Rise Above - Dirty Projectors

Generally favorable reviews - based on 17 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 13 out of 17
  2. Negative: 0 out of 17
  1. Sonically, Rise Above is just another healthy dose of what Longstreth does best. Anomalous harmonies, quirky time signatures, and spontaneous rock-outs punctuate the album’s 11 tracks.
  2. The result is one of the most formally radical indie records in recent memory. It also happens to be Dirty Projectors’ all-around best, not least because it most closely recreates the kinetic force of their live performances.
  3. Dirty Projectors leader Dave Longstreth clearly had more than a remake on his mind--a mind whose wandering ways will be worth following for years to come.
  4. Rise Above will drop plenty of jaws, and, like Deerhoof, Dirty Projectors are restructuring rock on a compositional level rather than a sonic one.
  5. 80
    It's the clever orchestration that elevates this above postmodern gag, all fluttering pipes and chiming guitar. [Nov 2007, p.98]
  6. 80
    It just might be a masterpiece all over again. [Nov 2007, p.118]
  7. It's an extraordinary and compelling celebration of a hardcore punk classic. [Oct 2007, p.71]
  8. Dave Longstreth’s vision has always been determined and unique; it has never been this clear or viscerally exciting.
  9. iT is the most focused art the Projectors have ever produced.
  10. Rise Above is deliberately challenging and obtuse; its ceaseless changes and refusal to settle are its most important similarities to Damaged's abrasive and exhaustive loudness. Translating Black Flag's anti-intellectual screed into arty free-jazz concept is one thing. That it actually merits repeat listens is another altogether.
  11. One coup this unexpectedly friendly record makes me miss is when my favorite records used to have a string of highlights as moments rather than memorable refrains.
  12. They comfortably hang in that frustrating chasm between jazz and pop. [Fall 2007, p.79]
  13. Maybe it doesn't have the relevance as the original album, and doesn't quite live up to the legacy, but it is intelligently composed and often moving.
  14. There'll always be a suggestion that Rise Above is just namby-pamby, pretentious, art-for-art's-sake bollocks, and those whose ears pricked up at the Black Flag connection may well be disappointed that it rarely bears any similarity to its 'parent' album, but either way, at least it's interesting.
  15. Dirty Projectors' David Longstreth deserves praise for the way he's reinterpreted "Damaged." [Dec 2007, p.116]
  16. Alas, it's unlikely that the applause will stretch to actually wanting to listen as the looping metallic effects, heart-attack drums and seemingly played-backwards female vocals confuse more than impress.
  17. This is either one of 2007’s most refreshing or most grating albums, and there’s a hair’s breadth in between. Swerving but creative, Rise Above may wear on repeated listens but still it connects more than it should.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 21 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 6 out of 8
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 8
  3. Negative: 2 out of 8
  1. MacMac
    Apr 24, 2008
    my 2nd favorite album of 2007. amazing, especially depression, rise above, gimme, gimme, spray paint. at first i was with liz - i hated the album - but give it five or six listens and if you still hate it, that's fine. my guess is that you'll end up loving it. Full Review »
  2. ThomasK
    Oct 7, 2007
    Very good. The guitars remind me of some excellent African guitar pop i've heard before. Took me a listen or two, but at this point I can't get it out of my head. Buyer beware for anything before this album, though. Still very good, but the real question is: can they write their own lyrics with the same degree of sucess? (This album uses only Black Flag lyrics, with a result that transcends the original product, in both poignancy and auditory bliss.) If allowed I would give this album an 8.5. It is strong. They are pushing the boundaries... Full Review »
  3. Alex
    Feb 23, 2009
    This album is fucking awful. Good reviews for horseshit like this are why music criticism is a dying art.