Re-Arrange Us - Mates of State
Re-Arrange Us Image
Metascore
71

Generally favorable reviews - based on 15 Critics What's this?

User Score
8.4

Universal acclaim- based on 7 Ratings

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  • Summary: The fifth album for the married duo from Kansas.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 11 out of 15
  2. Negative: 1 out of 15
  1. Here's a couple that turns in a strong fifth LP. Kori Gardner (keys, vox) and Jason Hammel (drums, vox) keep their cheery, indie rock, boy-girl harmonies intact while simultaneously exorcising any relationship-related demons that may lurk in their Connecticut home.
  2. With their fifth disc, the duo are still effervescent, if a bit more lyrically plaintive. [13 2008, p.69]
  3. Gardner and Hammel haven’t come close to exhausting their songwriting prowess, and Re-Arrange Us is probably their most appealing album to date.
  4. 80
    Building considerably on the subtle expansion of 2006's "Bring It Back," the powerhouse Re-Arrange Us is both natural progression and quantum leap. [Summer 2008, p.107]
  5. Listening to this record is a pleasure. [Summer 2008]
  6. The formula isn't quite as fresh here as it has been on previous outings; after a few tracks, the amped-up glee-club vibe can begin to wear on all but the most devoted of nerves.
  7. The Mates recapture a bit of brio of 'The Re-Arranger' and 'Help Help,' but the rest of Re-Arrange Us is only useful for putting the kids to sleep.

See all 15 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 5 out of 5
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 5
  3. Negative: 0 out of 5
  1. BryanB.
    Jun 11, 2008
    10
    Honestly, I have no idea - none - what the negative reviewers are listening to...or hearing. I've been listening intently to music since Honestly, I have no idea - none - what the negative reviewers are listening to...or hearing. I've been listening intently to music since I was 5 (1967), and, while any attempt at reviewing art is largely subjective, The Re-Arranger is packed with 2 essential ingredients that any great work must have: beautiful craft and TRANSCENDENCE. Skilled magic. Gone are the overly-quirky and semi-annoying moments of much of their past work. Here is a band on top of their game, creating beautiful melodies without resorting to a formula...it's inspired. And confident. What a rare gift. Mates of State - kudos to you both for this effort. The Re-Arranger never fails to make me smile with happiness and wonder. CD of the year so far for me. Expand
  2. JeremyF
    May 23, 2008
    9
    Not their best album, but I definitely love it. There's not truly a bad track here, and it shows at least some sort of growth. I wrote a Not their best album, but I definitely love it. There's not truly a bad track here, and it shows at least some sort of growth. I wrote a larger review on sputnik, so I won't get back into detail. Basically: Get Better, The ReArranger, and Help Help are the best tracks. Every song is catchy and likable. And easy to listen to. This is a nice cd. Expand
  3. CameronS.
    May 25, 2008
    9
    They're back! Every song is beautifully crafted with catchy melodies and biting piano and drums. I do miss the organ, but Kori more than They're back! Every song is beautifully crafted with catchy melodies and biting piano and drums. I do miss the organ, but Kori more than makes up for it with awesome synth and piano. As a long time Mates fan, I had to get over the initial shock of how different it is, but I love the new sound. Favorites are "My Only Offer", "The Re-Arranger", and "Blue and Gold Print". If you are a mates fan, buy it now! If you are new to the mates, you won't be disappointed! Expand
  4. JonL.
    May 23, 2008
    8
    A hooky, confectioner's sugar-sweet collection of excellent indie pop.
  5. ColinG.
    Jun 25, 2008
    7
    Although many of the riffs sound like they were written with Kori simply screwing around on the keyboard, Mates of State fans will not be Although many of the riffs sound like they were written with Kori simply screwing around on the keyboard, Mates of State fans will not be disappointed. However, it's hard to fathom this album actually winning anyone new over. Whereas "Bring It Back" held so much promise as the couple finally had good production and more focused songwriting, this album seems altogether lost in the duo's own dynamics. Elements obviously intended to be hooks, such as the ultra-repetitive "Now," come off as obnoxious and intrusive, and the album is difficult to be enjoyed as it almost seems to demand attention from the listener. There are some beautiful tracks on the album though, and they have obviously progressed as artists with the introduction of new instrumentation, but it is still very much Mates of State, and the album may suffer because of that attempt to hold on to their lo-fi, cutesy past. Expand