See Mystery Lights

  • Record Label: DFA
  • Release Date: Aug 4, 2009

Generally favorable reviews - based on 25 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 17 out of 25
  2. Negative: 0 out of 25
  1. Brainy and block-rocking rarely coexist like this.
  2. Without a smidgen of a doubt, See Mystery Lights has egghead-party-album-of-the-year potential. But its value is greater than that.
  3. It's a feel-good album for an era that could use a little happiness, a sweaty collection of heady, hedonistic tunes just in time for the hottest days of the year.
  4. The pair's cryptic lyrics can get lost in the shuffle at times, but Bechtolt and Evans offer enough interesting musical ideas to keep the listener engaged.
  5. All these elements, stitched together by Yacht and combined with the kind of melancholy disco utilised so often by DFA associates, have a basic cumulative effect: they make you want to dance.
  6. YACHT don't aim to solve the puzzle of life; they just want you to know you're welcome to party round their house anytime you like.
  7. Like the music beneath, the words are heady and accessible, leaning slightly toward the former. With some emotional rejiggering, YACHT could end up recording its own tweaked-out punk-funk classic.
  8. Immaculate production and carefully conceived themes are sure to make your nerd-tent a lot bigger, but is the space worth it if you push out even one well-penned ditty?
  9. The brainy duo--hot-shit remixer Jona Bechtolt and singer/science writer Claire Evans--holed up in a thrown-together studio in rural West Texas and ended up with what might be their breakthrough record.
  10. The failure of its intellectual structure to fully intersect with the music represents something of a conceptual misstep, but also allows See Mystery Lights to be enjoyed without engaging with any of its ideas, as catchy summer music that leans toward the bizarre.
  11. 70
    The duo are most enjoyable when they just surrender to sweaty delirium on 'Summer Song.'
  12. Although still a strong album, YACHT would do well to better marry its aesthetic with the famous DFA beat factory, instead of giving it such clearly separate airtime.
  13. YACHT’s music is as simple and enjoyable as their philosophy. You won’t end up ruminating on it all night, but you are very likely to enjoy it while it’s on.
  14. It’s indie-rock party music, and its spare-parts feeling comes honestly.
  15. A generally rambunctious mid-fi indie electropop sitting at an odd remove from the band’s devotional cause.
  16. Helping along YACHT's approach is a frisson of punk attitude, often expressed in Evans' vocals but also helped by a refreshingly unfussy focus on production.
  17. Filter
    In the jumble of See Mystery Lights (I can't tell yet if it's the brainwashing taking efffect), I might be willing to commit to whatever they're offering. [Summer 2009, p.98]
  18. Indispensable as “Psychic City” may be, See Mystery Lights as a whole isn’t in the same class as these others. That doesn’t mean it can’t be super-fun, and doesn’t mean you shouldn’t check it out.
  19. Lights certainly has its charms--cribbed Afropop, bits like A Rainbow in Curved Air, and a general poppy through-line--but those charms wear thin when placed up against an entire album’s worth of monotonous, mobius strip dance beats.
  20. Mojo
    Yacht are a band that know how to party; they just need to lock it down. [Oct 2009, p.108]
  21. I’m convinced that Bechtolt and Evans have a ton of potential that’s simply going completely unrealized for all but about nine minutes of See Mystery Lights, which leaves it feeling like a party that never actually gets going for some inexplicable reason as everyone involved tries too hard.
  22. Under The Radar
    YACHT often keeps flogging the horse long after it's dead. [Summer 2009, p.63]
  23. Interesting, but not mind-blowing.
  24. Sci-fi hi-jinks from ‘the nerdy Kraftwerk.’
  25. Uncut
    Most of the album comes across as a weedy, irritating student pastiche of the DFA sound rather than something that deserves a place in its esteemed catalogue. [Sep 2009, p.105]
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 13 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 0 out of 1
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 1
  3. Negative: 1 out of 1
  1. Dec 29, 2012
    I give mystery lights a one out of then because of the site management. I give it a one because of how reliable the lights are. I don't knowI give mystery lights a one out of then because of the site management. I give it a one because of how reliable the lights are. I don't know if he's either trying to scam me for my money or just lagging on a customer, but one month and counting is taking way too long for me. Full Review »