Saint Dymphna - Gang Gang Dance
Metascore
78

Generally favorable reviews - based on 28 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 25 out of 28
  2. Negative: 0 out of 28
  1. Saint Dymphna is truly Gang Gang Dance and no-one else and for that they should be applauded; creating and defining your own sound is a challenge these days that many bands prefer to shirk.
  2. Gang Gang Dance, however, have found their voice in a world of retro revivalists and fly-by-night trendhoppers. It's whatever they want it to be, and it's awesome.
  3. Saint Dymphna is a dangerously sane blueprint for producers trying to capture what "futuristic" sounds like right now.
  4. It's hip calcified, transformed from posturing into legitimate and exciting experience; it's the channeling of well-defined musical expressions into a more powerful, unified direction.
  5. There's something downright overwhelming about this disc, whether it's the unremitting playfulness or the way the band pulls together beauty and energy from the oddest of sounds or the way over top they sometimes launch into abstract political commentary.
  6. Here every sound and beat is laid bare, with no heavy reverb blanketing the songs like fog. The newfound clarity produces neither thinness nor tedium, but simply a direct, unadulterated power.
  7. Weird enough to have an edge, but a huge step up in terms of production and song-writing, this is a big move forward from the group.
  8. It's rare to find a band with such breadth of vision, and although indie kids might balk at Saint Dymphna's shameless embrace of the dance floor, the rest of us will be lost in its agitated reverie.
  9. 82
    Toggling between scurrying, bleep-spangled instruments and alien FM pop, Gang Gang excels at confounding expectations. [Fall 2008, p.100]
  10. May 9, 2011
    80
    It's their best and most accessible work to date, while somehow not sacrificing any artistic credence.
  11. They've cleaned up and sharpeneding their characteristic compositional sprawl, these tracks inject startlingly approachable vocal melodies and production touches into their usually meditative and marauding grooves. [Year End 2008]
  12. 80
    GGD’s career has been a gradual climb out of primordial noise muck and toward beats, and album four is their most propulsive.
  13. It's easily their most fully realized project to date and rather than simply a pastiche, they've managed to create something that's completely their own.
  14. A mish-mash, then, but one arranged with exquisite precision.
  15. While the record is a solid listen front to back, standout moments include 'Princes,' which features Ghana-London rapper Tinchy Stryder, and the breathless vocals on the ghostly 'House Jam.' Watch for this album to pop up all over year-end best-of lists next month.
  16. Much has been made of the fact that Gang Gang Dance named this record after the patron saint of outcasts and rebels, but this effort shows more crossover potential than anything the act has ever done.
  17. These tracks are meticulously constructed to engulf and consume, making layers out of the Casiocore and stone-drones that contemporaries like Black Dice and Growing use to build careers.
  18. Gang Gang Dance packages all the previously mentioned genres into a nice little, seamless package.
  19. Saint Dymphna is the sound of a band of psychedelic dabblers finally getting their shit together.
  20. 70
    When the band wraps itself around singer Lizzie Bougatsos' singular shrieks, they ascend to vertiginous heights on 'Holy Communion' and 'Dust Storm,' creating something truly transformative.
  21. Dymphna's genre distinctions are more sophisticated and nuanced. [Dec 2008, p.152]
  22. Yet as compared to their previous efforts, the album is surprisingly accessible and at times almost poppy-a valiant attempt at distilling, or translating, the Gang Gang Dance experience into the album format.
  23. Despite the less-successful entries, Saint Dymphna is commendable. There's substantially less chaos and abstractness and more pop quantization, but Gang Gang Dance are still overflowing with ideas.
  24. It all sounds wonderful, sparkling and glistening. Yet it doesn't make a dent that one might expect. [Oct 2008, p.56]
  25. Saint Dymphna is no easier to categorize than any other GGD record, but it is easier to groove to
  26. 60
    The eclectism is exhilarating. [Nov 2008, p.96]
  27. Their fourth album proves more than just a trendy daliance, placing them at the cutting edge being honed by Dirty Projectirs and TV On The Radio. [Nov 2008, p.117]
  28. Their fourth full-length begins with what sounds like a Japanese-style folk melody beamed down by synth-wielding aliens ('Bebey'). But soon, vocalist LZA is barking out gibberish verses and enthusiastic sex noises amid heavy club rhythms, and the party's on.
User Score
8.8

Universal acclaim- based on 54 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 7 out of 7
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 7
  3. Negative: 0 out of 7
  1. Nov 4, 2011
    10
    Hear us, O God, Our Savior, as we honor St. Dymphna, patron of those afflicted with mental and emotional illness. Help us to be inspired byHear us, O God, Our Savior, as we honor St. Dymphna, patron of those afflicted with mental and emotional illness. Help us to be inspired by her example and comforted by her merciful help. Amen. I wonder whether Gang Gang Dance prayed to Saint Dymphna during the recording of their brilliant album number 4. It is named after an Irish girl who was supposedly killed by her own father for her refusal to marry him after her motherâ Full Review »
  2. Rob
    Oct 29, 2008
    10
    An exhilarating listen from start to finish. GGD are at the top of their game and I can't wait to see what they do next. AlsoI, I'm An exhilarating listen from start to finish. GGD are at the top of their game and I can't wait to see what they do next. AlsoI, I'm pretty sure The Phoenix review gave the album a score of 75, not 30. On the site, it appears to be 3 out of four stars. Full Review »
  3. MattA.
    Oct 28, 2008
    9
    Please, dear God, fix that 30 from the Phoenix right now (it should be a 75). One of the best albums of the year.