Metascore
59

Mixed or average reviews - based on 12 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 3 out of 12
  2. Negative: 0 out of 12
  1. Oct 2, 2012
    70
    Lightning is no kind of departure, but the slight variations in sound and the slightly expanded emotional palette mean that it's an improvement over the last record or two.
  2. Oct 19, 2012
    40
    The other songs beg for remixes, guest vocalists or anything to give them more depth. [Nov 2012, p.92]
  3. 60
    On their fourth LP, Lightning, the lovebirds have made songwriting a priority; but, as is the case with their high-energy, perpetually happy, DIY, song-along anthems, the lyrics alternate between the profound and the overwrought.
  4. 83
    Even with handclaps, tap-dancing synths, and cheerleader chants, though, the Brooklyn duo sound more punk than twee in Lightning.
  5. Oct 3, 2012
    60
    Although decidedly a step up from their last effort, the sloppy and forgetful Sidewalks, Lightning still finds the duo stuck in the same routine.
  6. Oct 10, 2012
    60
    Lightening returns to the tried-and-true formula that has worked so well for them. [No. 92, p.56]
  7. Oct 2, 2012
    70
    They are still committed to immaturity; all these songs have a special affection for youth and fittingly incorporate threads from hip hop.
  8. Oct 25, 2012
    51
    In the context of Matt & Kim's discography, Lightning is inconsequential. Like an echo of an echo, there's nothing here that Matt & Kim haven't already done over and over again.
  9. Oct 3, 2012
    60
    "Much Too Late" is a rant that seems to come out of nowhere and doesn't fit in with anything else on this record. Aside from that, though, this is good stuff.
  10. Oct 2, 2012
    50
    The band's thrift-store pastiche, from that track's skidding-siren hook to a few not-quite-ecstatic EDM-style builds, has a manic, self-aware intensity – call it grandiosi-twee. And try to take it in small doses.
  11. Oct 2, 2012
    50
    In getting back to basics, however, the record leaves out the memorable hooks that make the whole formula work.
  12. Nov 30, 2012
    60
    Lightning occasionally dips into the annoyingly upbeat. [Oct/Nov 2012, p.129]
User Score
7.0

Generally favorable reviews- based on 14 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 2 out of 2
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 2
  3. Negative: 0 out of 2
  1. Oct 9, 2012
    9
    M&K are as happy as you're used to hearing. Their sound never changes too drastically. Rather, it evolves. "Lighning" is a good evolution fromM&K are as happy as you're used to hearing. Their sound never changes too drastically. Rather, it evolves. "Lighning" is a good evolution from "Sidewalks". Full Review »
  2. Mar 11, 2015
    8
    Matt and Kim’s album Lightning has that same happy upbeat sound that caught people’s attention when they first started to produce music. WithMatt and Kim’s album Lightning has that same happy upbeat sound that caught people’s attention when they first started to produce music. With catchy instrumental parts and their lively lyrics, it’s hard not to smile when listening to Lightning. The duo knows what their fans enjoy about their music and have no problem creating songs with all very similar sounds for them, but I’d like to see them step outside of that comfort zone and try experimenting with a different sound. On this album, the two songs that stand out to me the most differently have to be “I Said” and “Ten Dollars I Found.“ Both of these songs have less going on lyrically and possess a darker, more melancholy sound. This is especially the case in “Ten dollars I Found.” The lyrics in “I Said” and the backing track are not as cheerful as their other songs, but it still manages to have the same optimistic atmosphere as their other music. The album ends with the extreme change in sound in “Ten Dollars I Found.” They stripped down most of the electronic elements of the rest of the album on this hopeful yet despondent track.
    More experimentation with their sound on their future albums would be great to see, but Lightning does show that they have it in them to mix things up a bit. Lightning is an enjoyable journey that is always fun to listen to and it really gives a good look into some of the best things they have done with their music. Their older albums were much more acoustic than Lightning is, but they never lost that acoustic aspect on this latest release. Over the years, their sound has become more refined with their instrumentals and accompaniment tracks, while still staying mostly the same lyrically. It will be interesting to see the direction they go with on their next album.
    Full Review »