Plague Park - Handsome Furs
Metascore
72

Generally favorable reviews - based on 19 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 16 out of 19
  2. Negative: 0 out of 19
  1. The small moments are the most memorable. [Summer 2007, p.80]
  2. It’s the lyrics that truly standout.
  3. Plague Park possesses an unsightly surface layer of cluttered sound and alien screeches that require swift penetrating to enjoy the sticky gooiness that resides within.
  4. A strong new contender in the side project derby. [Jul 2007, p.168]
  5. It's almost as if, released from the role of playing less weird anchor to Spencer Krug's art rock savant, Boeckner's figured out how to maximize and expand what he does best.
  6. The nine tracks run a tad samey-same, but that's at least part of their charm. They and assert Boeckner anew as a prescient, skeptical voice, coarsely toned and draped in machine-sounding music even as he inveighs against the post-modern world--technology and urban living and traffic and so on.
  7. Plague Park is in many ways a darker, less inviting listen than his previous work.
  8. 78
    Beck-ish vocals kick through the facade of slow and steady rhythmic pacing to reveal an emotional potency hiding behind the often formulaic hum of Handsome Furs.
  9. Plague Park shows him mostly nailing the fine bristle of “Modern World” and “Same Ghost Every Night.”
  10. At their best, though, Handsome Furs do for the disaffected what the Postal Service did for sentimental Death Cab cuties: they deliver more of something not quite the same.
  11. Boeckner most excels when he works alongside someone who provides a stronger contrast. In Wolf Parade, Spencer Krug helps provide that balance; without Boeckner's typical foil, the results remain impressive, if not quite as compelling.
  12. Where Wolf Parade dips into more than their fair share of upbeat, even disco beat-driven, music, Handsome Furs instead pull back and strip down their songs.
  13. For as well as the album's minimalism works, the kind of modern disconnection that the songs tap into is definitely something that could be fleshed out more.
  14. Plague Park’s nine tracks seem to be over before they reach their potential. The record gets better as it progresses, and successive listens reveal more interesting facets to the songwriting.
  15. You probably won't remember the first time you hear Plague Park, but that's not because Boeckner and Perry have failed or their record's pleasures are few. It's simply that their goals are modest and their tools humble.
  16. In terms of Wolf Parade side projects, this one is no more trying than Swan Lake or Frog Eyes, but it's obviously nowhere near as immediate as work from the main group.
  17. In the wrong atmosphere, Plague Park is redundant and lethargic. But spin Plague Park in the right setting, on your stereo late one night in a dark, empty room, and you may find that its pervasive despondence will mingle with your disappointment, your exhaustion, your heartbreak, and somehow make you feel just a little bit better.
  18. I find myself disappointed with Plague Park despite its elusive initial luster. The good news is it’s an easy fix: Hire a band.
  19. 40
    Overall the record has the pleasantly hobbyish but inessential air of a gap year vanity project. [Jul 2007, p.103]
User Score
9.3

Universal acclaim- based on 27 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 20 out of 20
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 20
  3. Negative: 0 out of 20
  1. ChrisW
    Apr 13, 2010
    6
    it's merely OK. It's not horrible and it's not great....it just sort of is.
  2. ChristianH
    Mar 4, 2009
    9
    All songs save Dumb Animals are easy to listen to continuously. I love this CD.
  3. christianp
    Mar 15, 2008
    9
    This album is highly underrated. I'm really shocked it wasn't received better -- the songs are amazing...the album has a specific This album is highly underrated. I'm really shocked it wasn't received better -- the songs are amazing...the album has a specific feel throughout with interesting percussion parts mixed with odd synths, guitar and wonderful melodies. I feel like so many artists go for this sound but few pull it off with such ease. Full Review »