Never - Micachu & the Shapes
Metascore
76

Generally favorable reviews - based on 24 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 20 out of 24
  2. Negative: 0 out of 24
  1. Jul 25, 2012
    70
    While Jewellery's nimble pastiches and small but palpable emotional undercurrent are missed occasionally, Never is never boring, and fans will have as much fun figuring out what makes these musical wind-up toys tick as Micachu and company had putting them together.
  2. Jul 26, 2012
    60
    The way Never is rendered is too claustrophobic and vertiginous, rarely giving you a chance to find your bearings within the tightly packed soundscapes.
  3. Jul 25, 2012
    73
    In keeping with the album's title, Never is uncompromising and direct.
  4. Jul 18, 2012
    80
    Wilful, perhaps, but also a hugely inventive joy. [Aug 2012, p.77]
  5. Aug 20, 2012
    80
    Inevitably some of the surprised factor has worn off for their second album but it's still an exhilarating collision of ideas. [Sep 2012, p.105]
  6. Jul 19, 2012
    80
    The spring in their step has a dangerously sharp point to increase Never's allure. [Aug 2012, p.87]
  7. 80
    It's a lot to take in, sure, but each listen is as fresh as the first.
  8. Aug 22, 2012
    70
    It's a difficult first listen but given time, tracks such as the low-end vacuum cleaner cacophony of "Low Dogg" ingratiate themselves like dental filings. [Aug/Sep 2012, p.119]
  9. Aug 10, 2012
    80
    The trio's new album, Never, is a fleet, fizzy experience with a mixtape-like flow (Levi has created or co-created five of those, as well) and makes earlier Shapes music seem undercooked by comparison.
  10. Jul 19, 2012
    80
    For those with an adventurous sensibility, it will be a pure delight.
  11. Jul 18, 2012
    80
    Micachu and the Shapes are fun. Their new album is fun.
  12. Jul 19, 2012
    80
    No matter how much this follow-up apparently repeats previous ideas, it still sounds vital and fresh. What it adds is a bit more polish, production-wise: sounds bounce boldly across and against each other, so they seem to move at cross-purposes, yet with coherent urgency.
  13. Jul 30, 2012
    70
    Levi's gift lays in kitschy nuance that is inherently pleasurable. And by diving into more conventional songs on Never, she loses a bit of this endearing personality.
  14. 70
    Never is a bold step forward, but one that sacrifices the sugar-rush tweaking to solid if uninspiring ends.
  15. Jul 18, 2012
    70
    Whether or not Never is a record you'll want to revisit that often is a moot point, but its ability to hit like a spring-mounted boxing glove to your peripheral vision is hardly in doubt.
  16. Jul 25, 2012
    80
    Never is frank, fearless, and restless--a 14-song rattle bag of damaged samples, uneasy hooks, intuitive melody, and dry humor.
  17. Jul 23, 2012
    60
    This is an art-school record; Ms. Levi's work resists easy pleasure and traditional beauty.... [yet] her songs hook you.
  18. Jul 18, 2012
    63
    From moment to moment, Never's oddball quality can be a blessing, but it becomes more of a curse when the moment passes and there's little besides disparate pieces to hold onto.
  19. Jul 24, 2012
    80
    At times grainy and abrasive it's also mischievous, melodic and, ultimately, absolutely adorable.
  20. Jul 24, 2012
    80
    Micachu & the Shapes have yet to blunt their edge. [Jul 2012, p.60]
  21. Never, whose song titles are nearly all one word, isn't as daunting as the avant-garde approach might suggest.
  22. Jul 24, 2012
    80
    This is pop music, pure and simple: smarter, stranger than your average fare, no doubt, but don't confuse its oddness for inscrutable obtuseness.
  23. Jul 20, 2012
    60
    'Never' walks a fine line between experimental and exasperating.
  24. Jul 26, 2012
    80
    Unselfconscious and joyfully untrammelled, most importantly Never is charmingly weird--that quality so coveted by indie chancers everywhere.

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