Listening Tree - Tim Exile
Metascore
62

Generally favorable reviews - based on 9 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 3 out of 9
  2. Negative: 0 out of 9
  1. When it clicks, as on the exhilarating rush of single 'Family Galaxy' or 'Fortress's' twisted rock operatics, the results glow with all the Technicolor detail of the Roger Dean-gone-digital cover art. [May 2009, p.112]
  2. This gallopingly demented album comes off like a battle between two gargantuan, city-pulverising, sci-fi beasts engaged in an epic ruckus.
  3. Such considerate lyrics make Listening Tree a heady electronic organism that dips enough of its roots into a melody-driven loom. [Spring 2009, p.79]
  4. 60
    Too often, though, we find shaw sloshing around in cyber-soup, drunk on technology and singing existential love songs in a manner akin to Alexander Armstrong scatting with Squarepusher. [Apr 2009, p.84]
  5. This album, though at times an obscure experience to the untrained ear, is at other times Royksopp-like, though never to the point of radio friendliness.
  6. It's a singular sound that's as trying as any of the year's scarier noise records, but it's also uncompromising: a pop-music dealbreaker, even for fiscally responsible, architecturally dashing electro-pop.
  7. 50
    Overall, Listening Tree is all about Tim, and his deep closeted skeletons and inner demons, which are far too abstract to be even remotely relatable or fun to sweat it out to their exorcisms.
  8. Listening Tree is in Depeche Mode and Pet Shop Boys territory, and Exile does not have the pipes to pull it off.
  9. This approach has certainly made Shaw’s music more palatable, but his tinkering in the studio (he’s an accomplished tech head; just check out this interview and try to stay awake) has mostly drained his music of any emotional resonance.

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