Romance Is Boring - Los Campesinos!

Generally favorable reviews - based on 28 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 23 out of 28
  2. Negative: 0 out of 28
  1. What makes this possibly the best album of the band’s career is that it represents how sonic exploration can actually go right.
  2. Romance Is Boring smacks of that feeling, knowing more than before but still trying to hash out just where to go with it. It's fun watching bands grow; it's been a pleasure watching this band grow up.
  3. While unquestionably delivering more of the goods fans are sure to get excited about, on their new record, Los Campesinos! also prove they aren't one-trick ponies, boasting some welcome musical and conceptual range.
  4. It might’ve made a better EP than LP. But even at their brattiest, the Welsh indie-rockers in Los Campesinos are a tough lot to hate. Their cacophony of instruments and voices aptly conveys what the music is about.
  5. What primarily sets ‘Romance Is Boring’ up as a significant step forward is that it’s incredibly structurally cohesive, and yet blows anything they’ve previously released out of the water in terms of textural intricacy, technical prowess and general experimentation; each track seems to take an element that’s been formerly alluded to and stretch it to a fuller form.
  6. Romance Is Boring is fun, knowing, astute, energetic and packed with vignettes of youth and love lost.
  7. Their sloganeering, haughtiness and mocking dismissal of their dislikes will always remain contentious, but never suggest they don’t mean it. This matters more to them than it does anybody else; Romance is Boring is the openly flawed but often brilliant proof.
  8. Gareth’s vocal is less shrill these days, his lyrics are less desperate (though just as despairing), and the band’s soundscapes are increasingly diverse....A big step forward.
  9. Romance Is Boring is another step up for the Cardiff seven-piece; avoiding the shoutier, brattier elements of debut ‘Hold On Now, Youngster...’, the band bring to their latest effort a much darker atmosphere, with similarly desperate lyrics.
  10. More serious but still jittery, and not without detritus, this is the album that will decide the longevity of Los Campesinos!.
  11. 80
    Their slightly shambolic and unapologetic pop-fused sound works, though, and looks likely to speed Los Campesinos! to the cult canonical Brit-indie status reserved for the other outsider troupes like Belle & Sebastian and The Cribs. [Mar 2010, p.96]
  12. Romance may be boring, but this ambitious triumph is anything but. [Feb 2010, p.96]
  13. Romance Is Boring is a triumph, a glistening, breathless success. Musically and lyrically Los Campesions! are a rare treasure of a band at the peak of their considerable powers.
  14. It’s exhilarating, cheeky, Pavement-influenced indie rock that’ll leave you exhausted – and maybe anxious – by track 15.
  15. Romance Is Boring might sound, in description and on wax, very similar to the band’s work, but there’s a palpable confidence here that wasn’t present just an album ago, and it makes Romance Is Boring the key entry in an already ballooning discography.
  16. Romance Is Boring doesn't eschew the sugar-high, too-clever angst of its predecessors altogether, but the band have learned how to vary their song structures, often opting for a darker, more atmospheric aesthetic.
  17. 74
    Romance is Boring is a strong effort froma dedicated band tgat could use a but more restraint in terms of arrangement, but nonetheless, it's self-asured, deliciously Welsh and--as always--a real god time. [Winter 2010, p.100]
  18. Romance is Boring is anchored by enough exhilarating moments, big and small, to make trolling for them through the muck a pleasure. [Holiday 2009, p.77]
  19. Fuzzy atmospherics crash in, overpowering some of Romance’s most brutal quips, forcing the band to struggle at making its musings rhythmic and begging for its earlier punk-twee punctuation.
  20. Romance Is Boring would be better-served with more of the diversity that's found on these tracks. But those without dates on Valentine's Day should find some cheer in this danceable collection
  21. Lacking many new moves, Romance doesn't feel as revelatory as Los Campesinos' killer 2008 debut. But its exuberant din is hard to deny on songs like the gorgeous existentialist meditation "In Media Rest," which mixes triumphal horns with lyrics about vomit and corpses.
  22. 70
    Romance, their third album in 24 months, is more slickly assured -- and far less twee -- than its predecessors.
  23. This album is a misstep, certainly, but an exciting one nonetheless; I can only hope that eight months from now this band bangs out another shorter record superior to this one in every way.
  24. Every so often, a newfound edginess gratifyingly creeps in, be that musical, on the gothic post-hardcore of "Plan A," or lyrical, on "The Sea Is A Good Place To Think Of The Future," a movingly detailed portrait of a suicidal girl. The signs of a band whose ambition may yet match their productivity. [Mar 2010, p.055]
  25. Los ­Campesinos! now sound a little less like a series of twitching climaxes, and they're the better for it.
  26. The album is a carefully crafted rollercoaster of emotional and auditory highs and lows, exhibiting the group's subtle growth since its major breakout, "We Are Beautiful, We Are Doomed."
  27. It would be too optimistic to hope that the band would have ever made a record as vital and thrilling as Hold on Now, it’s just too bad that they’ve sunk to the level of bland irrelevance so quickly.
  28. 40
    For their second album proper, the band have beefed up their sound at the expense of their spindly charm. [Mar 2010, p.89]
User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 34 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 3 out of 3
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 3
  3. Negative: 0 out of 3
  1. Jul 14, 2011
    A great album but for someone's first lc! album they should listen to We are Beautiful, We are Doomed. While Romance is Boring is a more mature album it lacks the energy or We are Beautiful has. Full Review »
  2. Oct 23, 2011
    My favourite lc! album, different to their previous two albums in that the sound is more beefed up, but still contains the signature lc! sound and lyrics. Full Review »
  3. Aug 26, 2011
    One of my favorite albums. Great lyricism. Catchy music and lines and great and appropriate dissonance. The growth of this band gets me exciting for their upcoming album. Full Review »