beauty Queens", the recipe is already stalling, and the harmonies begin to sound flimsy.
  3. Blender
    50
    A strained, washed-out, sluggish record. [Oct 2004, p.129]