Simple Math - Manchester Orchestra
Metascore
73

Generally favorable reviews - based on 16 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 12 out of 16
  2. Negative: 0 out of 16
  1. May 16, 2011
    100
    Simple Math is a perfect interpretation of an imperfect man's life, and hopefully just another chapter in the larger story Manchester orchestra have yet to reveal. [Jun 2011, p.105]
  2. In a year that's produced an overwhelming amount of great music, Simple Math is another outstanding painting worth the public's attention.
  3. May 9, 2011
    90
    Throughout, the highs are tinged with sadness and the lows with hope, making Simple Math a complex and rewarding album that soars above the pack.
  4. 80
    This, their third album, continues the Atlantans' slow but upward career trajectory to date, almost akin to an American Elbow in that they're grandiose, utterly lovely, but unlikely to sell any records for at least another couple of releases down the line.
  5. 80
    They've perfected the balance of gorgeous songwriting and rabid musicianship, so we can't wait to see what they do next.
  6. 70
    Two years later, the five-piece returns with Simple Math – a concept album which, according to Hull himself, examines perennial hot button topics like marriage, love, religion, and sex. Again, not exactly revelatory material, but Hull has a gift with prose that turns even the most banal observations into striking reflections.
  7. May 16, 2011
    70
    Conceptual conceits aside, Simple Math is a fairly passionate and rocking affair filled with sprawling, if still tightly wound anthemic pop.
  8. May 10, 2011
    70
    Hull's greatest skill is making his emotions sound as extravagant as they feel, especially when he screams.
  9. May 9, 2011
    70
    Remember what I said about this band being capable of a classic? Well 'Simple Math' is their first. Just a shame about Simple Math.
  10. May 9, 2011
    70
    They seem satisfied enough with their place as one of the underappreciated underdogs of the American alt rock scene, and it's hard not to get a kick out of hearing such an independent spirit raging through this album, even if commercially, Simple Math doesn't quite add up.
  11. May 9, 2011
    70
    Hull is a fine lyricist, able to make everyday ruminations on relationships utterly riveting. But he's not consistently complemented by music that really matters, a couple of relatively perfunctory arrangements ensuring that Simple Math is no High Violet-matching masterpiece.
  12. May 10, 2011
    64
    There are plenty of seeds sewn throughout Simple Math that could likely blossom into Manchester Orchestra's first real breakthrough, but here, we're stuck in the growing pains phase.
  13. May 31, 2011
    60
    The follow-up to 2009's Everything To Nothing crackles with energy. [Jun 2011, p.119]
  14. May 20, 2011
    60
    It won't be to all tastes, but those that care will cherish Simple Maths dearly. [7 May 2011, p.52]
  15. May 11, 2011
    60
    Simple Math is more intimate and more massive than Manchester's previous sets, as the Atlanta group supersizes the kitchen-sink approach of fellow Georgians in the Elephant 6 collective to depict a panoply of crises: spiritual, marital, chemical, whaddya got?
  16. May 27, 2011
    55
    His belief in his own profundity is kind of endearing as Manchester Orchestra's driving force. It's hard to imagine something like the title track, which uses infidelity as a jumping-off point to question the entire basis of human existence, even standing a chance without it.
User Score
8.0

Generally favorable reviews- based on 29 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 11 out of 11
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 11
  3. Negative: 0 out of 11
  1. May 20, 2011
    9
    Simple Math is easily ten times better than "Mean Everything To Nothing". Every song you felt and you can relate. Andy Hull has an extraordinary voice that just swallows you in. Simple Math is easily the stand out track. All In All. Simple Math is a terrific album. A- Full Review »
  2. Jun 4, 2011
    10
    This and Goblin by TTC are the best indie releases of the year, amazing album, amazing wordplay, amazing instrumentals, nothing wrong with this album, perfect. Full Review »
  3. May 22, 2011
    9
    Easily the best album of the year so far. Beauty and ferocity are perfectly intertwined throughout the album's ten tracks. The main highlights here are "Virgin," where they bust out the children's choir (always creepy) and horns to make a truly chilling masterpiece, and the title track as well as "Leave It Alone," softer, yet no less sublte tracks led beautifully by strings and fantastic melodies. Manchester Orchestra have really out done themselves with Simple Math, producing what may turn out to be a masterpiece in time. Full Review »