Olympia - Austra
User Score
8.2

Universal acclaim- based on 15 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 15 out of 15
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 15
  3. Negative: 0 out of 15

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  1. Jul 21, 2013
    7
    Austra made their sound just a tiny bit poppier and more danceable and it's done them wonders. It's a very good, gothy synthpop album with excellent, operatic vocals and strong melodies.
  2. Jul 5, 2013
    9
    Just when you thought you had heard everything Austra could offer on the rather diverse 'Feel It Break', 'Olympia' comes along with a bang and offers such a magical synth-packed package you'll wish the record would never end. The band went for a more conventional synth-pop direction this time round ('We Become') but kept the quirkiness in their music ('What We Done?', 'Fire') that made us all fall in love with them. Not only the album manages to sound varied while still making the impression of a cohesive set, but also the songs themselves change in sound several times between their beginnings and endings ('Home'), making it impossible for the listener to get bored of them. Although the trio's sophomore album is much more dancey than their previous effort, it isn't short of emotional pieces; 'Olympia' sounds like the perfect bittersweet soundtrack for shedding tears on the dancefloor. Expand
  3. Jul 4, 2013
    6
    In 2011 the Canadian 3-piece released their debut album Feel It Break which was a dark and moody electronic album, it had sad overtones, which tremble into Olympia. The album, whilst having a generally more up beat sound to it, does have it's darker moments, like on album opener "What We Done", which is one of the better songs on the album. Austra remain electronic, despite the heavy piano usage throughout the album. Even with greater use of piano, the album still manages to feel dancy.

    After, "What We Done", it's not until "Home" where the album picks itself up from mediocrity. The songs in between feel a bit tired. "Home" uses the sounds of the piano well like "The Beast" did on Feel it Break.

    "I Don't Care (I'm a Man)" is soft and gentle, but it feels to short, more like an interlude, and I wish it was longer because it is one of the stronger ideas that feature on the album. The album from there turns up the "dance" but then also brings in more quiet piano, a theme in the album that sits slightly uneasily with me, it seems like they want to make a dance album, but they want to have the elegance that a piano brings, I'm not to sure.

    By far, the best song along with "Home" is "Hurt Me Now", which surprised me in being the last track. It feels like a song from Feel it Break, or I should rather say, it feels like what Olympia should have been. It's that right transition in sound, it's not as dark, but not to quiet, it's lively, you can dance to it, but it's not confused. I just wish the rest of the album was this focused.

    Overall, Austra bring a mixed bag for album number two, but one that can still be enjoyed, even though there is that thought of "What could have been?"
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Metascore
76

Generally favorable reviews - based on 26 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 24 out of 26
  2. Negative: 0 out of 26
  1. Jul 10, 2013
    80
    The plush, throbbing synths and twinkling tension that filled Feel It Break are conjured again here, but there's a subtle shift this time in the dynamic and Olympia's power lies in its marimba-infused percussion. [Aug 2013, p.93]
  2. The growth in Austra from Feel It Break to Olympia is palpable throughout.
  3. Jul 8, 2013
    70
    While the music might still be a bit detached and remote, the more collaborative nature of this record does make it easier to meet half way, as does Stelmanis’ unerring sense of pop melody, and of when to drop a 4/4 beat for maximum effect.