Metascore
78

Generally favorable reviews - based on 13 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 12 out of 13
  2. Negative: 0 out of 13
  1. Special Moves--which pulls at least one track from all six Mogwai albums, but no more than two--strategically positions the band's latter-day material among the old warhorses to build a set list that gradually intensifies and explodes like the band's best instrumental epics.
  2. A useful entry point for newcomers, then, but there is just enough to make this a worthwhile purchase for long-time fans too.
  3. As fans of the group will attest, there's nothing quite like experiencing Mogwai in a live setting and while Special Moves might never fully capture that sheer weight of sound, it nevertheless represents a hugely impressive live document (even without Burning, the accompanying DVD).
  4. 80
    Special Moves/Burning might just serve as a fittingly monolithic monument to their work to date. [Sep 2010, p.98]
  5. While nothing can capture the true feeling of being flattened by one of Mogwai's shows except attending one, Special Moves is still a great live document.
  6. Songs that brood on record become grand and celebratory live and that's what captured here. [21 Aug 2010, p.52]
  7. With Special Moves, Mogwai have released a "greatest hits" collection in a sense, but it's indeed more special than that. Dramatic, at turns gentle, majestic and harsh, both old and new songs blend so well that there's no feeling of weak recent material sagging amidst earlier favorites.
  8. They highlight Mogwai's biggest stylistic trademarks, and little else-the ambient drone and the electric guitar crashes that break its spell, and the waves of sound that evolve from carefully crafted crescendos. So while the final cuts are cohesive, they're also tight-lipped-safe.
  9. Guitarist Stuart Braithwaite has certainly outstripped the generic post-rock style he helped to inspire, and does justice to some of his more direct influences--My Bloody Valentine's Kevin Shields and Robert Smith from The Cure, to name two. Extraneous touches, such as the occasional keyboard parts contributed by Barry Burns and the electronica-style glitches threaded through 2 Rights Make 1 Wrong, also ensure that Special Moves is a varied 75 minutes.
  10. That moment on a truly gorgeous version of "New Paths to Helicon, Pt. 1" is enough to justify the DVD, while the rest of the film's 45 minutes amply demonstrates why Mogwai is such a great live band. If Special Moves itself can't quite demonstrate the same fact, it comes as close as any album is likely to.
  11. Jan 10, 2011
    68
    Special Moves illuminates the band's act for what it is.
  12. As a live album, it isn't especially compelling, but it makes a great point of entry into the band's high-contrast sound.
  13. 60
    It's hard to imagine anyone but the previously committed fan will be signing up here. [Sep 2010, p.99]

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