Shake The Sheets - Ted Leo & The Pharmacists
Metascore
79

Generally favorable reviews - based on 24 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 20 out of 24
  2. Negative: 0 out of 24
  1. Crackles with sparkling guitar work and [is] simply a great, fun, rock n' roll album.
  2. Practically every song is a near-perfect amalgam of straight-up melodies and pogoing beats. [5 Nov 2004, p.80]
  3. 100
    A strong contender for album of the year, Shaking the Sheets is a masterpiece of fucked-up mod pop: political but not preachy, insistent yet never twitchy, respectful but never blatant.
  4. If Shake the Sheets lacks the subtle, nuanced excursions of its predecessor, it's redeemed by an urgent, unrelenting focus.
  5. Easily Leo's best album since The Tyranny of Distance.
  6. 86
    Has everything we've come to expect from Leo: it's clever, earnest, wry and literate, all delivered with his trademark falsetto flourishes. [#13, p.100]
  7. Leo has proven himself a songwriter of intricacy and experiment, but what he's created with Shake the Sheets are not just songs. They are mantras. [#8, p.110]
  8. An album that sounds vital and immediate.
  9. 80
    Much of [Sheets] sounds like a pop-punk update on Springsteen. [Nov 2004, p.137]
  10. Using only guitars and drums, the Pharmacists whip up a powerful mix of wild abandon and subtlety that is a perfect backing for Leo's vocal dexterity and clanging guitar heroics.
  11. Arguably the best record of Leo's career. [Feb 2005, p.84]
  12. Leo’s vision has crystallized. The songs are shorter and tighter than anything he’s seared onto tape, and his complex melodic phrasing arrives pitch perfect.
  13. Leo manages to weave his messages into some of the tightest, most energetic rock you're likely to hear this year.
  14. Leo's singing (showing a few traces of a soul side) has never been more confident or convincing.
  15. Firecracker mod-punk and allegorical political cut-and-thrust. [5 Mar 2005, p.51]
  16. The most Chisel-sounding record he's released as a solo artist, returning to stripped-down arrangements and, on "The Angel's Share" and "Little Dawn", his fascination with repetition.
  17. Leo proves himself emotionally enervating throughout, so it’s really a shame that Shake the Sheets isn’t half so sonically invigorating.
  18. The songs on his latest, often about political ambivalence and soul-searching alienation, are still catchy as V.D. But they lack the fiery complexity of past efforts.
  19. Leo exploits rock dynamics with the timing of a veteran stand-up comic. He bounces vocals across half-riffs, drops the drums in and out, and invariably holds back a little for the big finish.
  20. It's the first truly inessential album he's made.
  21. 60
    Power pop without the escapism. [Apr 2005, p.105]
  22. Without enough killer hooks Leo seems unlikely to claw his way much beyond cult attraction. [Mar 2005, p.100]
  23. Far crisper and way less jagged than his last two albums. [30 Dec 2004, p.160]
  24. The songs themselves aren’t as outstanding as they could be, and it sure doesn’t help that the production choices give them less of the overwhelming energy that the Pharmacists are known for.
User Score
9.1

Universal acclaim- based on 18 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 13 out of 13
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 13
  3. Negative: 0 out of 13
  1. MichaelS
    Oct 14, 2006
    10
    9.6 I cannot wait for his next one.
  2. Kingofthecosmos
    Nov 27, 2005
    9
    Great stuff. He is a lyrical guy with a cause. I saw him in concert and i was blown by the energy he puts in his work. great guitar player and great lyricist/singer....i have to get his older stuff now! Full Review »
  3. LelandR
    Oct 12, 2005
    10
    Great album, some amazing stuff on here