Mount Wittenberg Orca [EP]

  • Record Label: Domino
  • Release Date: Oct 24, 2011

Generally favorable reviews - based on 15 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 13 out of 15
  2. Negative: 0 out of 15
  1. Oct 25, 2011
    A brief but powerful statement, Mount Wittenberg Orca brings remarkably creative artists together for a good cause, and ends up bringing out the best in all of them in the process.
  2. Oct 24, 2011
    The suite's key strength, and one of the advantages of brevity, is its focus.
  3. 80
    There is cohesiveness here, there is a strong theme throughout, there is terrific musicianship and a gorgeous melting of voices all in between.
  4. Mount Wittenberg Orca is uniquely and charmingly straightforward.
  5. Oct 24, 2011
    Fearing that these songs were indicative of indie-pop conformity would not only be ignoring the group's rich and varied history with melody and rhythm, but also underestimating the ingenuity and convictions that Longstreth has consistently boasted throughout his recorded career.
  6. 80
    It's easily accessible and immediately enjoyable, something that can't always be said about these two artists who like to challenge their listeners.
  7. Oct 24, 2011
    As an EP taster, Mount Wittenberg Orca would have been great, but by positioning itself as the finished article, one is left with the sense of an incomplete journey and a wasted opportunity.
  8. Oct 24, 2011
    Within the narrow confines of the EP, that uneasy balance between hopelessness and guarded optimism is given voice through the blend of Dirty Projectors's bouncing vocal harmonies (the gratingly forthright "eh-eh-eh-eh" verses in "On and Ever Onward") and Björk's reliably magenta undertones (and yes, I do mean "magenta" in the Blanche Devereaux sense).
  9. Oct 24, 2011
    That Mount Wittenberg Orca is an acquired taste goes without saying. Yet no one else makes music like this.
  10. Oct 24, 2011
    From the deep bellowing bass of Nat Baldwin to the horizon-racing ride cymbal of Brian McOmber, Mount Wittenberg Orca allows Bjork's singular diction to dovetail with the Dirty Projectors' quirky male-female vocalizing, floating weightlessly like a thousand ecstatic whooshes.
  11. Oct 24, 2011
    The songs here are shorter, less cluttered, and just generally easier to listen to than Bitte Orca, which will disappoint you only if you love Dirty Projectors because of their relentless complexity.
  12. Oct 24, 2011
    Much as [Bjork's] presence is immediately arresting and enhances its charms no end, it's a testament to the strength of Longstreth's songwriting that Mount Wittenberg Orca wouldn't suffer were she not a feature.
  13. 80
    With Björk and Longstreth sharing lead vocals, and instrumental contributions pared back to just a few drones and pulses, the result is a fascinating evocation of Orcan existence, implicitly acknowledging the entire planet as a home.
  14. Mojo
    Jan 12, 2012
    Relentless vocal shards create the sensation of being stabbed in the head with a whalebone comb, but when voices and concept coalesce... you begin to see the point. [Dec. 2011 p. 98]
  15. Uncut
    Nov 23, 2011
    Just when you thought Bjork had plumbed and conquered every depth and summit of her range, Dirty Projectors have shepherded her to newer pastures. [Dec 2011, p.81]
User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 35 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 1
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 1
  3. Negative: 0 out of 1
  1. Nov 13, 2015
    Mount Wittenberg Orca is able to show cohesive songs, vocals and choir, and beautiful lyrics. The EP nicely fits in its intends and itsMount Wittenberg Orca is able to show cohesive songs, vocals and choir, and beautiful lyrics. The EP nicely fits in its intends and its messages. The Björk collaboration is, as expected, splendid. Full Review »