Slow Focus - Fuck Buttons
Metascore
80

Generally favorable reviews - based on 40 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 32 out of 40
  2. Negative: 0 out of 40
  1. 91
    It is by no means comfortable, but it results in an album that is experienced rather than simply listened to.
  2. 90
    Slow Focus is a tremendously gifted album; one that remarks on what electronic music is still capable of, while knowingly realizing that the sky’s the limit.
  3. Jul 26, 2013
    90
    Slow Focus is the album Fuck Buttons were born to make.
  4. Jul 23, 2013
    90
    Visceral but poised, mannered but emotionally lucid, seductive but astringent, cacophonous but, yes, focused, the album finds Hung and Power charting kaleidoscopic tableaux out of giddy contradictions with the confidence of dancefloor pros.
  5. Jul 22, 2013
    90
    Slow Focus was solely produced by Fuck Buttons; a decision that shows how confident, individualistic and fearless this duo have become in a short time.
  6. Jul 19, 2013
    90
    Slow Focus is unmistakably Fuck Buttons, the logical continuation of the music produced by a duo who never strive to do something expected.
  7. Jul 17, 2013
    90
    Their less-than-radio friendly name will likely keep them just outside of the mainstream, but what they've accomplished on this monolith of an LP is going to be impossible to ignore during this last half of 2013.
  8. Though it’s hardly labyrinthine--these songs proceed in pretty much a linear fashion–Slow Focus immerses the listener in an aural landscape that offers so much to explore.
  9. Jul 22, 2013
    87
    Power and Hung have made either the year's most introverted party album or the most expansive loner's album; either way, there are few albums this year that offer this much space to get lost in.
  10. Jul 23, 2013
    83
    Sophomore release Tarot Sport provided the giant leap to get to this point, but Slow Focus displays an act from a niche genre deftly handling the necessities and opportunities that come with sudden, rapid ascendance.
  11. Aug 23, 2013
    80
    Beyond constructing music marked by a consummate sense of craftsmanship, Fuck Buttons continue to toy with notions of what an album should be, a natural progression for a band whose only defining quality is their refusal to settle on a definitive sound.
  12. Aug 16, 2013
    80
    Slow Focus finds them instituting a newfound affinity for broken, off-kilter beats, alongside their now-signature knack for teasing irresistible melodies out of chaotic, discordant noise. [No. 101, p.54]
  13. Aug 6, 2013
    80
    Slow Focus is more often than not an Olympic-standard piece of work.
  14. Aug 5, 2013
    80
    If we could compare each of Fuck Button’s works some sort of dazzling spectacle, whether it be a firework display, a meteor shower, falling in love, or something of the like, than Slow Focus makes a strong case for being their most brilliant event yet.
  15. Jul 24, 2013
    80
    Rather than a portrait of Fuck Buttons’ time in the studio, Slow Focus is a hovering meditation on a distant, eerie landscape; a panorama with a sustained, totalising gaze that figures an expanse in perpetual decay and dis-ease.
  16. 80
    It is all-consuming and consistently impressive from the off.
  17. Jul 22, 2013
    80
    As clever as Fuck Buttons are at cobbling together unlikely juxtapositions, they're master builders when it comes to tension and release.
  18. Jul 22, 2013
    80
    Slow Focus isn’t alienating, it’s other, and it’s a pleasure to take a wander around its unfamiliar landscapes.
  19. Jul 22, 2013
    80
    This is the first Fuck Buttons album that feels like post-invasion music. Victory lingers, but it also stings.
  20. Jul 22, 2013
    80
    Slow Focus delivers some of their most masterful and seemingly effortless music yet.
  21. 80
    Slow Focus wears its time well and matches their grand sights.
  22. There's no progression or narrative, it's immersive rather than engrossing. Slow Focus is an album to steep yourself in.
  23. Jul 22, 2013
    80
    A fearsome, mind-bending collection.
  24. Jul 19, 2013
    80
    At times bleak and nigh on disturbing yet always thick with complexity, it's a record which takes many, many listens to get to grips with and rewards repeat listens with almost unbelievable depth.
  25. Jul 18, 2013
    80
    [2009's Tarot Sport's] default emotional setting was somewhere between the kind of breakdown that causes clubbers to throw their hands in the air and the kind of breakdown that ends with you being strapped to a gurney. It's an impressive trick, and one the band repeat on Slow Focus.
  26. Jul 16, 2013
    80
    Slow Focus is a grisly journey into the unknown, but an exhilarating one--if you’re willing to take it.
  27. Jul 12, 2013
    80
    It's compact, often menacing strangeness has its own beauty. [Aug 2013, p.71]
  28. Jul 12, 2013
    80
    The whole thing is raw, exhilarating and completely compromised. [Aug 2013, p.102]
  29. Jul 12, 2013
    80
    Easy on the ear it isn’t, but Slow Focus carves its name into the synapses nonetheless, like some sort of unstoppable, power-electronics ‘In Utero’.
  30. Jul 22, 2013
    75
    Slow Focus has the sheen and seemingly high stakes of a blockbuster movie--and enough easy thrills to compensate for the stakes being, in reality, pretty low.
  31. Jul 23, 2013
    71
    They sound like anonymous technoids coming to grips with what it means to want the world in musical terms that will most certainly put their faces on the map. Better invest in some robot helmets.
  32. Jul 19, 2013
    65
    It's brusque, overwhelming and complicated. But for a band so intent on pushing boundaries, this is a strange, almost faltering, sidestep.
  33. Oct 1, 2013
    60
    Fuck Buttons’ third album--a synthesis of noise, hip-hop, drone and shoegaze--is basically avant-garde weightlifting music, forgoing heart and brains in hopes that brute force alone will elevate it to heaven. Occasionally, it does.
  34. Aug 1, 2013
    60
    Unfortunately, it often veers dangerously close to a corny dystopian sci-fi movie soundtrack, which becomes a little less cute with each listen.
  35. Jul 25, 2013
    60
    The symphonies Fuck Buttons make remain as miasmic as ever: odd and unusual to hear for the first minute or so, before fully entrancing the listener. Beguiling stuff.
  36. Jul 22, 2013
    60
    Variations within repetition is what distinguishes the best drone music, and Slow Focus soundtracks some unnamed disaster with time-lapse photography for the ears.
  37. 60
    Here, finally, is some of the ebb and flow, some of the emotion that’s been lacking on the album up to this point. What a shame that it comes so close to Slow Focus’ end.
  38. Jul 12, 2013
    60
    Slow Focus isn't without merit but you yearn for more. [Aug 2013, p.91]
  39. Jul 25, 2013
    40
    Fuck Buttons have created an aural ibuprofen, an auditory Novocaine.
  40. Jul 24, 2013
    40
    Songs like "Brainfreeze" and "The Red Wing" plod more than march, piling on so many competing keyboard layers that the melody blots itself out. Others seem oddly unfinished. Only the two closing ten minute tracks evoke the classic Fuck Buttons widescreen neon pomp. [Jul 2013, p.56]
User Score
8.3

Universal acclaim- based on 34 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 5 out of 6
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 6
  3. Negative: 1 out of 6
  1. Jul 30, 2013
    9
    Slow Focus is a dense album for newcomers to the group, however for people looking for a challenging but ultimately satisfying electro album,Slow Focus is a dense album for newcomers to the group, however for people looking for a challenging but ultimately satisfying electro album, it can't be beat. Full Review »
  2. Jul 24, 2013
    8
    One big factor of the success of this album is that Buttons are now beginning to experiment with how they can build their compositions intoOne big factor of the success of this album is that Buttons are now beginning to experiment with how they can build their compositions into the monsters they become by removing drum patterns for certain segments and removing synth progressions for lengths of time to improve their already brilliant control of dynamics. They were always criticised for having that one trick of building and building, no matter how effective that trick was, but it seems that they've either listened to that criticism and taken it on board or woken up to the problem themselves.

    Prince's Prize is perhaps the only disappointing track on the entire album; it wouldn't feel part of any Buttons release that I can remember because of how unusually clean and (yep) amateur the introduction sounds. But that's only one poor moment on another solid release from the both of them. Tarot Sport was near impossible to follow up, and even though Slow Focus perhaps doesn't quite capture the galactic wonder their previous two had in abundance because of its slightly smaller sound, it's more than enough to see them around the top of a few year-end lists.
    Full Review »
  3. Nov 12, 2014
    8
    It's a challenging listen for anyone who doesn't have the attention span for continuous, drone-y noises with no major structural changes—as ifIt's a challenging listen for anyone who doesn't have the attention span for continuous, drone-y noises with no major structural changes—as if their band name didn't departure them enough from the mainstream demographic that considers anything instrumental "boring". But for anybody who has followed F*** Buttons from the beginning, Slow Focus is an unpredictable journey into the musicianship of a duo that never hasn't sounded so unexpectedly theirs'. It's an excellent experience for music listeners who don't just appreciate ambient/experimental electronica, but how endless the boundaries are of music that sounds so simple on the surface to begin with. Full Review »