Monomania - Deerhunter
Monomania Image
Metascore
81

Universal acclaim - based on 41 Critics What's this?

User Score
8.1

Universal acclaim- based on 45 Ratings

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  • Summary: Produced by Nicolas Vernhes, the sixth release for the Atlanta indie rock band led by Bradford Cox includes two new band members: bassist Josh McKay (taking over from Joshua Fauver) and guitarist Frankie Broyles.
  • Record Label: 4AD
  • Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Indie Rock, Dream Pop, Post-Rock, Experimental Rock
  • More Details and Credits »
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 35 out of 41
  2. Negative: 0 out of 41
  1. 100
    Consider me converted, at least until Bradford Cox lurches off in yet another direction.
  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. May 7, 2013
    83
    Monomania feels less like a collection of songs that belong together and more like simply a group of great tunes.
  4. May 6, 2013
    80
    Monomania is an easy album to become monomaniac about.
  5. Apr 29, 2013
    78
    Like Cox, Monomania is an enigma, wrapped in distortion.
  6. May 7, 2013
    70
    There is clearly no quietude in Cox's frantic mind, but his obsession yields beauty.
  7. May 1, 2013
    50
    Most of the album sounds like a kaleidoscope of every “indie” rock archetype, to the point that, whilst it's never debatable that Monomania is a Deerhunter record, you still find yourself thinking of Silversun Pickups, The Black Keys, The Flaming Lips or Arcade Fire, not necessarily with positive comparisons in mind.

See all 41 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 8 out of 8
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 8
  3. Negative: 0 out of 8
  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
    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
  3. 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. Collapse
  4. 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. Expand
  5. Oct 16, 2014
    7
    Deerhunter came up with two indie rock peaches in "Microcastle" and then "Halycon Digest" and I have to say I was eagerly awaiting "Monomania". While a decent enough record, unfortunately I have been left disappointed. "Monomania" continues on with the band psychedelic indie sound however these songs lack a darkness or tension that was found on the previous records. Whereas Deerhunter normally sound like no one else, "Monomania" doesn't quite pull this off to the same extent. At times they sound like The Strokes and occasionally even sound like Eels. "Neon Junkyard" and "Back to the Middle" standout. Expand
  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.
    Expand
  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

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