Metascore
73

Generally favorable reviews - based on 23 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 18 out of 23
  2. Negative: 0 out of 23
  1. After a while shapes form and the structure of this masterpiece become clear - a wash of beautiful melodies and sumptuous chord changes that sit somewhere between George Harrison and Echo and the Bunnymen.
  2. Q Magazine
    80
    Steele may be in thrall to [Brian] Wilson and The Beatles, but his talent is precocious enough to give him his own very singluar voice. [Aug 2006, p.112]
  3. The album's most striking feature is its ability to avoid the musically obvious while still delivering golden pop melodies.
  4. Mojo
    80
    Multi-layered backing vocals and summery hooks tickle the spine with every listen. [Aug 2006, p.90]
  5. Essentially, it's "Lovers" part two.
  6. There's a theatricality that's akin to the Decemberists, but the sweet disco-bobs of "I Understand What You Want But I Just Don't Agree" and "Play a Little Bit for Love" suggest a more outwardly grandness, a notion supported by the Baz Luhrmann-aping album cover.
  7. The Sleepy Jackson have produced another album chock full of sparkling moments.
  8. Delicately layered with ornate instrumentation and hushed vocals, perfectly poised between joyful and damaged, 'Personality' sees off the previously over-obvious obsession with America's dizzy expanses and endless horizons, instead offering something infinitely more natural and personal.
  9. Paste Magazine
    80
    Occasionally his voice gets lost in the cathedral of sound, but Personality remains a joyful noise. [Sep 2006, p.78]
  10. Personality is an immediate, alluring, and frequently arresting song cycle that plays to Steele's core strengths-- his dreamily effeminate voice and melancholic melodies-- while wisely abandoning Lovers' half-hearted attempts at mod garage-rock and electro-disco.
  11. Underneath the big production, Steele writes some great melodies, and that’s the real reason that his sometimes dubious experimentations pay off.
  12. It's familiar, but ultimately too inspired to be derivative.
  13. Urb
    70
    The result is in the vein of popcraft performers Phoenix, Air and others who occupy a great deal of the Astralwerks roster. [Jul/Aug 2006, p.132]
  14. The Sleepy Jackson are an oddball treat for those who want their pop music to color outside the lines.
  15. The album is impressive, especially in small doses or when Steele reigns it in a bit, as on the pretty, bossa-nova tinged "Miles Away." As a whole, it's a sometimes exhausting listen.
  16. Spin
    70
    [Steele's] way-back machine is aimed precisely for 1985. [Aug 2006, p.85]
  17. New Musical Express (NME)
    70
    Even with the rich array of sounds, every track has an impressive immediacy and it's that balance that makes 'Personality...' so uplifting. [22 Jul 2006, p.39]
  18. Under The Radar
    70
    On Personality, Steele faces his internal and spiritual conflicts through a soundtrack recorded for the Technicolor screenplay constantly drifting in his head. [Summer 2006]
  19. Blender
    60
    He specializes in layered harmonies, not deep lyrics. [Aug 2006, p.117]
  20. Uncut
    60
    You can't help thinking that by ironing out their creases, The Sleepy Jackson have lost a little bit of their spark. [Aug 2006, p.111]
  21. Alternative Press
    60
    While Personality is all masterful and ambitious, nothing really sticks in the end. [Sep 2006, p.232]
  22. If only Steele could keep a lineup together for more than a few months and follow through with his original plan of working with producer Dave Fridmann, Personality might've risen above the level of ho-hum patchwork pastiche.
  23. Just a little less inscrutability, and this could have been a real contender.
User Score
8.5

Universal acclaim- based on 13 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 10 out of 11
  2. Negative: 0 out of 11
  1. Guy
    Jan 4, 2007
    9
    One great surprise.
  2. stephenc
    Oct 16, 2006
    9
    brilliant pop melodies. its hard to find a balance between extravagent melodies and excuisite lyrics but i believe steele has managed to do brilliant pop melodies. its hard to find a balance between extravagent melodies and excuisite lyrics but i believe steele has managed to do just that! however it does echo LOVERS, which is unfortunate. that said, still a brilliant record. Full Review »
  3. DecepticonPom
    Sep 27, 2006
    4
    Haphazard compared to the faultless debut album.