Generally favorable reviews - based on 31 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 19 out of 31
  2. Negative: 1 out of 31
  1. While the instrumental augmentation in most of the songs is impressive, the setlist feels less immediate than the band's past work.
  2. This loosely associated collection of songs isn't even the logical extension of some of the more unwise artistic wanderings of Worlds Apart (2005).
  3. While the band once pushed forward with a strength that seemed to surprise even them, So Divided ultimately feels scattered and flaccid.
  4. Trail of Dead appear to have dropped the noise, and bought out the tunes.
  5. So Divided's remarkable balance between the band's grandeur and power makes it far from a disappointment.
  6. Sleeker and slicker than their previous works but still as jugular-grabbing.
  7. It's hard to truly love a band that are so chameleonic that they sacrifice signature definition for adventurousness.
  8. It's all over the place, but it packs enough sweet noise manipulation and actual songwriting to get over.
  9. Its artistic detours are even more jarring than those of Worlds Apart. The good news is that its quality is far less erratic. The bad news is the reason why: it's almost uniformly awful.
  10. Less conceptual and experimental than its predecessor, it's a moody album, loaded with dark imagery and moments of torturous self-doubt.
  11. As with most things Trail of Dead, it's bloated where it thinks it's profound.
  12. It appears they’ve decided to mimic the vague Abbey Road allusions Yo La Tengo made in Beat Your Ass by giving the White Album a sideways 'you-da-man' here in So Divided.
  13. Despite the impressive stylistic voices and rich production, there's ultimately something hollow around the project.
  14. So Divided is somewhere in between—something less than the bluster and chaos of the group’s major label debut, something more than the follow-up’s misguided pretension.
  15. [It] depends less on the band’s gear-smashing antics than on their sense of tunecraft, which isn’t as highly developed.
  16. So Divided rushes in the opposite direction, moving lyrically toward more recognizable rock themes and musically toward the center.
  17. New Musical Express (NME)
    They do propulsive pop-rock better than anyone. [11 Nov 2006, p.43]
  18. "So Divided" sees …Trail Of Dead leaving their footprints in some intriguingly unlikely places. Whether the faithful choose to follow them or not, they deserve respect for that alone.
  19. Alternative Press
    It's clear that the Trail Of Dead we once knew no longer exists. [Jan 2007, p.139]
  20. Uncut
    [It] curbs some of the excesses that made 2005's Worlds Apart so unfocused. [Dec 2006, p.101]
  21. Urb
    The path to orchestral bombast continues on So Divided. [Dec 2006, p.118]
  22. Q Magazine
    The sound of a maverick band raging against the dying of the light. [Dec 2006, p.132]
  23. Spin
    Unlike... Worlds Apart, So Divided is built less on brute force and more on hyperdetailed songwriting. [Dec 2006, p.101]
  24. Paste Magazine
    A grandiose pop album that applies certain ToD formulas to the ambitious agenda taken by bands like Mercury Rev and Doves. [Dec 2006, p.97]
  25. Pick your adjective[:] Over-the-top, anthemic, epic.
  26. While they may never reach the heights of their Source Tags & Codes, the band can still push boundaries.
  27. Mojo
    So Divided is less pompous, but the dynamic likes of Naked Sun and Stand In Silence barely atone for hamfisted stabs at chamber pop, country and The Cure. [Dec 2006, p.108]
  28. So Divided attempts to unify the Austin outfit's operatic songcraft with the urgency of their "Days of Being Wild" to unlock 2003's The Secret of Elena's Tomb EP and overcome the trappings of the previous year's brilliant Source Tags and Codes, from which those days sprung.
  29. Entertainment Weekly
    They do... retain enough enough of their signature orchestral flourishes, grandiose choruses, and found-sound fragments to keep longtime fans satisfied. [24 Nov 2006, p.109]
  30. Billboard
    Offers a more diverse song mix than one might expect. [18 Nov 2006]
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 44 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 16 out of 25
  2. Negative: 6 out of 25
  1. BobbyK
    Mar 19, 2007
    A huge disappointment. Source Tags and Codes was perhaps their defining album, but I think that it made them want to try to push their A huge disappointment. Source Tags and Codes was perhaps their defining album, but I think that it made them want to try to push their boundaries even further. While Worlds Apart wasn't particularly great, it at least was fairly consistent and had some memorable moments. This album, on the other hand, finds Trail of Dead trying to be overly creative, making all the flourishes they add to their music sound excessive. It just seems like they're trying too hard to make something totally new, when in fact all they really need to do is expand on the stuff they made in works like Sources Tags and Elena's Tomb. "Wasted State of Mind" and "Eighth Day Hell" are really the only two tracks worth listening to, and even the latter sounds like a Beatles song with ultra-exaggerated British-accented vocals. Full Review »
  2. RalphP
    Mar 14, 2007
    Its not even worth 1 dime. So mediocre and so lame.Get source tags and codes or Madonna. How dissapointing
  3. DTonning
    Feb 14, 2007
    Absoulute shit compared to Worlds Apart. Not even worth mentioning in the same breath as Source Tags & Codes.