Machineries of Joy


Generally favorable reviews - based on 21 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 15 out of 21
  2. Negative: 0 out of 21
  1. Apr 1, 2013
    It's an environment that rewards more often than it disappoints.
  2. May 8, 2013
    Though there are certainly more misses than hits on Machineries of Joy, its not for lack of trying, and those hits soar.
  3. Apr 3, 2013
    Machineries of Joy lacks the kind of crucial equalizers that appeal to all levels of education--big hooks, convincing physicality, legible emotions.
  4. Uncut
    Mar 29, 2013
    Despite a tendency to drift slightly, BSP remain a reliably warm-hearted antidote to the bustle of modern life. [May 2013, p.68]
  5. Q Magazine
    Apr 9, 2013
    It's one of their finest. [May 2013, p.98]
  6. Mojo
    Apr 9, 2013
    One of their most consistently impressive releases. [May 2013, p.90]
  7. This is BSP in fine, if not exactly boundary-shoving, form.
  8. Mar 29, 2013
    Machineries of Joy is an improvement on its predecessor but far from a dramatic leap forward.
  9. Under The Radar
    Mar 29, 2013
    If Machineries Of Joy doesn't win global adoration, there are songs here very likely to at least make someone's day, which is possibly an even more admirable goal. [Mar-Apr 2013, p.91]
  10. Apr 1, 2013
    While British Sea Power do occasionally revert back to the anthemic formula that worked so well on previous albums, on the whole, Machineries Of Joy is a more considered and composed effort.
  11. Mar 29, 2013
    For all its shifts and quirks, it's a more cohesive album than its predecessor, 2011's Valhalla Dancehall, thanks mostly to the keening viola of Abi Fry.
  12. 60
    Between Abi Fry’s lilting viola and Wilkinson’s cogent, sentimentalist vocals, BSP sails through Machineries of Joy without any fatal blunders.
  13. Apr 11, 2013
    It sees the Cumbrian exiles embracing their maturity and demonstrating restraint, without scrimping on the songs.
  14. 80
    Learning the lessons of its predecessor, then, album number 5 is an intelligent distillation of everything that people cherish about British Sea Power and what makes them a truly Great British rock band.
  15. Apr 5, 2013
    Unfocused and uninspired, Machineries lacks the sprawling majesty and well-forged hooks of earlier efforts.
  16. Apr 1, 2013
    Machineries Of Joy isn’t [the truly vital album], but what it is is a touching, ambitious and inventive album, and one which stands head and shoulders above most
  17. 80
    Their fifth album finds them playing it relatively straight, and it's no bad thing.
  18. Mar 29, 2013
    A mature record, in the best possible sense, Machineries of Joy reins in the whimsicality and tendency towards wackiness, while still retaining a smart sense of humour alongside the philosophical pondering and strident rock shapes.
  19. 60
    Valhalla Dancehall found British Sea Power somewhat becalmed, but Machineries Of Joy gets them moving again, albeit in a variety of directions.
  20. Jun 4, 2013
    Machineries Of Joy proves that BSP are still in bloom.
  21. It's almost boring: yet another excellent British Sea Power album.
User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 13 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 0 out of 1
  2. Negative: 0 out of 1
  1. Oct 31, 2014
    It is clear that alot of work went into making this album. When you listen to the album closely you can hear the intricate details layeredIt is clear that alot of work went into making this album. When you listen to the album closely you can hear the intricate details layered onto each song and the time and effort put in to the songs is obvious. The thing is, unfortunately the raw material (i.e. the songs) just isn't as potent or precious as was previously the case. The band do their best to mold as much melody and beauty from what they have to work with and the results are impressive enough when you consider how standard the basic songs actually are. There are some great moment but they are sparse and for the most part the album stays in the shadows of the bands best days. Album opener "Machineries of Joy" and closer "When a warm wind blows through the grass" are the album highlights. Its too easy to get distracted on the journey in between. Full Review »