Lysandre - Christopher Owens
Metascore
68

Generally favorable reviews - based on 36 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 23 out of 36
  2. Negative: 1 out of 36
  1. Jan 15, 2013
    50
    As it stands, the album is a decent attempt at a fresh start that won't put off too many Girls fans, but until he figures out exactly what kind of singer/songwriter he wants to be, won't likely earn him too many new fans.
  2. Jan 17, 2013
    50
    Aside from its travelogue conceit and the way its opening renaissance faire-like leitmotif appears on all the tracks, Lysandre suffers from a lack of direction and cohesion.
  3. Jan 15, 2013
    65
    A narrative concept album that runs a mere 29 minutes and is both more musically ornate yet somehow also slighter than anything Girls attempted, a deeply personal work whose arch presentation serves to keep you at an emotional distance.
  4. Jan 7, 2013
    80
    He's continuing his romp through totally unfashionable styles, armed with his endearingly earnest voice and a lot of flutes. [Feb 2013, p.77]
  5. Jan 24, 2013
    80
    For the most part, this is a pastoral, frequently beautiful folk record, spiked with the odd unexpected diversion. [Feb 2013, p.112]
  6. Jan 18, 2013
    80
    On Lysandre, his vision feels more expansive. [Feb 2013, p.88]
  7. Jan 15, 2013
    70
    It's easy-listening music for deeply uneasy times.
  8. 70
    Each song feels fully formed yet tells a unique and important chapter in this period of Owens' life.
  9. Jan 7, 2013
    55
    A terse concept album. [Jan-Feb 2013, p.89]
  10. Jan 15, 2013
    75
    Even with the thematic ties running throughout Lysandre, it isn't overly ambitious: The 11 songs clock in at less than half an hour, and the main musical theme that shows up in nearly every one of them becomes a wearisome prop by the end of the album.
  11. Feb 1, 2013
    60
    While the concept behind Lysandre works well on Owens’ first debut outing, there is always a nagging feeling of something missing throughout the record.
  12. Jan 14, 2013
    70
    Lysandre justifies its own existence by virtue of its own wide eyed wonder, its own vulnerability, and its giving sense of heart.
  13. Jan 14, 2013
    60
    At just under a half-hour (a runtime probably inspired by the days when vinyl records could only contain about 40 minutes of music), Lysandre is a frustrating listen.
  14. Jan 10, 2013
    80
    The result--a series of dreamlike recollections of one turbulent summer--is mostly irresistible.
  15. 70
    Lysandre proves the chameleonic Owen can say the same thing over and over and never run out of inspiration. [Feb 2013, p.92]
  16. 60
    Too often, it just doesn't seem like he was as ambitious with the craft of this one as he was with past efforts, however natural they may have sounded.
  17. Jan 22, 2013
    20
    Lysandre is full of problems/problematic things, and most of it rests on one of the album's biggest problems: the insistent, ever-present "me."
  18. Jan 15, 2013
    70
    Bonds and connections that seemed soul-deep and vital tend to dissipate with nothing more than time and distance, but before Owens can grapple with that truth in Lysandre, it's already slipped away.
  19. Jan 10, 2013
    60
    The results are sometimes sharp, as on mischievous New York City and Here We Go Again, with their mirrored melodies reinterpreted on flute and sax. Other times, his lyrical directness relies on clichés--reminding us that love sometimes sounds quite ordinary.
  20. Jan 29, 2013
    55
    No one will ever get sick of Love Songs--they're an essential product of the thing we call the human condition. But it's easy to get sick of these.
  21. Jan 7, 2013
    80
    The man's bid for a place in the pantheon of gifted and fascinating greats is still on course.
  22. Mar 7, 2013
    66
    The 33-year-old Owens has funneled his usual druggy, droogy Flaming-Lips-stuffed-into-Beach-House tone into something cohesive and made it into Cali-folk popping and bright.
  23. Jan 29, 2013
    40
    Most of the time, Lysandre as a record feels confused and stifled.
  24. Feb 4, 2013
    50
    Though Owens takes precise measures to avoid it, the downfall of Lysandre ultimately comes down to this same-y-ness, as the majority of the album's tracks do very little to truly grab the listeners attention.
  25. Jan 15, 2013
    70
    Lysandre, his solo debut, is a slip of an album, 11 songs under 30 minutes, and it's a fascinating curveball.
  26. Feb 11, 2013
    50
    Flute and saxophone abound on this record, employed with a degree of schmaltz that works against the songs more often then not. [No. 95, p.57]
  27. Jan 15, 2013
    70
    As a solo debut, Lysandre is a self-indulgent effort that succeeds in spite of itself; it also signals an artist shaking off the shackles of the past and embracing a wider range of sounds and ideas.
  28. May 6, 2013
    80
    At only 28 minutes long, Lysandre is easily digestible in a single sitting, but that really just embellishes its true purpose--to temporarily whet our appetites till all those other Christopher Owens solo records appear.
  29. Jan 15, 2013
    63
    Lysandre is a fresh start for a writer with a fine ear for the way happiness and heartbreak intertwine.
  30. 75
    Lysandre inevitably feels a bit skimpy. It's still an unnervingly tuneful warm-up: freed from his hipster shackles, Owens is harnessing the power of the incredibly uncool--and he's all the cooler for it.
  31. 70
    For the most part Lysandre is a masterful exhibition of how to execute and relay truth and emotion.
  32. Jan 24, 2013
    80
    Lysandre frequently charms. It is a primarily low-key statement, but does enough to suggest that Owens' future post-Girls may be very promising.
  33. These three tracks ["A Broken Heart," "Lysandre," and "Everywhere You Knew"] function as everything Owens could have dreamed this first solo effort to be. But the rest of the album, which aims for similar points of emotional cohesiveness, but due to some ham-fisted instrumental choices, the message can become muddled.
  34. Jan 14, 2013
    80
    Except for all the bits about getting high, and the bit about begging his best friend not to kill him, Lysandre is a composite love story as old as the hills, but this retelling is surprisingly refreshing.
  35. Jan 16, 2013
    60
    Instead of making the more personal record that he intended by telling his side of the tour story, Owens has created his most detached album yet.
  36. Jan 9, 2013
    80
    That Christopher Owens' songs are so simultaneously vivid, immersive and indulgent is one thing, that he has crafted the character to execute them so expertly is quite another.

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