Monomania - Deerhunter
User Score
8.2

Universal acclaim- based on 42 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 39 out of 42
  2. Negative: 1 out of 42

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  1. May 7, 2013
    10
    Ditching the ethereal shoe-gaze pop of 2010's excellent Halcyon Digest, Deerhunter opt instead for a chaotic, raunchy, and maximized interpretation of a rock record, done in Deerhunter's penchant for the bizarre. The influences span from glam rock T-Rex riffing on Leather Jacket II to Americana Johnny Cash on Pensacola. Locket Pundt, the auxiliary song-writer, is rendered to a solely supporting musician, except on the excellent track "the missing." This is Bradford Cox's album, and it is fantastic. I can't think of a more compelling, difficult, and exciting direction Deerhunter could take, and now they are taking rock and roll forward with them. Hopefully more fantastic music like this is on the way. Expand
  2. May 7, 2013
    9
    Deerhunter follows up Halcyon Digest with Monomania, which favors raw distortion blended with melodic rock n' roll. Its a very calculated change of pace over the ambient shoegaze feel of the last two fantastic records.
  3. May 7, 2013
    9
    Since Deerhunter has not been on my radar much, I felt the best way to give an honest review was to go back a few albums and give their music a more holistic spin. I started with Cryptograms LP (2007). Okay, a lot of experimental blends engaging both modern electronics with conventional instruments. "Lake Sumerset" drew me in, but I'm not feeling the Deerhunter obsession yet...so on to Microcastle LP (2008) I go. Yeah, I know, kinda weird, but I really liked "Calvary Scars" the best from that one. Let's see, now we have Weird Era Cont LP (2008). Whoa, beginning to feel something here and it's obvious the band is growing. "Dot Gain" "Vox Humana" and "Focus Group" grab my attention. Of course next would the infamous Halcyon LP (2010). I certainly can spend some time discussing the merits of this piece of art, but what positive words can I add that hasn't already been said. I love the album! So here we are starring into the eyes of their latest release of Monomania LP (2013). I've already begun to read some negatives out there. WTF? This may be their BEST work to date. Better than Halcyon? Hell, I'll go out on a limb and say YES. The first two tracks let you know right up front that Deerhunter is not going to go conventional or play it safe. It's like someone handed them some chainsaws and said, "...now go carve us an album." Deerhunter replies, "Out of what?" And the voice in the background shouts, "I don't give a f*ck, just make it nasty." So we get Monomania. It may not be exactly the cut of meat you're looking for, but in my opinion, I like my cut a little rare, but not completely raw. This album gives me that and cuts across my earbuds quite nicely. And just remember, they did it with a chainsaw. I give it a 9 out of 10. Play it with volume above normal. Expand
  4. May 10, 2013
    8
    If Monomania is the first Deerhunter album that you pick up, you will have a totally different idea of what the band is than if you are a returning fan. Maybe that’s why I am not high on this album like I feel I should be. The follow up to the 2010 classic, Halcyon Digest is an almost total departure from the sound that I so enjoyed on that release. There were jangling guitars, moody instrumentals, and a knack for great melodies. Monomania is essentially a garage rock album that ditches a lot of the aspects that worked on Digest. There is a much heavier emphasis on guitars and Bradford Cox’s vocal style has changed a little bit into a kind of sneering delivery. As someone that loved Halcyon Digest, I came into this album with very high expectations and they just weren’t met.

    Read more at: http://www.recomedia.net/music/deerhunter-monomania/
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  5. May 7, 2013
    8
    Deerhunter's drastic move out of their dream pop era and into garage punk may not please all fans, but is sure an interesting new direction to choose, and with "Monomania", Deerhunter delivers something that's not only out of their comfort zone, but a charismatic and unyielding LP.
  6. May 9, 2013
    7
    Bradford Cox's late friend Jay Reatard is all over this album. Not a bad thing at all, but a far cry from the Deerhunter fans have grown to love. Which doesn't mean they won't grow to love this Deerhunter. If the dreamy, blissed-out Deerhunter of the past had his head in the clouds, the Deerhunter of Monomania has plummeted to the street.
    Neon Junkyard is a great opener that suggests the
    distortion and feedback of Turn It Up, and catchy rhythms of Cryptograms, but that sound is often backgrounded to a garage-style punk sound throughout most of the record. About half of the songs here are really hard not to like, the most pop-friendly Deerhunter has ever been. The most accessible of which might be mistaken for the impressive new Strokes material a few unfortunate souls have anticipated for the past decade, and never received. And this is still better that that ever could be. The Missing, Dream Captain, Blue Agent, Sleepwalking, and Back to the Middle could all be very successful summer singles. Yet for some reason, the lead single chosen is the album's title track. Which isn't a bad song, but in some way seems to sum up the point of the album, yet remains one of the less impressive, and harshest sounding tracks. But at least it's fun, which I can't really say for the following Nitebike, which sounds like a Kurt Vile outtake that doesn't go anywhere.
    Anyhow, most of this record is fantastic and worth everyone's time. If you haven't enjoyed Deerhunter in the past, you might just find yourself tapping your foot to Monomania, certainly their most fun and least cerebral of albums yet, but still reinforces the band's tendency to release increasingly pop-oriented albums with a mere hint of the noise they once made.
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  7. Web
    May 8, 2013
    6
    A back-to-basics effort seems logical considering the band's catalog and the relative accessibility of Halcyon Digest. For the most part, they pull it off, particularly when things get guttural, as in the title track, "Neon Junkyard," "Leather Jacket II," "and "Punk (La Vie Anterieure)." Raw jewels, loose and loud and convincing. Complimenting these are the excellent "T.H.M.," a 2/4 jazzy romp showcasing the album's most compelling lyrics; the twangy, whiskey-eyed "Pensacola;" the pensive "Nitebike;" the snake-like "Blue Agent" (showcasing the album's least compelling lyrics). What holds Monomania back are the remaining songs. On its own, guitarist Lockett Pundt's "The Missing" has a soft indie charm, and would have fit nicely in either Halcyon Digest or his own work with Lotus Plaza. But it has no place here, and seems like the accidental inclusion of another band's song after the electricity of the opening tracks. The inclusion of Pundt's song is ultimately excusable due to it's quality. There's still one real problem with this album: "Dream Captain," "Back to the Middle," and "Sleepwalking," are bread and butter pop-rock songs that disappear after a few listens, and the fact that they're nestled among such rough and jagged numbers accentuates their limpness. It's what keeps Monomania from being Deerhunter's most believable record. Cutting those three would have done wonders, but as things stand they're a spritz of cheap perfume that dampens the animality of the edgier stuff Still, the album succeeds in enough ways to push it into "solid" territory, and it's certainly better than a mere continuation of what worked in HD. 6.8/10 Expand
Metascore
81

Universal acclaim - based on 41 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 35 out of 41
  2. Negative: 0 out of 41
  1. 90
    This kind of hunger, this kind of uphill battle and this kind of gritty determination leaks out onto Monomania with tremendous results; the ending fruition is another gleaming winner for Cox and Deerhunter.
  2. Jun 18, 2013
    90
    Monomania is stacked with track-to-track unshakable, albeit twisted, pop melodies and an atmosphere of unrest that will stick with you between repeated listens. [No.99, p.52]
  3. Jun 4, 2013
    60
    Monomania retains those same Deerhunter kernels if you’re willing to forage. You might get your fingers grubby, but the fruit, often deep inside the shell, is still delicious.