Monkey Minds in the Devil's Time Image
Metascore
80

Generally favorable reviews - based on 17 Critics What's this?

User Score
8.3

Universal acclaim- based on 8 Ratings

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  • Summary: The Beta Band singer self-produced 11 songs and Dan Carey worked on the other nine songs on Mason's politically-influenced second solo release.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 15 out of 17
  2. Negative: 0 out of 17
  1. Jun 4, 2013
    100
    An attack on the lack of dissenting voices in popular culture, if this isn’t Mason’s bona fide masterpiece, it’s certainly approaching it.
  2. Mar 8, 2013
    90
    A soulful, adventurous, state-of-the-nation classic. [Apr 2013, p.73]
  3. 80
    On his most rewarding release since The Beta Band, Steve Mason grapples with politics both public and personal, but in a warm, engaging manner that draws the listener in.
  4. Mar 11, 2013
    80
    Like Boys Outside, Monkey Minds casts Steve Mason as a gifted songwriter, a world-worn bringer of anger, melancholy, hope and melody. [Apr 2013, p.96]
  5. Mar 20, 2013
    80
    If Mason’s last album Boys Outside was a window on his struggles with mental ill-health, Monkey Minds moves from micro to macro as he harnesses his strong sense of social justice, while continuing to hone the crisp electronics that so perfectly soundtrack his ghostly, exhortatory vocals.
  6. Apr 9, 2013
    79
    Monkey Minds’ sharp, late-act turn into politicized proselytizing may seem jarring at first, but then it’s an accurate reflection of how politics can suddenly intrude upon our lives and upend our worldview.
  7. Mar 8, 2013
    40
    Steve Mason's second album under his own name is more melancholy meander than Molotov Cocktail. [Apr 2013, p.95]

See all 17 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 3 out of 3
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 3
  3. Negative: 0 out of 3
  1. Apr 9, 2013
    10
    Well, this came out of nowhere. Mason puts together a series of consistently brilliant songs, laced with the kind of haunting beauty we saw on 'Boys Outside' but added in to the mix is the kind of weirdness which ran riot on the 3 E.P.s all those years ago. It's a brilliant album and must rank as one of the best of the year. P.S. Mason nails the political thing in a way which is incredibly hard to do. Expand
  2. Feb 13, 2014
    8
    Monkey Minds... apart from a couple of random and slightly unwanted moments, is a great album. Although at the 20 track format, it stays around 40 minutes and has a sense of (unlike a lot of music out there) meaning. Steve Mason, I thank you. Expand
  3. Jun 1, 2013
    7
    Steve Mason started his musical career in the excellent Beta Band and has subsequently been through a few guises (King Biscuit Time, Black Affair) here he releases ‘Monkey Minds In The Devil’s Time’ his second under his own name and perhaps his best work since those early days. Twenty tracks, nine full songs and eleven bridging sections the record is overloaded with ideas and styles that remarkably don’t clash and in fact flow along brilliantly making the listening of the album a real musical joy. Among the in-between vignettes we get spoken word ‘The Old Problem’, sampled radio commentary ‘The Last of Heroes’, electronic dub ‘Operation Mason’ and even rap ‘More Money, More Fire’ but it’s in the actual proper songs that Mason shines. The full gospel choir on ‘Lonely’, the urgency of the brass section on ‘Fire’ that gives the song a real punch and the angelic keys that run throughout ‘Oh My Lord’. During the verses of ‘Never Be Alone’ Mason sounds like Elbow’s Guy Garvey before slipping back into his unmistakable Beta Band twang during the chorus. ‘Seen It All Before’ sounds not unlike a Hot Chip track as Mason sings ‘Here I go again on the floor’ over the beats. But for me the two stand out tracks have to be ‘Fight Them Back’ with its call to arms ‘a fist, a boot and a baseball bat’ and the beautiful ‘A Lot of Love’ the sublime piano refrain making it instantly catchy. Lyrically Mason is still battling his demons; open about his depression there is one heart breaking spoken word line contained here almost hidden in ‘From Hate We Hope’. ‘I think I was about ten, it was Christmas and I looked at myself and thought how amazing it is to be a human being, but you do forget’ its inclusion is honest, brave and poignant. The album title refers to a Buddhist term for an easily distracted brain and I’m just glad Mason is at a stage where he can turn his vitriol onto the world around and not back on himself and in doing so give us another glimpse of the genius that first emerged all those years ago with ‘The Three E.P.s’. Expand