Post Tropical

  • Record Label: Vagrant
  • Release Date: Jan 14, 2014
Metascore
78

Generally favorable reviews - based on 22 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 19 out of 22
  2. Negative: 0 out of 22
Buy On
  1. 85
    Post Tropical has lots of vivid imagery, much drawn from the great outdoors, but throughout the LP’s duration, there’s always a strident theme of strength.
  2. Mar 27, 2014
    80
    Post Tropical’s lush horn arrangements, rare but welcome returns to guitar fiddling and overall sense of restraint keep it warm, woozy and with one toe still in the folk realm.
  3. Mar 13, 2014
    80
    Post Tropical should gain McMorrow plenty of new fans, and it certainly won’t lose him any.
  4. Mar 10, 2014
    80
    While there was always an arctic edge to McMorrow--for which he has his ghostly falsetto at least partly to thank--Post Tropical only deepens the powerful sense of cold and chill that cloaks his work.
  5. Feb 3, 2014
    80
    Its delicacy and sentimentality may strike a cheesy note on first listen, but Post-Tropical is a definite grower.
  6. Mojo
    Jan 23, 2014
    80
    He's made a dramatic leap between first and second album as profound and unexpected as that of John Grant. [Feb 2014, p.96]
  7. Alternative Press
    Jan 17, 2014
    80
    The Irish singer/songwriter demonstrates both his versatility and magnificence by wrapping his voice around 10 delicate but different songs. [Feb 2014, p.92]
  8. Jan 14, 2014
    80
    Haunting and heartening, the record is a powerful follow-up, that feels like just the beginning.
  9. 80
    His latest, instead, is rife with sumptuous arrangements steeped in gorgeous layers of piano and organ, with much subtler licks of guitar sliding in like skin on silk sheets.
  10. Jan 13, 2014
    80
    Fans of James Blake's Overgrown and Bon Iver's self-titled second album should find this appealing, but this stands apart from both those records. It's not only smart, it's honest, emotionally and musically.
  11. As we glide through Post Tropical the tracks steadily grow bigger, with gospel-style harmonies and languid slide guitar lending texture to create a dreamy, if cold, soundscape that may leave some with a sense of frustration, as if we are building towards an ever-shifting point on the horizon.
  12. Jan 13, 2014
    80
    There's a multitracked theatricality to songs such as Gold and Looking Out, which costs him some of the shiver factor of more understated peers, but delivers moments of magnificence too.
  13. Jan 10, 2014
    80
    The musical evolution McMorrow has shown on this record will hopefully expand his audience across genres.
  14. Jan 10, 2014
    80
    Both chilly and warm, soulful and soft, Post Tropical is an intricate ice sculpture of an album, and a fantasy come true for anyone who's ever misted up over Maxwell's version of "This Woman's Work."
  15. 75
    This album moves and soothes, if it does anything at all.
  16. Jan 21, 2014
    71
    With its deliberate, languorous pleasures, this is an album to live with, settle with and be crisply rejuvenated by.
  17. Uncut
    Jan 15, 2014
    70
    Oddly, this works a treat. [Feb 2014, p.77]
  18. 70
    Post Tropical is an intriguing and rewarding contribution to the alt R&B movement.
  19. Jan 10, 2014
    70
    Post Tropical succeeds in proving that music is often at its most compelling when it can't be compared or reduced to much of anything at all.
  20. Jan 10, 2014
    60
    McMorrow's new direction is so sweetly sentimental it makes Alt-J sound like NWA.
  21. Jan 10, 2014
    60
    McMorrow has shaken off the folk singer with a guitar tag to give us an album pregnant with intrigue, creativity and diversity.
  22. Jan 13, 2014
    50
    Over ten tracks and 40 minutes, Post Tropical never picks up any steam, never comes to life. Mere gorgeousness is, it turns out, not quite enough to sustain a record.
User Score
8.0

Generally favorable reviews- based on 26 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 4 out of 4
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 4
  3. Negative: 0 out of 4
  1. Sep 22, 2014
    7
    With 2010's "Early in the Morning", JVM delivered a fine debut, even if it was a rather typical singer songwriter affair. 3 and a bit yearsWith 2010's "Early in the Morning", JVM delivered a fine debut, even if it was a rather typical singer songwriter affair. 3 and a bit years later he returns with a record that goes in a really surprising direction and while this is to be admired, the "new" sound has Bon Iver written all over it. It's a solid and enjoyable album but it does take repeated listens to get into before it starts to bloom (for me anyway). Many of the tracks take an eternity to build but are generally worth bearing with. The same could be said for the album in general - I found the final two tracks to be where the album really kicked on with "Glacier" and "Outside, Writing". I'm not sure what this album will do for his fanbase - could attract a whole raft of material starved Bon Iver fans but could also alienate the more mainstream singer songwriter market he made inroads into with his debut. He's taken a risky step with this one. I can't really say whether it has been a worthwhile risk. Full Review »
  2. Apr 24, 2014
    8
    A lot of people have compared this guy to James Blake and Bon Iver. While he does clearly borrow some ideas from them, he does keeps thingsA lot of people have compared this guy to James Blake and Bon Iver. While he does clearly borrow some ideas from them, he does keeps things mostly original. Instead of electronica or fok, James leads us on an album journey of neo-soul. Great harmonized falsettos, pianos, electronic melodies, light guitar and drum machines. A rather emotive album, mainly due to the passion in his voice. Where this is most apparent are on the simplest tracks, with just him and his piano. Other parts are a little more complex, with horn fills, string sections and crescendo builds. It's not a easy album to get into initially, but once you give it a few listens, and let the pretty good lyrics win you over as well, it's an easy album to like. Best tracks for me are Cavalier, Red Dust, Look Out and Post Tropical. Full Review »
  3. Feb 5, 2014
    8
    Vivid, dreamy, soulful, and adorned with soft instrumental arrangements, James Vincent McMorrow's second album provides listeners with aVivid, dreamy, soulful, and adorned with soft instrumental arrangements, James Vincent McMorrow's second album provides listeners with a gentle and refreshening alternative sound. Delicate and unobtrusive, the instrumentation allows McMorrow to showcase his absolutely astounding voice without making it overbearing (which it definitely has the potential to be). Although the album may drag on at times, it ultimately provides less than 40 minutes of a beautiful and budding musical thought process. Think of it as a palate cleanser for the ear, transitioning from 2013 - that busy year for music - to whatever 2014 has in store for us.

    FINAL SCORE: 75 (pretty good----------o----------great)
    Full Review »