They mix in a little cool, fuzzy ambiance ("Papers"), a bit of throb and feedback ("Ultraviolent Men"), and some soul infusion ("How Could You") for a wonderfully spacious, energetic album that belongs right beside any of the others that may have influenced The M's.
Following their first two crunching and careening albums, it may seem as if the M's have lowered the bar for themselves, but through all the detours they've made an album that sounds more like themselves than any previous work.
Modern touches aside, many of the songs fall somewhere between the Stones' "Exile on Main Street," minus the desperation, and the Kinks classics " Village Green Preservation Society" and "Muswell Hillbillies."
The more mature and considered approach the band utilizes on Real Close Ones might make for a deeper, more adult sound, but it's hard not to miss the careening thrill ride the band delivered on "Future Women."
Things go slightly south with wedged-in jokes, but if you overlook those interruptions there's enough fuzzed-out fun and tender, Shins-like classicism to transcend any retro trappings. [July 2008, p.100]