Open Season


Generally favorable reviews - based on 30 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 25 out of 30
  2. Negative: 0 out of 30
  1. By adding textures, piano, acoustic guitars, and restraint, and losing some of the scowling and savagery, BSP have unleashed a truly unique pop creation, one with depth and feeling.
  2. It's a triumphant lesson in sweeping gracefully towards the mainstream with your imagination and mystery intact.
  3. Everything feels bolder than before, more assured of the rightness of singing from places that most lyricists fear to tred. In textures and words alone, 'Open Season' is a country mile ahead of any of the supposedly heroic guitar debuts knocking around in 2005.
  4. British Sea Power are not only the best band around, they’re also the best songwriters.
  5. Filter
    Open Season opts for simplicity, its plainest moments being its most transcendent, and for the most part, it carries you along. [#15, p.92]
  6. Under The Radar
    Another superb album. [#9]
  7. Whether they're prepared for it or not, 'Open Season' is set to transcend indie cliques and hardcore raving mentalist fanbases and blow BSP wide open.
  8. Blender
    Swells with grace and intrigue. [May 2005, p.116]
  9. Uncut
    Although it's a shame to see eccentrics reining in idiosyncratic impulses,... they've honed their hubris. [May 2005, p.98]
  10. This album feels alive and breathes honesty.
  11. New Musical Express (NME)
    All of this unique oddness would not, of course, mean a thing without the music, and this is an album without a single duff track. More than that, it has plenty of exceptional ones. [2 Apr 2005, p.46]
  12. Furthers the high concept lyrical talents of the group with an added twist: a more atmospheric, slightly new wave sensibility.
  13. Mojo
    Less chaotic and parochial, more serene and accessible, but no less magical. [May 2005, p.96]
  14. Alternative Press
    Open Season takes debonair glam flourishes--screaming strings, slow-building lounge-act dramatics--and contrasts them with edgy riffs and subtle hooks. [May 2005, p.172]
  15. Neatly cut and effortless in its melodic simplicity.
  16. By maintaining their singular aesthetic while venturing into more inviting pop sounds, the weirdest band from Brighton just might have become the smartest.
  17. It’s a good record, and doesn’t try to recreate The Decline, but it doesn’t manage to capture its energy, fear and grandeur.
  18. The first few songs are so jaw-slackeningly great, it can take days to get to the album's highlight, the epic eight-minute medley of "Please Stand Up" and "North Hanging Rock."
  19. British Sea Power's momentum flags down the stretch, but so long as it keeps generating songs like the hazy "Killing Moon" re-write "Like A Honeycomb," the band can return all it wants to the days of sweet sorrow.
  20. For the most part, BSP is successful in their attempt to infuse a britpop sensibility into the otherwise insipid post-punk genre.
  21. Don't look to Open Season to get your heart pounding or your blood flowing; it trades in less cathartic experiences.
  22. Febrile, idiosyncratic, epic yet fun: "Open Season" may not raise eyebrows but it has – thank God - raised the hitherto pitifully low bar for British guitar rock.
  23. Paste Magazine
    Wickedly infectious and eerily nostalgic. [#16, p.129]
  24. The smartest thing about Open Season, ultimately, is that these gents tweak their sound with more than a little subtlety and still retain the spirit of the project.
  25. Spin
    Finds these mysterious lads already advancing into their suave Roxy Music phase. [May 2005, p.102]
  26. Despite obvious talent and wit, it fails to leave more than a marginal impression.
  27. Q Magazine
    Sadly, Open Season's one-pace '80s guitar rock lags a bit behind the narrative. [May 2005, p.110]
  28. This may be a more mature effort, but in places that sound is ordinary and unadventurous.
  29. Entertainment Weekly
    The only real surprise is its wan predictability. [15 Apr 2005, p.77]
  30. The potential is definitely there, but I can't help feeling that BSP have taken a step back from the promise of their first outing.
User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 38 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 21 out of 24
  2. Negative: 0 out of 24
  1. DaveD
    Sep 10, 2009
    Absolutely outstanding album. Brimming with beautiful imagery and stunning settings, the album has a real epic quality.
  2. TJS
    Oct 15, 2007
    An excellent album. More mellow than their first effort, but more mature as well. The song "Please Stand Up" should have had major play on An excellent album. More mellow than their first effort, but more mature as well. The song "Please Stand Up" should have had major play on radio stations all across the world. And the world would have been a better place because of it. A shame it didn't happen. Look forward to their next release. Full Review »
  3. MusicMaven
    Apr 12, 2005
    A notch below their debut album, but still very good indeed. They've definitely toned down their hard edge -- nothing on Open Season A notch below their debut album, but still very good indeed. They've definitely toned down their hard edge -- nothing on Open Season rocks as hard as "Apologies To Insect Life" or even "Remember Me" from the first album. While I do miss them rocking out a bit, they've come up with some great melodies over which to sing their paeans to love, nature, and arctic ice shelves. My personal favorites at the moment are "Oh Larsen B" and "Please Stand Up" which may be their best track yet. Full Review »