Metascore
62

Generally favorable reviews - based on 19 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 12 out of 19
  2. Negative: 2 out of 19
  1. Oct 25, 2012
    90
    Wolf is as honest and, in a greater sense, as generous a songwriter as we have, and Mumps, Etc. may be his finest gift yet.
  2. Oct 5, 2012
    90
    Mumps, etc. simultaneously feels like a fresh start and consolidation for the band; it encapsulates what makes them so unique while subtly expanding and pushing forward their sound, and as such must be viewed a real triumph.
  3. Oct 10, 2012
    80
    Crisper and cleaner than any previous Why? musing, Mumps Etc. is chamber hop for people who buy every remastered reissue of Pet Sounds. [No. 92, p.60]
  4. Oct 8, 2012
    80
    WHY? have always been an acquired taste but anyone with a shred of interest in Yoni Wolf's idiosyncratic talents will find much to savour on a very impressive return.
  5. Mumps takes a little while to sink in in a different way to previous albums.
  6. Oct 23, 2012
    70
    For many reasons it is confused, self-absorbed, remarkably gauche. It is so often an intentionally uncomfortable thing to listen to... [yet] intriguing.
  7. Oct 17, 2012
    70
    While we often expect clarity of thought from our favourite lyricists, Wolf's admission that he doesn't hold all the answers makes these songs all the more relatable and poignant.
  8. It critically casts an eye over Wolf's public persona.
  9. Oct 5, 2012
    70
    Mumps, Etc. is an assured, thematically united set.
  10. Oct 9, 2012
    67
    Metaphors are short-lived and abstract, and Wolf spends lots of time philosophizing or generalizing.
  11. Oct 5, 2012
    65
    Mumps, etc. misses out on the engrossing atmospheres the last two albums had, and its best track, "Sod in the Seed," is a holdover from the recent EP of the same name, but there's enough here to more than make up for their last few years of radio silence.
  12. Oct 17, 2012
    62
    It's disjointed, but somehow held together by Wolf's honestly and sometimes-brilliant turns of phrases.
  13. Oct 16, 2012
    60
    There's enough humour in the words and inventiveness in the production to keep coming back to these songs, though you can only hope Wolf will sound a little less broken the next time around.
  14. Oct 15, 2012
    60
    All the Why? hallmarks are there, but the album just lacks effusive energy or emotional rawness needed to bring it all to life.
  15. 60
    If Alopecia was the perfect fit sonically and thematically for Wolf's verbal diarrhea, then Mumps comes off more like a scattered greatest hits record than an album with a preconceived vision.
  16. Oct 30, 2012
    40
    It's a process, not a product--frustratingly inarticulate when it matters most.
  17. Oct 23, 2012
    40
    While cleverly mocking late-20s thwarted ambitions and McJob drudgery, Wolf offers little by way of an alternative, his lyrics ultimately as hollow as the cynical Generation X irony of the '90s. [Nov 2012, p.112]
  18. Oct 9, 2012
    28
    An often unlistenable album from WHY?, a group whose music is often excellent.
User Score
8.0

Generally favorable reviews- based on 18 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 6 out of 6
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 6
  3. Negative: 0 out of 6
  1. Oct 9, 2012
    9
    I don't want to sound like a total pedant, but Ian Cohen has bashed out this sort of "review" before (his hatchet-job of FOTL comes to mind), so just ignore his opinion when it oozes onto this site. Mumps, etc itself though - bloody great. Lyrically engaging, musically accomplished and brilliantly sequenced, I find it to be a more than worthy addition to the Why? catalogue. Full Review »
  2. Oct 9, 2012
    9
    This album kills it. I really kind of expected this album to be the sound we'd hear after Alopecia. Definitely one of the most listenable Why? albums for me. Everyone is doing their thing so well, and there are so many fun and surprising moments. Nice one. Full Review »
  3. Nov 6, 2012
    6
    The first tracks were more or less forgettable, regrettably, but I did enjoy the bit of spunk in Johnathan's Hope, Strawberries and Sod in the Seed, though not enough for more than five or six listens. Most of the choruses, much like many of the songs, on this album sound pretty strained or are simply not that good, especially when they try to sound catchy. Despite all this, I really enjoyed of the second half of the album, except for Thirst which I thought was lyrically bad and, once again, had a bad chorus. Kevin's Cancer and Distance both sound like what the first half of the album could have been and should have been; more refined, sharper instrumentals and overall better production. Finally, I LOVED the closing three tracks on this album Bitter Thoughts, Paper Hearts, and As A Card all sounded like Elephant Eyelash grade hip-hop with that dark touch that I loved in Alopecia. Full Review »