Milk Man - Deerhoof

Generally favorable reviews - based on 17 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 12 out of 17
  2. Negative: 0 out of 17
  1. Even in its louder moments, Milk Man is a surprisingly subtle album, and one that takes Deerhoof's music in quietly exciting new directions.
  2. Many tracks hint at the notion that Deerhoof decided to make an entirely different album this time around, but counterbalancing these advancements are decidedly flat resurrections of past glories.
  3. They've focused their maniacal energy into seriously dense and carefully considered songwriting; even the cleaner and deeper production betrays Deerhoof's commitment to letting the songs speak for themselves, and to keeping individual parts as precise and undistracting as possible.
  4. Deerhoof's diversity is less a series of self-conscious genre references than a genuine proclamation of unimaginable artistic freedom.
  5. 90
    So horribly untrendy it’s a new-black must-have, ‘Milk Man’ is the essential oddity of 2004, and a more-than-worthy successor to 2003’s magnificent ‘Apple O’’.
  6. The album is most similar to Apple O', but while Apple O' seemed to have a somewhat lethargic quality, Milk Man sounds fresh and fully inviting. And it's a lot better.
  7. For the first time, Milk Man finds such a sound seeming not like the product of a collective caprice, but a formula that they're following, with the few songs where they get lost in total tonal abstraction seeming like didactic decisions to ditch the rock instruments and remind everyone they were once filed under difficult listening.
  8. Milk Man is representative of just about everything the band does best: the melodies soar, bend, and crunch; the verse seems interminably driven by its own internal logic; and the band’s members still play with a near-telepathic singularity of thought.
  9. Deerhoof have moved away from abstract rock noise and toward more familiar structure, without losing the spontaneity of their genre-clashing sound.
  10. If you've heard the group's last few albums, Milk Man won't seem like a notable refinement or a grand statement of purpose; they're just breaking the pop song mold, over and over again, and doing consistently inventive things with the fragments.
  11. Sounds like Deerhoof-in-theory: zero standout tracks, an abundance of groovy sonics.
  12. 70
    Deerhoof's skittish collages always, miraculously, have a pop logic to them, and their desire to show that experimental music can be playful rather than forbidding is often heroic. [Jul 2004, p.102]
  13. 60
    Slaloms round sing-song pop, day-glo punk and Zappa-style tune transformations. [Jun 2004, p.106]
  14. A barrage of unfocused fragments that prove this album should have been condensed into a seven-song EP. [May 2004, p.96]
  15. 91
    A perfect album, except perfect is the wrong word for a band so dedicated to kitchen-sink oddness. [Mar 2004, p.96]
  16. Seems Deerhoof have mistaken self-indulgence for experimentation. [12 Mar 2004, p.114]
  17. Deerhoof sounds like a group of music-school whizzes playing at being a homey rock band, dividing the distance between their Steely Dan and Shonen Knife records. [31 Mar 2004]

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