Our Ill Wills

  • Record Label: Merge
  • Release Date: Sep 11, 2007

Generally favorable reviews - based on 20 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 13 out of 20
  2. Negative: 0 out of 20
  1. Our Ill Wills surpasses the band’s 2005 debut "Howl Howl Gaff Gaff" because it takes modest chances and expands on the band’s strengths, doing so cordially all the while.
  2. Shout Out Louds are back, in style.
  3. The SOLs are skilled at crafting songs rooted in striking specificity.
  4. Between them, Stenborg and Yttling ensure that Our Ill Wills doesn’t sink under the weight of Olenius’ unremitting melancholy or monochromatic tonalities.
  5. It's frustrating, because if you took Our Ill Wills' best moments and condensed them into an EP we'd easily be talking an eight or nine, but as it is, the second Shout Out Louds LP is a Jekyll and Hyde record that ultimately flatters to deceive.
  6. Our Ill Wills is an impressive, depressive album that could scare away all but their hardiest fans in one 48-minute swoop.
  7. Our Ill Wills is a consistently stronger, more cohesive collection than its predecessor, and it positions Shout Out Louds as a more extroverted and more accessible contemporary to Arcade Fire and another recent example of the compelling pop music coming out of Sweden.
  8. 86
    While there’s nothing as instantly catchy as Howl Howl Gaff Gaff’s hits, the sweeping grandeur of Our Ill Wills is infectious, with every song benefiting from just the right amount of orchestral glow.
  9. Say what you will about influences on sleeves, this is pop music at its best: nostalgic and angst-ridden, but ultimately life-affirming. Shout Out Louds have found a winning formula.
  10. Producer Bjorn Yttling, who brings in his Peter Bjorn & John bandmate John Eriksson and, on many of these 12 tracks, a full string section to add a kind of lush power to the group's melodic drone.
  11. With such tight songs and a loose but relatable theme, Shout Out Louds easily avoids a sophomore slump--the new album is, in fact, stronger than the first
  12. Unlike on "Howl Howl Gaff Gaff," the good songs don’t stop with these two front-runners. Throughout the album, the band manages to shift between shades of regret and celebratory carelessness with a growing expertise.
  13. At times, Shout Out Louds sounds like a bunch of former high-school band geeks trying to recreate their record collections. And on songs like the wistful, vaguely tropical 'South America,' they sound like they're in a cavernous lecture hall, describing how they spent their summer vacation.
  14. Under The Radar
    Our Ill Wills is generally an album of dispair and longing. [Summer 2007, p.77]
  15. 60
    Borrowing liberally and transparently from Bright Eyes, the Cure and mid-1960s chamber pop, the band sublimates familiar expressions of indie gloom with string flourishes and twink­ling piano lines, giving Olenius both a shoulder to cry on and, in soaring songs like 'Tonight I Have to Leave It,' a source of joy.
  16. Q Magazine
    While hopes of stardom might have passed, there are a few minor gems in here. [June 2008, p.148]
  17. Spin
    Frontman Adam Olenius lobs his bon mots over tunes that borrow from Beck, the Velvet Underground, Bright Eyes, and the Cure. But when Olenius waxes roantic and serves up yet another ace, it's hard to complain. [Oct 2007, p.110]
  18. Our Ill Wills is not quite substantial enough to change anybody's life, but its loveliest moments certainly make living more worthwhile.
  19. Our Ill Wills is a good pop album. Now go make your own.
  20. I don’t like it. I don’t hate it. And that’s the truth exactly.
User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 12 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 2 out of 2
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 2
  3. Negative: 0 out of 2
  1. EoinG
    Oct 26, 2007
    Our Ill wills opens with what will be one of the indie pop tracks of the year Tonight I have to Leave it, immediately toe tapping and Our Ill wills opens with what will be one of the indie pop tracks of the year Tonight I have to Leave it, immediately toe tapping and thoughtfully arranged as it introduces each instrument, layer on layer, each uplifting the next to a bellxylophone like percussion that only makes you smile. They move onto to more catchy tracks that trip you along joyfully. You are going to hear references to the Cure (happy version) in reviews, due to vocals and melody style but there are Beautiful South and The Smiths influences there too. No masterpiece but a really enjoyable album, a hooky happy meal ,but they hold the cheese to make it (cr)edible - sorry! Full Review »
  2. RodneyO
    Oct 3, 2007
    "Our Ill Wills" delivers on the incredibly high standards set forth by the bands debut disc.