No Blues - Los Campesinos!

Generally favorable reviews - based on 18 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 16 out of 18
  2. Negative: 0 out of 18
  1. Dec 18, 2013
    After a few tracks, you may find yourself seeking relief with your favorite method of self-obliteration. [No. 105, p.56]
  2. Nov 22, 2013
    No Blues is their best album yet. [Dec 2013, p.109]
  3. Nov 14, 2013
    The finest songs here are as solid as any other rock music you’ll find in 2013.
  4. Nov 6, 2013
    Although weaker tracks are covered up by pristine studio trickery, No Blues is consistently infectious and edges the band closer to mainstream territory.
  5. Nov 4, 2013
    No Blues is precisely the grimly euphoric lift-up it purports to be, validating Los Campesinos! on their own terms as connoisseurs of perversely thrilling, desperately mundane misery.
  6. Nov 1, 2013
    Abounding with the usual collision of love, death, sex, and football (of the spherical shaped kind), the band's fifth studio album holds no shocks for those who have followed them from the cradle.
  7. 80
    No Blues shows the wisdom of age, rather than its perceived follies.
  8. It's a very satisfying record, and it's the type of album where every song will probably be your favorite at some point, and you'll almost certainly have each of them stuck in your head at some point in the next week.
  9. 80
    Follow-up No Blues finds the band settling into a more consistent sound.
  10. Oct 29, 2013
    The musical maturity is the most notable and commendable part of No Blues.
  11. Oct 29, 2013
    LC! have never sounded so muscular or crafted melodies as instantly memorable.
  12. Oct 29, 2013
    Where Hello Sadness seemed like a more mature album, No Blues finds Los Campesinos! getting a better, more pragmatic handle on aging.
  13. Oct 28, 2013
    Its flame flickers at best, and the feeling of deja vu that pervades the album means that Los Campesinos! need to change something before they hit the studio again, or the next record will be an even more faded copy of their glorious early days.
  14. Oct 28, 2013
    Los Camp have never sounded better or more essential, even if it’s all a little Motion City Soundtrack-ish.
  15. Oct 24, 2013
    It's one gripped with thoughts of death and yet somehow it's is the very sound of being alive. Los Campesinos! are a band who've clearly grown up, but here, that's only a good thing.
  16. Oct 24, 2013
    Their fifth album continues the work done on their last, 2011’s Hello Sadness, the emotional context and sentiments much sharper, painfully so in some cases, with big, lovely pop hooks on even their starkest tracks.
  17. Oct 24, 2013
    There’s the archetypical vulnerability lurking beneath each track, but their sound suggests something everyone from that mid-2000s period has (hopefully) done--matured and become more assured. With it, indie pop mk II has as well. Excellent, this.
  18. 85
    These more polished but less straight-forward songs makes for their least instantly gratifying collection, but leaves a strong feeling that in the long-term it might become the most rewarding yet.
User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 20 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 3 out of 3
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 3
  3. Negative: 0 out of 3
  1. Oct 31, 2013
    Full of intelligent, energetic, wry pop with huge melodies and an inherant humanism to everything they do. It'sa brilliant album and builds on their previous 4 albums, This is a huge step beyond the shouty twee-pop the band are known for. Full Review »
  2. Oct 29, 2013
    I've only heard this a few times, but I really like it. It's a densely produced, high energy album with nice hooks and clever lyrics. Funny this was released on the same day as Reflektor; it owes a debt to early Arcade Fire. Full Review »
  3. Nov 1, 2013
    Los Campesinos! needed to demonstrate to the world that they were a band with room for improvement after the mixed reviews that their fourth album, Hello Sadness, received. And they definitely showed their maturation on No Blues, which is probably their best album to date. It might not be as lively as Hold On Now, Youngster... nor as atypical as the rest of their previous works. No Blues stands out thanks to its perfect balance between their most soft, 'pop-ish' sound and their more rough indie rock influence.

    In the same way, their lyrics sound much more mature despite the signature songwriting style of Gareth Campesinos!, and while they give a wink to the past in some occasions (probably on purpose though!) it's pretty clear that Gareth has taken a step forward.

    It must be noted that this album is not as straightforward as their previous albums, and it doesn't leave a strong impression after hearing it for the first time. However, it definitely gets better with a few listens and it ends up giving a stronger impression than anything the band has done before.

    All the mentioned attributes make No Blues not only the most harmonic Los Campesinos! record to date, but one of the most interesting albums of 2013.
    Full Review »