Mama, I'm Swollen Image

Generally favorable reviews - based on 20 Critics What's this?

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Universal acclaim- based on 15 Ratings

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  • Summary: The sixth studio album for the Omaha, Nebraska-based indie-rock band.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 11 out of 20
  2. Negative: 1 out of 20
  1. Wracked with doubt, contradiction and existential despair, Mama, I’m Swollen strikes out as a weighty, superbly realised endeavour which, for all its oppressive nature, is as eminently listenable and brave an album as any the band have produced.
  2. Diehard fans will continue to bray for "The Ugly Organ 2," but Swollen features better songs, stronger playing, and Dylan-level lyrics, making it the band's most cohesive work to date.
  3. Although the album drags in its back third, Mama, I’m Swollen is a strong addition to Cursive’s catalog.
  4. Mostly Mama comes filled with soul-aflame adolescent angst that generates lines like “I am the joke of existence / I am no one” with guitar squall to match.
  5. Kasher still embraces his flaws and while that may not work to the record's advantage when it does Cursive hits hard as ever.
  6. There is of course a huge market for their kind of angst-ridden emo, and in many ways--particularly lyrically--this album sounds like it's been lifted straight from the emo handbook, which may well satisfy many listeners. For the less committed, however, the lack of the band's usual wit and musical inventiveness will be missed.
  7. 30
    The emo-punk angst is cut with little of the band's trademark wit or ingenuity: Most of the songs plod bloodlessly to an inevitable, pointless climax of noise, sour humor, and teen nihilism.

See all 20 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 2 out of 3
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 3
  3. Negative: 1 out of 3