Monsoon - Preston School Of Industry

Generally favorable reviews - based on 21 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 8 out of 21
  2. Negative: 1 out of 21
  1. A batch of lazy mid-afternoon pop songs that only sound better when his friends from Wilco show up to sing along. [Apr 2004, p.86]
  2. 80
    There’s something here that most - if not all - will find thoroughly refreshing and enchanting.
  3. It's a pleasant listen, with twice the beauty of its predecessor 'All This Sounds Gas', but while the songs are easy to appreciate, they are difficult to love.
  4. 70
    It's a calmer, less ambitious album than 2001's All This Sounds Gas, but no less beguiling. [Mar 2004, p.92]
  5. The album heats up nicely, with songs like Line It Up far easier to warm to than former Pavement buddy Steven Malkmus' solo work. [Feb 2004, p.105]
  6. Monsoon is a quietly rewarding disc, if one is willing to accept it on its terms -- as an amiable, sunny (the rainstorm on the album's cover notwithstanding) California indie rock album.
  7. Ultimately Monsoon proves an easy, agreeable listen; soft rock for graying indie-rockers everywhere.
  8. Overall, the album lacks the cohesion that would make it a keeper.
  9. Ultimately it makes you feel the loss of Pavement all the more.
  10. The glimmers of vitality lurking around the edges of the album tend to make it all the more frustrating -- just a few more distinctive songs would've gone a long way towards making this a really solid album instead of just an intermittently entertaining one.
  11. It’s not as focused as it could’ve been, considering the freshness of the songs.
  12. There's far too much nondescript strumming and far too few meaningful hooks.
  13. There are two great tracks here, three solid ones, and five complete duds.
  14. This album sounds like it was recorded and released as a favor from someone at the label. Truth is, the lighter that ignited All This Sounds Gas is long out of butane.
  15. It's not that Kannberg has somehow "sold out" with Preston School of Industry, but for the time being, he's clearly lost the urge to take good risks.
  16. 50
    For all its country rockin' appeal, Monsoon lacks the emotional charge of its predecessor. [Feb 2004, p.98]
  17. During some of the more composed moments, the album manages to shine out in semi desolate wonder; but most of the time, Monsoon sounds too much like the Jonathan Richman two-piece band from There's Something About Mary to outrun the malaise of mediocrity that blankets it.
  18. It's not really very interesting, bold or exciting, but neither is it ever objectionable.
  19. 40
    Even Monsoon’s best moments are marred by barely audible vocals and dull lyrical abstractions.
  20. There are half-considered melodies, vague nods to alt-country and a general cheerlessness that often makes listening a chore.

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