Quarantine - Laurel Halo

Generally favorable reviews - based on 20 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 18 out of 20
  2. Negative: 0 out of 20
  1. Jun 7, 2012
    Her best and most cohesive work to date.
  2. May 30, 2012
    The results are nothing short of magnificent, producing a set of tracks whose fizzing surfaces are always disturbed by some new action just beneath, where ridges of static ruffle and tumble over one another, and where harsh regions of higher density sluice violently into the foreground.
  3. Here is an album that's neither forgettable nor empty.
  4. Jun 7, 2012
    There's still an eerie distortion saturating Halo's vocals, as has become her trademark. But the prominence of her singing here is almost jarring, raw, practically emotive.
  5. Jun 6, 2012
    It's this theme of genuine imperfection that allows Quarantine to come off as an exposed, wounded masterwork.
  6. 80
    With this record Laurel Halo has created a strong work that, while being notable and challenging for its unusual, compact combination of pop, ambience and musique concrète, is also immersive and enjoyable for this exact reason.
  7. Jun 4, 2012
    There's an alertness and sense of movement within these carefully crafted soundscapes.
  8. May 31, 2012
    The prettiness may seem surprising given the violence of the subject matter, but this is tempered by a growing sense of unease, and it grows in power with repeated listens.
  9. May 30, 2012
    It's conflicted, ambivalent, complex.
  10. May 30, 2012
    What takes shape is a solid, unflinching artistic statement, an effort at moments challenging and bizarre, and at others dreamy and utterly inviting.
  11. 60
    Quarantine is less concerned with the tropes of olde world dance music, more fixated on gloopy post-club ambience.
  12. May 30, 2012
    It ends up being a mixed bag of give and take, but as an assault on all senses it always manages to succeed.
  13. Jul 25, 2012
    Quarantine is the addictive soundtrack to some kind of science fiction nightmare.
  14. Jul 24, 2012
    It's pervaded by numbness, claustrophobia, pain intensified to the point of dissociation. [Jun 2012, p.49]
  15. Jul 19, 2012
    An extraordinary, multi-layered, attention-grabbing record. [Aug 2012, p.87]
  16. Jul 5, 2012
    If albums could have Nutrition Facts, Quarantine would lack the vitamins and minerals we normally associate with Laurel Halo's production, but it's hard to dislike the album entirely because, after all, she's still quite skillful at making her Metal Gear Solid-esque ambiences seize and enrapture us with their swirling, bubbling drones.
  17. Jun 25, 2012
    What ultimately hits hardest is the aesthetic singularity of everything here.
  18. Jun 21, 2012
    For those of us undeterred by Halo's vocal approach, Quarantine is an often breathtaking piece of emotive reverie that stands sonically as one of the year's more consistently inviting ambient LPs.
  19. Jun 21, 2012
    Brutal, violent and disturbing though it may be, its surreal hybrid of human and simulation has some strange beauty to it.
  20. Jun 12, 2012
    Halo's voice, pronounced in the mix, artfully mangled, purposely unperfect, reaching at unreachable notes, and occasionally beautiful, is far from a relief. Whether this is riveting or off-putting is for each listener to decide.
User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 13 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 2 out of 2
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 2
  3. Negative: 0 out of 2
  1. Dec 27, 2013
    There isn't anything out there that sounds like Quarantine, not even Laurel Halo's previous work. Unlike other human/machine hybrids the sound produced here isn't some cyborg with fully integrated elements smoothly conjoined, but a frisson between Laurel Halo's fallible almost awkward vocals and the Sci-fi sounds her battery of audio equipment produces. It's this awkwardness which makes the album so good but difficult too, which may mean it'll alienate as many people as it entrances, which would be a shame 'cos there is a lot to enjoy here. Take a chance and get infected. Full Review »
  2. Jul 7, 2013
    Easily one of the queasiest albums in recent memory, Halo's attempt to unify her sound and provide an entry work into her past works courtesy of Hyperdub, coming off a sterling year this can be equal parts off-putting and utterly enthralling. The main element here is Halo's voice, which she wields like The Knife and manipulates to no end; a child-like coo here, abrasive atonalities there, a warm wash when the moment calls for it. For an electronic album, there is little in the way of a beat, and the grappling with ideas can be frustrating, but hard work will win the day, and this album's secrets will be solved one day. Full Review »