Only in Dreams

  • Record Label: Sub Pop
  • Release Date: Sep 27, 2011

Generally favorable reviews - based on 26 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 21 out of 26
  2. Negative: 0 out of 26
Buy On
  1. Sep 26, 2011
    Dee Dee had to change, the change was good, and it led to a fine, grown-up guitar pop record.
  2. Alternative Press
    Sep 22, 2011
    It may not be a challenging album, but it's close to pop perfection. [Oct 2011, p.107]
  3. Sep 27, 2011
    It has the feeling of a band progressing in their own rights, under their own terms.
  4. Dum Dum Girls always know exactly who they are, play on their own strengths, and leave the audience fully satisfied and happy to come back for more. Simplicity rarely sounds this good.
  5. Sep 26, 2011
    The result is a terrific, fun and most of all, genuine follow-up from one of the best surf pop bands of recent memory.
  6. Oct 24, 2011
    While I wish that Only in Dreams offered more adventurous songwriting or a more varied sound, it's still an achievement in its emotional tenacity.
  7. 80
    Some of the mid-tempo tracks towards the end of the album may slow the momentum created by the first half, yet Only In Dreams is ultimately a triumphant, self-assured release that proves the Dum Dum Girls are here to stay and will continue to evolve into full-fledged rock stars, a role they seemed destined to fill.
  8. Sep 29, 2011
    Some of the band's signature buzzsaw sound has been traded in for clever production.
  9. Sep 28, 2011
    It showcases a remarkably assured collection of songs (at times sounding like The Long Blondes do surf-pop--in no way a bad thing) as well as a real depth and maturity to songwriting that dwarfs the offerings of its home-recorded predecessor.
  10. 70
    While a grisly backstory doth not always a masterpiece make, the album's finest moments come when she takes a Misery-sized sledgehammer to the youthful irreverence of yore and reduces it to rubble.
  11. Sep 22, 2011
    While a layer of fuzz covered most of that debut, here the production is sharper and highlights Dee Dee's voice and twangy guitar lines, and her vocals are more confident and evocative.
  12. Sep 27, 2011
    With Only in Dreams, Dum Dum Girls have raised the bar.
  13. Sep 28, 2011
    Only in Dreams isn't a perfect record, but a little while down the line it might end up looking like the beginning of something--the first steps forward for the band, or perhaps a raising of the bar for this entire revival.
  14. Sep 26, 2011
    For the most part Only in Dreams is a sound that is firmly theirs.
  15. Oct 18, 2011
    This disc is all hi-fi, sonically and emotionally, piling on Phil Spector echo and Go-Go's gloss as singer-guitarist Dee Dee Penny mourns a faraway lover and a fatally sick mom
  16. Sep 22, 2011
    Gundred's richer-than-you-expect voice is the key to these jagged little pillows.
  17. Sep 27, 2011
    It's a softer side to the Dum Dum Girls, but no less catchy or insistent.
  18. Sep 27, 2011
    Dee Dee delivers an album that sounds like Chrissie Hynde backed by Hüsker Dü. Only in Dreams could make you wonder what other indie bands would jump up and thrive if only they had steamroller production.
  19. Sep 22, 2011
    Whereas their debut album, I Will Be, was scuffed by its home recording, every guitar riff, snappy rhythm and surging chorus here is polished to a gleam.
  20. 80
    Only in Dreams, the second Dum Dum Girls album, seethes with a beautiful, raging confidence, louder and fuller than anything they've done before, and better than the onetime peers they're leaving behind.
  21. Uncut
    Nov 23, 2011
    This is a dark and heartfelt affair. [Dec 2011, p.82]
User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 14 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 1
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 1
  3. Negative: 0 out of 1
  1. Sep 29, 2011
    The star of this record is the production team with a nod to Kirstin Gundred's powerful vocal performance. The first half of this record isThe star of this record is the production team with a nod to Kirstin Gundred's powerful vocal performance. The first half of this record is full of some of DDG's best ever songs, unfortunately there is a bit of a come down on the latter half that takes away some of it's momentum. Still, a very good record from a band to keep an eye on. Full Review »