Life And Times - Bob Mould
Metascore
70

Generally favorable reviews - based on 17 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 10 out of 17
  2. Negative: 0 out of 17
  1. Life And Times is unchallenging pap. But it's furnished with the odd line of lyrical craftiness and melodies that, on the whole, manage to keep the stabilisers on his career because (as always) they make the seemingly untenable emotions of their writer sound tolerable.
  2. It's a contemplative work setting the stage for Mould's upcoming memoir, whose hooks will for once have to connect without the almost comforting bark of his vocals or buzz of his guitar behind them.
  3. Reminiscing on lost love and lust, Mould impresses with his songwriting skills.
  4. As immediate as Life and Times isn't nearly as diamond-hard as "Copper Blue," which is a great part of its appeal: it flows naturally, the music never pushes, it settles, comfortable in its own skin.
  5. 70
    The miserable bastard can still write melodies that make the medicine go down, and ultimately, that's his redemption.
  6. The storm of guitars here is proof enough that he's still alive and kicking.
  7. An eclectic, at times explicit, exploration of love, loss and lust, it's the work of a skilled songwriter comfortable in his own skin and canon.
  8. Mould addresses the years he spent playing a downward spiraler, gay-club cruiser, and spotlight needer, then gets back to his best role: just being Bob Mould.
  9. He's alternately reflective, rueful and accusatory, and he combines all three on 'I'm Sorry Baby, But You Can't Stand in My Light Any More.'
  10. So even if these aren’t Mould’s actual “Life and Times”, he relays them with a conviction that, although occasionally over-the-top, makes them live and breathe as if they were his own.
  11. The result is a compelling conversation between the two sides of Mould's persona: the graying philosopher and the brazen noise boy.
  12. Life And Times arrives on "Workbook’s" anniversary, but it continues down the path established by 2005’s "Body Of Song," Mould’s return-to-basics rock album after "Modulate."
  13. Mould's classic works cemented his legacy. Life And Times proves he is still vital. [Spring 2009, p.72]
  14. 80
    A grown-up record that hints at a more excitable wayward past. [May 2009, p.91]
  15. 60
    Mostly, though, the album plays to Mould's strengths. [May 2009, p.98]
  16. The simple, muscular rock and folk are matched in directness by lyrics that keep returning to troubled relationships, and risk the occasional awkward line to make their point. [May 2009, p.121]
  17. Too much of the material is ponderous and plodding. [Jun 2009, p.128]
User Score
8.8

Universal acclaim- based on 8 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 1
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 1
  3. Negative: 0 out of 1
  1. EE
    Apr 8, 2009
    9
    As a complete album with an arc of songs, it is Mould's most consistently solid record this decade. It doesn't necessarily have the As a complete album with an arc of songs, it is Mould's most consistently solid record this decade. It doesn't necessarily have the front loaded highs of Body of Song, and is not as eclectic as District Line. Overall though, it may be better than both of those previous albums (certainly stronger than DL). The title track, the Breach, Argos, Spiraling Down, and most of all Wasted World are the highlights. WW is one of the best songs he's written and produced in years, and within it, he finally unleashes the sort of unhinged guitar solo he hasn't played since Beaster's "Tilted", 16 years ago! Argos is fun - SugarDu meets Pansy Division. The only eh songs are City Lights and Lifetime, the rest are fine tunes. He's been touting the record as Workbook revisited, but it really is not that; maybe just in spirit and in how he went about writing the songs. But they don't sound at all like Workbook. The album is streamlined, subtle, sturdy and compelling. Dog and Pony has stronger songs at times, Body had more hooks and sugarguitars, and FUEL had more melodic drive and velocity, but as a cohesive statement, Life and Times just might be the best Bob Mould release since Beaster. Full Review »