Personal Life - The Thermals
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Generally favorable reviews - based on 27 Critics What's this?

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Generally favorable reviews- based on 5 Ratings

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  • Summary: Portland's indie-punk trio's fifth album is full of fist-pumping rock anthems about relationships and regret.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 18 out of 27
  2. Negative: 0 out of 27
  1. It's a sea change, in terms of the band's sound; their previous albums' hyper-political, sturm und drang punk fury is almost entirely gone, replaced by easygoing power-pop more akin to fellow Pacific Northwesterners Built to Spill. And this pump-the-brakes approach to songwriting yields some of their strongest, most emotionally resonant work yet.
  2. During the course of 10 catchy, snappy, lo-fi pop-punk songs, an incredibly personal, heartfelt narrative unfolds, full of ups and downs. [Oct 2010, p.120]
  3. Dec 20, 2010
    Terse songwriting and Hutch Harris's emotionally strained vocals create a liberating sense of urgency--and there's something both modest and succinct about a 32-minute album in the age of infinite MP3s. [Dec 2010, p.115]
  4. Personal Life is absorbing and entertaining the first few times through, but many may not find it as engaging as the Thermals' best work.
  5. Personal Life is hardly a failure; much of it is excellent. But it's also missing that anger-meets-energy urgency that made the Thermals' early albums so undeniable.
  6. Dec 22, 2010
    Earworms are decidedly less abundant than normal, though, sad to say.
  7. There isn't a song here that truly rises above the rest, and nothing here is as offensive as anything you'd hear at a stop on the Warped Tour.

See all 27 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 3 out of 3
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 3
  3. Negative: 0 out of 3
  1. Sep 27, 2010
    Saw the Thermals live when 'the body the blood and the machine' came out... bought the album. Saw them when 'now we can see came out'... bought the album. Just saw them live tonight... the songs off this album were particularly awesome. My god I love this band, but I think this is their best yet. Expand
  2. Sep 7, 2010
    Personal Life is my introduction to The Thermals. It's an instantly engaging collection of post punk chunks and effortlessly carries a charismatic yet inwardly focused quality reminiscent of bands like Interpol and Mountain Goats. I'm excited by the discovery and the knowledge that this is the bands fifth full-length release, finds me eagerly seeking it's predecessors. Expand
  3. Sep 10, 2010
    'Personal Life' is a change of pace for the Thermals and is to be distinguished from their previous works. Where the group achieved greatness on 'the Body, the Blood, the Machine' where high energy adrenaline pumping riffs and vocal hooks, the tunes on 'Personal Life' are slowed down and more mellowed out. Much of the result is enjoyable pop punk, but some tracks truly leave something to be desired. It seems to me that the group is trying to develop a new and more complex sound, and whilst i appreciate this ambition, the jury is still out on whether they have the requisite skills to repeat the kind of success they have had with past albums.

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