Optica

  • Record Label: Merge
  • Release Date: Feb 26, 2013
Metascore
69

Generally favorable reviews - based on 17 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 11 out of 17
  2. Negative: 0 out of 17
Buy On
  1. Feb 26, 2013
    80
    Thanks to the production, the overall strength of the songs, and the quietly intense energy the bandmembers put into their performances, Optica is a welcome return to form and solidifies Shout Out Louds' position as one of the best indie pop bands of their era.
  2. Alternative Press
    Feb 26, 2013
    80
    It might not be Disintegration, but Optica confirms these Swedes as worthy acolytes. [Mar 2013, p.93]
  3. Feb 27, 2013
    70
    Shout Out Louds have produced a great, light-hearted and warm album that will lift your spirits, mellow you out and make you dance.
  4. 60
    With the jazz-flute-driven “Walking In Your Footsteps” rounding out the highlights, it’s these tracks that radiate the most, but the whole LP serves as a welcome illumination of the otherwise abandoned dance floor we call February.
  5. Feb 26, 2013
    70
    There’s palpable relief when ‘Sugar’ gets proceedings underway and the thinking is all; 'Yes, Shout Out Louds, yes, this is how you start a record'--no dilly, precious little dally, instead wham-bam-slam straight into this behemoth of a pop tune.
  6. Mar 28, 2013
    76
    Another collection of pop spells that beguile...here’s to at least 10 more years.
  7. Magnet
    Mar 15, 2013
    55
    It boasts Wembley-sized sound and a few huge singles that aspire to confuse Stockholm for a UK colony. [No. 96, p.59]
  8. 70
    OK, at Disneyland. Yes, on drugs.
  9. Mar 26, 2013
    70
    For the most part, though, Shout Out Louds match their musical grandeur with emotional grandeur. And messy romanticism is their natural milieu.
  10. Feb 26, 2013
    58
    Much like its predecessor, Optica's pervasive mildness doesn't give you much to latch onto.
  11. Mar 8, 2013
    50
    The songs on Optica are a second, more confident assertion of this workmanlike incarnation of the band, but they still feel impermeable.
  12. Q Magazine
    May 13, 2013
    60
    Functional yet uninspiring, Optica is pop as Ikea catalog. [Jun 2013, p.104]
  13. Feb 27, 2013
    66
    The better they’ve gotten at refining their craft, at writing the perfect chorus and combining them seamlessly with organic, vivid sonics, the further away they’ve gotten from the wounded empathy that drove their earlier records. At least ice burns. Optica too often feels like nothing at all.
  14. Feb 26, 2013
    83
    Some Shout Out Louds songs are merely pleasant, but others--like Optica’s “14th Of July”--are a real rush, building from stinging art-funk to choruses that erupt, spectacularly.
  15. May 9, 2013
    60
    In the end, it’s all a little too demure to really shout out loud about.
  16. 70
    For fans of expertly crafted summer toe-tappers, its gifts are ample enough for a summer fling, although perhaps few will be looking for more.
  17. Feb 28, 2013
    80
    Bigger, richer, and more fun than its predecessor, Optica drips with hyperactive lyrics, icy synths, and string arrangements.
User Score
8.0

Generally favorable reviews- based on 6 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 1
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 1
  3. Negative: 0 out of 1
  1. Mar 5, 2013
    8
    Never cared for The Shout Out Louds before. But, this album Optica is like Cocteau Twins perfected. It is yet another album in a long lineNever cared for The Shout Out Louds before. But, this album Optica is like Cocteau Twins perfected. It is yet another album in a long line of 80s electronic retro to come out in recent years (see Drive Soundtrack, Kavinsky, Divine Fits, Kaiser Chiefs, etc.). Optica feels like a well-thought-out ode to that era of music. Songs are restrained, well-written and easy to listen to. The instrumentals are so good, the singing frequently gets in the way. This will take a few more listens, but, one of the better albums in early 2013. Full Review »