Generally favorable reviews - based on 15 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 9 out of 15
  2. Negative: 0 out of 15
Buy On
  1. Jan 25, 2013
    Despite Nightlands' scientific approach, Oak Island doesn't sound sterile or too calculated; instead, Hartley revisits the innocence of the past with sophistication, like seeing the places you went when you were 17 with new eyes.
  2. Feb 8, 2013
    Even if it doesn’t fully deliver on its considerable promise, it’s a good sign that Oak Island leaves you wanting more.
  3. Jan 22, 2013
    Nightlands have created something that's utterly self-contained.
  4. Uncut
    Mar 1, 2013
    Oak Island does for Chicago what Panda Bear's Personal Pitch did for The Beach Boys. [Apr 2013, p.74]
  5. Jan 22, 2013
    Oak Island certainly feels more homogenized in comparison [to his debut]. [Jan-Feb 2013, p.88]
  6. Feb 1, 2013
    An album that’s easy to enjoy yet difficult to fall in love with.
  7. 60
    Oak Island might not bloom at the supposed crossroads of art and science (fiction), but it’s a pleasant enough take on the reconciliation of nostalgia with the desire for adult life.
  8. Jan 22, 2013
    Oak Island has a deftness that makes it hard to resist, but some songs disappear under the weight of everything that's transpiring.
  9. Mar 21, 2013
    The album is rich in texture but light on memorable melodies.
  10. 70
    Oak Island is an exciting ride with uplifts, lulls and a sporadic note of menace--but the all-round brilliance of Slave Ambient ensures that Nightlands is just a quality aside for now.
  11. Magnet
    Feb 11, 2013
    He seeks to boldly chase his pop-music idols, which hits the mark only about half the time. But when he doesn't, at least it's a glorious miss. [No. 95, p.56]
  12. Jan 22, 2013
    Oak Island, just out on Secretly Canadian, is a logical extension of that debut's theme and style, but is better crafted--or perhaps just better served--and stands as a good example of how subtlety can sneak up on a person and pack a desolate punch.
  13. Jan 24, 2013
    When he lets loose with a gloriously pretty and groovy synth-funk piece like "Rolling Down the Hill," you just wish he would move farther in that direction and ditch the hackneyed MOR harmonies that are given too much place on the rest of Oak Island.
  14. An album of pristine beauty and shimmering harmonic structure.
  15. Jan 25, 2013
    Oak Island is an album that gets weirder and more confident as it goes along, slowing down and stretching out as it comes to a close.

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