Psychic - Darkside
Metascore
79

Generally favorable reviews - based on 22 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 19 out of 22
  2. Negative: 0 out of 22
  1. When it's all said and done, I have a feeling Jaar's solo career won't be the only thing he's known for, as Psychic has put Darkside up there with some of the best groups making music today.
  2. Oct 7, 2013
    70
    A self-titled EP in 2011 yielded three lengthy songs of the duo's wild combination of airy atmospheres and menacing fuzz, but debut full-length Psychic moves into more compositional territory, though it remains drifty and narcotic in ways similar to its predecessor.
  3. Oct 3, 2013
    80
    All dark atmospherics and empty space, Jaar’s spectral production for collaborative project Darkside creates the void where rhythm, and seemingly time, are allowed to infinitely float on.
  4. 90
    They’re challenging listeners to look at music and dance with a completely renewed lens, to forget what was normal and move on with an urge to protest what’s formulated. Admittedly, that’s a frightening and difficult feat, but also unforgettable once accomplished. One might use the same descriptors for Psychic.
  5. Oct 3, 2013
    80
    Electronic in the loosest, most deformed sense, Psychic rips up convention from the seams to the centre.
  6. Oct 14, 2013
    70
    For a record that wears its retro influences so openly, Psychic is surprisingly forward-thinking.
  7. Nov 5, 2013
    80
    While some may find it a little self-indulgent, judged in its entirety the depth of sound and overall arrangement are nothing short of masterful.
  8. Oct 11, 2013
    80
    If it is meant to be a Pink Floyd homage, then it's an entertaining and highly distinctive one. [Nov 2013, p.84]
  9. Oct 10, 2013
    80
    It can sound like a mish mosh of the obscure record collection of a New Yorker-reading, Ivy League graduate, and one who knows how to have fun just as well as he knows philosophical theory.
  10. 70
    As a whole, it’s winningly Lynchian, and ballsy enough to open with an 11-minute song.
  11. Oct 7, 2013
    90
    The prismatic, black-lit aura of their fascinating, endlessly explorable debut Psychic doesn’t try to stop anyone from making that connection and if you spot Jaar’s stated influences of Can and Richie Hawtin, that’s fine too: rarely has a record held such appeal for the high-minded while welcoming the simply high-minded.
  12. Oct 28, 2013
    60
    Psychic isn’t quite rock, but it does lean more heavily on backbeats, guitars, and occasionally even traditional song structure than any of Jaar’s previous work. The vocals are even clear at times.
  13. 83
    Psychic’s gloriously protracted exhales leave you no choice but to slow down and move at its pace.
  14. Oct 10, 2013
    70
    Psychic doesn't quite burn itself into your memory.
  15. Oct 3, 2013
    80
    Psychic is perfectly executed, impenetrable.
  16. Oct 10, 2013
    80
    Jaar has always been at his best when indulging his most serious traits, and Psychic is a solemn, autumnal affair--a perfect accompaniment to the nights drawing in.
  17. 80
    Field recordings, earthly elements, human murmurs and heavy breathing mix seamlessly with synthesizers, drums and keyboards to produce a meditative enlightenment, with Jaar and Harrington creating an album based on opposites, successfully uniting the natural with the unnatural.
  18. 60
    The only fusion too far here is Paper Trails, a blues-funk digression from this otherwise elegant experiment: closing track Metatron marries blues and sci-fi much better.
  19. Oct 31, 2013
    90
    The sound of Psychic is meticulous and luscious.
  20. Oct 10, 2013
    60
    Psychic simply doesn’t leave a lasting memory when one considers the work as a whole.
  21. Oct 8, 2013
    70
    Over the long haul, it occasionally falls in the nebulous place twixt atmospheric and song, but "Paper Trails"--the Delta blues seen through an xx-like electronic sheen--is a thing of fine-wrought beauty. [Nov 2013, p.68]
  22. Oct 24, 2013
    80
    While its creators may disagree on categorization, one thing's for sure: whatever Psychic is, it's fascinating.
User Score
8.6

Universal acclaim- based on 62 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 7 out of 7
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 7
  3. Negative: 0 out of 7
  1. Oct 9, 2013
    9
    Really surprised this album isn't getting better reviews. Such a badass album that couldn't have been released at a better time of the year (Fall, Halloween). This has been on loop for me since it was made available. Full Review »
  2. Nov 16, 2013
    10
    You know when an album starts with an 11 minute track, it will not be as accessible as any other album. I love the mix of electro and Rock, it sounds gorgeous! Very dark, down tempo and spacy. It is one of the best thing I've heard in any recent release. Full Review »
  3. Oct 10, 2013
    10
    The beauty of music is that You never know from where the real surprise shall come. I have always kinda respected Nicolas Jaar's creative powers but never really subscribed to his music. Now it is different. From very first listening through tenth and more now I am more and more sure that I deal with a masterpiece. I would call it a froward masterpiece in a sense it brings us to the possible future of electronica. Jaar shows how to bring a bridge between modern music technology and traditional instruments and ways of playing. The result is addictive. Interestingly, so called users (on different portals I visited) usually score this album better than critics. This is also a sign of change. Full Review »