Sea Lion

  • Record Label: Sub Pop
  • Release Date: Mar 4, 2008
Metascore
75

Generally favorable reviews - based on 16 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 11 out of 16
  2. Negative: 0 out of 16
  1. Culture clashes never sounded so good.
  2. In the end, it’s this overarching need for all things foreign and unknown that will determine the album’s final audience. The tipping factor for anyone listening to Sea Lion will be in his or her resilience and willingness to lose sight of home.
  3. Sea Lion's artwork, song titles, and McPhun's background all suggest something pan-global and yet the album shines brightest when it stays closest to its indie rock roots--a reminder that despite their escapist charms, exploration and travel work best as an accent to the familiarity and comfort of home.
  4. Uncut
    80
    The sumptuous Sea Lion sees him exploring similar territory to the Elephant 6 collective, adding notes of African highlife, Polynesian folk, Disney soundtracks and (briefly) '80s synth pop, to joyous and naively charming effect. [Apr 2008, p.99]
  5. Q Magazine
    60
    Move over, Devendra Banhart: there's a new bunch of bohemian music kooks in town. [Apr 2008, p.115]
  6. Mojo
    80
    Ryan's predilection for Wilsonesque harmonies, glokenspiel, etc, erupts into twinkly fairytale pop that's bold and forward-looking in equal measure. [Mar 2008, p.113]
  7. Under The Radar
    50
    Sea Lion is all over the map. [Spring 2008, p.84]
  8. The result is warm, dreamy, evocative and beautiful, a worthy successor to 2005's self-titled debut and an album to savour under the late evening sun, once the summer arrives.
  9. 60
    For all its iconoclastic ambition, Sea Lion is a low-key charmer. [Apr 2008, p.102]
  10. 60
    The multicultural mix and match works best on “Oh, Mojave.”... However, the Ruby Suns are less appealing when they land closer to home.
  11. The Ruby Suns’ greatest strength is how easily they’re able to pull off this mix on Sea Lion without seeming over-bearing or preening. It makes the whole album seem effortless.
  12. Filter
    76
    Like New Zealand itself, it must be experienced to be really understood. [Winter 2008, p.92]
  13. Simple as that: this, their sophomore release and first for Sub Pop, is shamelessly gorgeous, totally in control of every threatening exigency and bombastic color.
  14. Layered, and a bit rough-around-the-edges, Sean Lion is also a heck of a lot of fun, and marks The Ruby Suns as a young group to keep an eye on.
User Score
7.4

Generally favorable reviews- based on 9 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 3 out of 4
  2. Negative: 0 out of 4
  1. MortenF.
    Apr 24, 2008
    5
    I find it a bit "messy" with many different sounds and stiles. And somehow its not working together. It lack of the good melody and a of an I find it a bit "messy" with many different sounds and stiles. And somehow its not working together. It lack of the good melody and a of an album as a hole. Full Review »
  2. OliverC.
    Apr 22, 2008
    9
    I love this album. It loses a point because it does get a little boring at times, but otherwise it is beautiful and fun.
  3. LawrenceCharles
    Apr 21, 2008
    10
    This is kaleidoscopic pop music at its best. There are so many ideas and sounds buzzing around on this record you'd think it'd be a This is kaleidoscopic pop music at its best. There are so many ideas and sounds buzzing around on this record you'd think it'd be a complete mess and yet ... somehow it works brilliantly. Definitely contender for the best pop album of 2008. Full Review »