Return To The Sea

User Score
8.3

Universal acclaim- based on 43 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 36 out of 43
  2. Negative: 1 out of 43

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  1. matta
    Apr 14, 2006
    9
    Tiny Mix Tapes: Go Fuck Yourself. I think you got your blurb mixed up. It should read that for every mediocre track there are three or four classics, and the score should be, what else, a 9. Case in point: Swans, Humans, Don't Call Me Whitney Bobby, and Rough Gem-all classics. Then we have Tsuxlit, which is by no means a failure; just not as strong as what comes after it or precedes Tiny Mix Tapes: Go Fuck Yourself. I think you got your blurb mixed up. It should read that for every mediocre track there are three or four classics, and the score should be, what else, a 9. Case in point: Swans, Humans, Don't Call Me Whitney Bobby, and Rough Gem-all classics. Then we have Tsuxlit, which is by no means a failure; just not as strong as what comes after it or precedes it. Where There's A Will...., Jogging Gorgeous Summer, Volcanoes, and If continue the streak of genius, and then Ones, another mediocre track (okay, this one isn't good). Ends on the pretty good note of Renaud, and what we have is an album quite a bit stronger than The Unicorns album. Currenlty in my top ten of the year. Expand
  2. ashisawesome
    Apr 14, 2006
    9
    I think Tiny Mix Tapes is really full of shit and helps only to sabotage the second coming of these guys. Mix Tapes is about them... not about the music. Dont allow preconceived opinions dilute your first impressions of the islands!
  3. JoshM
    Apr 15, 2006
    8
    V good.
  4. MattD
    Apr 15, 2006
    10
    I think this record ombodies everything I loved about the Unicorns, and replaces everything I wasn't so crazy about with sounds and melodies and other stuff I think I enjoy even more. Wow. What a masterpiece!!
  5. JD
    Apr 15, 2006
    10
    I'm a big fan of Wolf Parade and Arcade Fire. It's very nice to hear greats songs like those on this wonderfull album ... And nice to see an another great album comming from Montréal.
  6. jimh
    Apr 15, 2006
    10
    marks the evolution of the unicorns into one of the greatest indie bands of the decade. get it.
  7. Jim
    Apr 17, 2006
    9
    Definitely worth listening to, but not as immediate as The Unicorns. Still, the best thing to come out this year along with Liars and Destroyer. Top 5 album thus far.
  8. MoogC
    Apr 17, 2006
    9
    Doesn't quite reach the greatness or the energy of the Unicorns' Who Will Cut Our Hair... album, imo, but a beautiful piece of work nonetheless.
  9. wj
    Apr 17, 2006
    9
    Don't listen to the negative reviews. If you liked wwcohwwg then you will like this a lot. It is amazing pop. i guess it is understandable that some people will not like this, but if you do like it, you will really, really dig it. Jogging Gorgeous Summer, Don't Call Me Whitney Bobby and Rough Gem will make your spring brilliant.
  10. HankM
    Apr 18, 2006
    8
    Christian G, Will Sherrif? I think you mean Will Sheff. Anyway, this album is pretty great. That's all I have to say.
  11. WillL
    Apr 20, 2006
    10
    I LOVE THIS ALBUM. If you like arcade fire or any of the unicorns work, youll love this album immediatly. My only complaint is the creepy intro narrator guy on volcano, i love the song its probly my favorite, but it coulda done without the creepy intro. ps indie vocal basher: i cant believe you just said dan bejar's vocals work better than nick diamonds (i love destroyer, but come I LOVE THIS ALBUM. If you like arcade fire or any of the unicorns work, youll love this album immediatly. My only complaint is the creepy intro narrator guy on volcano, i love the song its probly my favorite, but it coulda done without the creepy intro. ps indie vocal basher: i cant believe you just said dan bejar's vocals work better than nick diamonds (i love destroyer, but come on...its dan bejar) Expand
  12. derekm
    Apr 21, 2006
    8
    This really can't touch WWCOHWWG?, but that's probably setting the bar awfully high. This album certainly has its moments of uber-catchiness a la "Jellybones" in "Don't Call Me Whitney", "Diamonds", and "Summer", but it lacks somewhat in the sonic assault that made the Unicorns' album so great. The sheer array of different instruments is incredibly impressive. I expect This really can't touch WWCOHWWG?, but that's probably setting the bar awfully high. This album certainly has its moments of uber-catchiness a la "Jellybones" in "Don't Call Me Whitney", "Diamonds", and "Summer", but it lacks somewhat in the sonic assault that made the Unicorns' album so great. The sheer array of different instruments is incredibly impressive. I expect the next album to be a 10 again. Expand
  13. AaronQ
    Apr 28, 2006
    8
    More mature, easier to understand, meaning better than The Unicorns. Another great, epic pop record, which seems to be the trend so far this year. Better with every listen.
  14. JasonA
    Apr 28, 2006
    9
    Amazing album. Very catchy. Crank it up and immerse yourself in the instrumentation. Quirky, clever, inelligent pop. Deserves more attention then I know it's gonna get.
  15. BillC
    Apr 29, 2006
    9
    Very nice instrumentals
  16. MauriceT
    May 9, 2006
    9
    Beautiful, wonderful and silly album. Think of a cross between The Beatles, carribean music, children's music and Syd Barrett. These guys are a must see live.
  17. EJLEDJ
    May 11, 2006
    10
    Superb album! Unquestionablly one of the greatest albums of all time. (Only beat out by The White Stripes and The Raconteurs). A great band with much potential creating soaring melodies, beautiful soundscapes, and top notch pop. Listen Now!!!
  18. kenk
    May 22, 2006
    10
    so good, where theres a will theres a whale bone = awesome
  19. MusicaliD
    May 31, 2006
    8
    Certainly an album that gets better and better. Catchy, fun loving and adventurous. Stylistically all over the place. So many different instruments sprinkled throughout. Every song is solid except #10. It has no redeeming qualities whatsoever, no idea how it made it on. Otherwise better than expected. Yay!
  20. CircuitRider
    Jun 30, 2006
    8
    Im not sure what some people are talking about.. the production value is fine, the loose feel of the band lends itself stylistcally to their carribean influences (not to mention Modest Mouse impersonation on track 1). Track 10 serves as a nice balance to all the overly upbeat tracks. I would say melodically this album borrows from Paul Simon much more than Billy Joel.. but Im not sure what some people are talking about.. the production value is fine, the loose feel of the band lends itself stylistcally to their carribean influences (not to mention Modest Mouse impersonation on track 1). Track 10 serves as a nice balance to all the overly upbeat tracks. I would say melodically this album borrows from Paul Simon much more than Billy Joel.. but whatever...Overall a nice effort. Expand
  21. JasonL
    Jul 5, 2006
    8
    The melody to track 4 is so close to Billy Joel's "We Didn't Start the Fire" it's distracting...you can literally sing along to "We Didn't Start the Fire" and it matches almost perfectly. Track 10 sucks. All subtle build-up with absolutely no payoff. But all in all, this is a really good album. I find some of the tracks to be terrific, many are good, a few are disappointing.
  22. HeidiS
    Jul 28, 2006
    9
    I really love this album. I'll have to agree with others that one or two songs are lacking (yes, track 10), but the rest are SO GOOD it totally makes up for it. I NEVER thought rough gem sounds like we didn't start the fire and now that you've said that I've gone back and listened to it and I still don't. Rough Gem is one of my favorite songs on this album and I I really love this album. I'll have to agree with others that one or two songs are lacking (yes, track 10), but the rest are SO GOOD it totally makes up for it. I NEVER thought rough gem sounds like we didn't start the fire and now that you've said that I've gone back and listened to it and I still don't. Rough Gem is one of my favorite songs on this album and I think it's silly that people are comparing it to billy "i crash cars into houses" joel. the tempo is different, the instrumentation is different. the reason you can probably sing we didn't start the fire over the song is probably because the melody seems to maybe use roughly the same number of total notes (but i don't even believe this). but that's all. it just does not fit. that is one of the silliest comparisons i've ever heard. Anyhow, I think 2006 has so far been a pretty sad year in indie music, but this is one of the few good albums. I love it. Expand
  23. miguelc
    Aug 8, 2006
    10
    ill give it a ten if not for its feel good vibe but its its uniqueness. i havnt heard anything this adventurous in a while.
  24. anonymous
    Aug 24, 2006
    10
    YAY! The Unicorns are back!
  25. KevinM
    Sep 16, 2006
    9
    A pop masterpiece. This isn't the Unicorns back from the dead, Nick Diamond in a new project with a whole different mood, and sound than the Unicorns. This is a rich piece of work, it has probably the best pop song of the year (Rough Gem), a fantastic epic opener and some other great highlights such as "Don't Call me Whitney, Bobby", "Where There's A Whale There's A A pop masterpiece. This isn't the Unicorns back from the dead, Nick Diamond in a new project with a whole different mood, and sound than the Unicorns. This is a rich piece of work, it has probably the best pop song of the year (Rough Gem), a fantastic epic opener and some other great highlights such as "Don't Call me Whitney, Bobby", "Where There's A Whale There's A Whalebone", and "Bucky Little Wing". Definitely listen to this for some great organic pop and some great instrumentation. This album IS an adventure as someone else pointed out. Expand
  26. FlinchBot
    Sep 23, 2006
    10
    Album of the year so far.
  27. [Anonymous]
    Nov 9, 2006
    10
    One of the best this year. A constantly fun and interesting listen. "Swans (Life After Death)" is one of the best songs this year.
Metascore
80

Generally favorable reviews - based on 18 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 15 out of 18
  2. Negative: 0 out of 18
  1. A rich, exciting, and emotionally deep sounding album that carries on the freewheeling spirit and sound of the Unicorns as well as that of the Elephant 6 bands of the late '90s.
  2. Those who felt like maybe they were starting to get Who Will Cut Our Hair When We’re Gone? only to be left out by Unicorns’ sudden dissolution should be reassured that Return to the Sea is a more rooted and confident effort.
  3. Entertainment Weekly
    83
    The Frank Zappa/Neutral Milk Hotel/Muppet Show vibe doesn't always jibe, but that's half the fun. [7 Apr 2006, p.63]