Metascore
77

Generally favorable reviews - based on 19 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 17 out of 19
  2. Negative: 0 out of 19
  1. As a whole, Life Fantastic is the band's most accessible album yet, full of memorable hooks while retaining the eccentricity and theatricality that have become synonymous with the band.
  2. Though it may not be treated as an important album in the broader scope of music, it is an important album for Man Man, and one that is likely to age gracefully, just as Man Man appear to be doing.
  3. May 13, 2011
    80
    This is the sound of a valuable, extravagantly vital band in full swing. [Jun 2011, p.91]
  4. May 10, 2011
    80
    Man Man has an image to uphold, and it does that while refining its focus. The group has moved forward conceptually but at times still sounds like the trained animals and clowns from the circus that ambushed the orchestral pit, and that's just fine.
  5. May 10, 2011
    80
    Philadelphia sideshow punks Man Man have reached a newfound crispness with the production guidance of Bright Eyes' Mike Mogis on their fourth album, Life Fantastic.
  6. May 19, 2011
    75
    Man Man fans probably weren't expecting "Raindrops Keep Fallin' on My Head"–levels of optimism from the happy-titled Life Fantastic, but the vibe on the Philly-based band's fourth album is pretty morbid, even by their standards.
  7. May 18, 2011
    75
    While the songs may seem borderline psychotic at moments, the bright zeal of their delivery and the band's careful crafting imply some moving on.
  8. May 10, 2011
    75
    Kattner and crew aren't in full party mode on Life Fantastic, but if that points toward a more introspective, if no less chaotic, future for Man Man, that might be a good thing.
  9. May 16, 2011
    74
    Philadelphia's kitchen-sink rock quartet Man Man is still howling at the moon on its fourth LP, but the stomping Waits-meets-Zappa blues compositions are given space to breathe under Mike Mogis' (Bright Eyes) refining production.
  10. May 10, 2011
    74
    While Honus continues to prove himself one of rock's best working lyricists, Life Fantastic contains as many musically compelling moments as Rabbit Habits and Six Demon Bag.
  11. Aug 15, 2011
    70
    A tastefully produced, solid entry into the Man Man catalogue.
  12. May 18, 2011
    70
    Such digressions into insanity may not be the choice way for everyone to unwind, but again, it's a Philly thing. Life Fantastic should make some locals proud.
  13. May 16, 2011
    70
    While there are definite left-field aspects to Life Fantastic, fans of crossover-indie rock groups like Modest Mouse and Spoon should be able to get behind the angular pop of "Shameless" or the backwater bluegrass-rock of "Life Fantastic."
  14. May 11, 2011
    70
    Life Fantastic deemphasizes their goof a bit. The record restricts their trademark eclecticism into what is probably their most self-contained album thus far.
  15. May 10, 2011
    70
    While string-gilded klezmer ballad "Steak Knives" and steamrolling six-minute confession "Shameless" plod well-trod territory, the mod-pop swing of "Piranha Club" and the wry, multi-suite cabaret of "Oh, La Brea" place Honus' self-loathing in a refreshing, no less bizarre, light.
  16. May 10, 2011
    70
    The experimentation found on Life Fantastic, for the most part, works rather well within the gypsy circus that is Man Man but even at its best it makes one wonder what it could have sounded like without the meds.
  17. 70
    There are some moments of fresh maturity here (particularly "Shameless" and "Life Fantastic"), but none that top the mature moments on the last album ("Poor Jackie" and "Whalebones"), as well as not producing any fun jams as good as the last album's.
  18. Jun 14, 2011
    60
    Life Fantastic rolls along with signature Man Man sounds and forms, which is to say, a carnival of sorts. Part gypsy, part rock, slightly crazed.
  19. Jun 14, 2011
    60
    Life Fantastic rolls along with signature Man Man sounds and forms, which is to say, a carnival of sorts. Part gypsy, part rock, slightly crazed.

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