• Record Label: Merge
  • Release Date: Aug 31, 2010

Generally favorable reviews - based on 11 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 8 out of 11
  2. Negative: 0 out of 11
  1. They've proven themselves able to change drastically in the past--so, even though Minotaur is one of their lesser works, I can't help but hope that a band as consistently transcendent as the Clientele will continue on into the future.
  2. Minotaur's back half is fairly trifling, but the EP's first five songs are as strong as any in The Clientele's catalogue.
  3. At 25 minutes, Minotaur is slight but still a fine distillation of the band's deceptive charms and retains the sense of something very unsettling lurking at its core. [Oct 2010, p.105]
  4. Though a newcomer to The Clientele should not start here, it's strong throughout, with the exception of the aberrant (if mild) guitar freakout in "Jerry" and a creepy piano solo, "No. 33," which, if unobjectionable, seems unnecessary.
  5. Minotaur is as essential as anything else the band has released and whether as part of Bonfires or on its own, the record stands as a welcome addition to their legacy as one of the great indie pop bands of their era.
  6. Judged objectively, Minotaur is a good if somewhat slight record, with enough quality to comfortably surpass most music likely to be released this year. But when compared to The Clientele's previous work, this is one for the completists rather than an essential purchase.
  7. All considered, Minotaur is thoroughly pretty and easy to appreciate on a compositional level; the usual blend of modern-era indie pop with iconic '60s sensibilities. But it's like that particular horse has been beaten past recognition, rendering Minotaur a little too safe for its own good.
  8. So yes, on Minotaur they continue draw deeply from 60s soft-pop; if you've enjoyed the Clientele's last few albums, you're guaranteed to enjoy at least 6/8ths of this mini LP.
  9. Oct 26, 2010
    Minotaur is a bit top heavy; the first few tracks do the heavy lifting, while later track such as "Paul Verlaine" aren't as strong, and others, including "No. 33," are simply filler. [Fall 2010, p.66]
  10. 60
    A couple of tracks suggest exits from the familiar labyrinth. [Oct 2010, p.88]
  11. Whether it is a last gasp from an unusually consistent band or merely a palate-clearing exercise pointing the way towards a perhaps more experimental direction to be found on a follow-up LP, Minotaur is buoyed by an excellent front half and a less stellar back end.

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