User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 9 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 8 out of 9
  2. Negative: 0 out of 9

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  1. Feb 13, 2014
    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.
  2. Jun 1, 2013
    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
  3. Jul 21, 2014
    This baffling album has 10 fantastic melodic songs totalling 44 minutes that I love, interspersed with 10 annoying noise tracks totalling about 10 minutes that I hope I never hear again! Do yourself a favour and buy this on MP3 so you can delete the bizarre filler stuff and keep only the beautiful music. Truly amazing.
  4. Apr 9, 2013
    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

Generally favorable reviews - based on 17 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 15 out of 17
  2. Negative: 0 out of 17
  1. Jun 4, 2013
    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. May 1, 2013
    At 20 tracks long, it gets a little over-familiar. The meandering "Operation Mason" and "Never Be Alone" would have been best abandoned in the cutting room. But what remains is a buxom sonic treasure trove.
  3. Apr 9, 2013
    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.