Random Spirit Lover - Sunset Rubdown

Generally favorable reviews - based on 19 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 15 out of 19
  2. Negative: 0 out of 19
  1. Fans of "Blackberry Way"-era Move, Berlin-era Bowie, late-period Of Montreal, and the Danielson Famile will eat this up like the candy it is.
  2. With twelve songs running just about an hour in length, Random Spirit Lover really starts to wear out its welcome during the latter third to quarter. Fans of their past work will definitely find lots to love here, and they will likely gain a few converts, but I still wish they'd focus a bit more.
  3. Krug tests the patience of even the most tolerant listener via a convoluted and self-indulgent mess of music that occasionally--and seemingly accidently--stumbles across moments of brilliance. [Nov 2007, p.163]
  4. It bears all the signs of an artistic statement, stretching for meaning even as it reconstitutes and tears at the corners of its component definitions. It is both complete and incomplete; logical and wayward; good and, yeah, bad.
  5. The album is packed with impressive musicianship, a great attention to detail, melodic lines backed with beautiful harmonies and countless powerful moments.
  6. As with so many of rock's finer moments, the beauty’s in the overreach, and while newcomers to Krug’s idiosyncratic style may find it easier to warm to the more accessible leanings of the Wolf Parade record, for everyone else, this is essential stuff.
  7. 90
    Random Spirit Lover even crushes "Beast Moans" at points, its arrangements meatier and more satisfying, with an off-kilter Disney otherworldliness and kudzu-dense overlapping keyboards.
  8. 40
    Krug's non-stop croaking yells get old quickly, and the few highlights are hardly worth sitiing through an hour of Renaissance Faire-y meandering. [Fall 2007, p.108]
  9. Grounded enough to know the limits of the listener (songs meander, but only to the confines of their ideas, never tiring out a single theme), but more than adventurous enough to remain extremely exciting.
  10. Spencer Krug is blessed with an extremely creative mind, and in this album he unleashes it full-throttle. While it's less accessible than his work with Wolf Parade, this disc may still manage to overshadow his more famous band's efforts.
  11. But while Random Spirit Lover is dense and thorny-- even opaque, at times--it's never haphazard.
  12. The shrewdly crafted Random Spirit Lover is the most satisfying batch of songs Krug has ever released.
  13. Crafting a decidedly more difficult record was likely something Krug intended, considering these songs seamlessly segue in and out of each other. That means some parts sound almost superfluous, as if they were written expressly to maintain this continuity. Still, the effect succeeds far more often than it fails.
  14. 70
    Their creepy, absorbing third album brims with the brittle pop practiced by everyone from Sparks to Arcade Fire. [Nov. 2007, p.125]
  15. If you’re already among the converted, Random Spirit Lover is a second straight masterpiece from arguably the most talented songwriter of this generation.
  16. Sporting more burps and squiggles per square inch than your average rumpus room, Lover teems with intricate guitars, icing-sweet synthesizers, and Krug's delicately chiseled harmonies.
  17. His music’s dynamic, but his voice lacks range and variety. Krug sings emotionally, but not responsively.
  18. This difference means Random Spirit Lover is harder to digest than its predecessor, but all the more rewarding upon repeated listens. [Fall 2007, p.76]
  19. Lover's defects stem less from long length than from how densely Krug packs each nervous tic.
User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 52 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 21 out of 22
  2. Negative: 0 out of 22
  1. Jul 11, 2013
    I must say that it has been a long road for me to finally come around listening to Sunset Rubdown (and Wolf Parade for that matter), and I must say I am very impressed. This album is a beast to challenge no doubt. It is lengthy, perhaps a bit "proggy" in its pace anyhow, and downright complex and swirling for the most part. Its just amazing to me that heading into my twelfth or so listen there is still so much to uncover here, both in terms of melodies and downright amazing musicianship. Spencer Krug, after years of distant, uneducated, and vague disdain of his work, I can now proudly admit myself a convert. He's a brilliant songwriter, composer, etc...and this album is downright addicting and intoxicating if given the proper time and patience. Full Review »
  2. GuyH
    Dec 6, 2007
    Anyone who posted a negative comment after less than 10 listens is completely missing the point of this music. This is not a pop record. Strangely I think the album runs almost in reverse quality order - I really rate the last 5 songs! Complex but perseverance pays. Full Review »
  3. JimmyF
    Dec 4, 2007
    76?! Are you kidding me? This is not only the greatest release I've heard all year, it's one of the best albums I've ever heard. These critics need to pull their heads out of their arses long enough to let this album sink in. This isnt a record you play at a dance party, you need to sit down and absorb it track by track. Brilliant! Full Review »