Metascore
79

Generally favorable reviews - based on 24 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 22 out of 24
  2. Negative: 0 out of 24
  1. Feb 16, 2011
    100
    They're the kinds of songs that make you want to run into the street and scream to the universe that life is beautiful and magical, which is a pretty nice feeling as long as you can stop worrying about whether people think you're crazy.
  2. Feb 15, 2011
    90
    Akron Family II: The Cosmic Birth and Journey of Shinju TNT isn't a big departure in that respect, but it is a more polished affair than any of their previous attempts: most of the songs seem to follow a more established structure than the wayward jams of old.
  3. Dec 6, 2011
    80
    Ultimately, The Cosmic Birth ... is a further step in Akron/Family's already expansive musical journey; one that will no doubt delight fans and should turn on novices in droves.
  4. Apr 28, 2011
    80
    The barbershop harmonies are, as always, impeccable, while the blend of acoustic and electronic textures is subtle and unforced. [Mar 2011, p.58]
  5. Apr 22, 2011
    80
    There's not a note put out of place as they invite us to enjoy the good natured be-in. [Apr 2011, p.104]
  6. Mar 29, 2011
    80
    A dizzying positivity is the constant in this adventure in fractal sonics. [Apr 2011, p.75]
  7. Mar 15, 2011
    80
    Completely nonsensical, yes; yet also the perfect way of describing this album as the whimsy-filled journey through life it is.
  8. Mar 2, 2011
    80
    Oregon rock alchemists create soundworlds that one can be effortlessly immersed in.
  9. 80
    Akron/Family II might be too scattered with divergent concepts to capture the attention of the masses, but in this still very young 2011, it should rank among the most ambitious and rewarding listens of the year.
  10. Feb 15, 2011
    80
    Akron/Family II really captures a feeling of happiness and at the same time melancholy, and that's what makes it beautiful: those two feelings at the same time.
  11. Feb 14, 2011
    80
    This loud and proud psych-folk trio want some old-fashioned joy on their fifth album -- and they want it now.
  12. Feb 10, 2011
    80
    Acoustic finger-picking and weighty melodic effects fade gorgeously into ambient echo until you don't want it to end. Believe the hype.
  13. Feb 11, 2011
    79
    Organic and jubilant, it successfully weaves psych, world, rock, and folk traditions into something new and endlessly compelling.
  14. Feb 11, 2011
    76
    S/T II is that moment cupped in one's hand and blown like dandelion specks at an especially delicious breeze-it is, simply and thankfully, a record by Akron/Family as plain and as forward as we should expect.
  15. Feb 14, 2011
    75
    Some of the songwriting themes go flat trying to maintain their likeable simplicity, but the delays and interruptions are still in the minority.
  16. Feb 14, 2011
    75
    Like most sequels, S/T II doesn't quite recapture the original's magic. But it evokes enough of Akron/Family's early work to appease old fans as well as new ones, pointing the group back, at long last, in the right direction.
  17. Mar 21, 2011
    70
    Famously chaotic musical magpies Dana Janssen, Seth Olinsky and Miles Seaton have outdone themselves here in concocting an album almost as enigmatic as its title.
  18. Mar 16, 2011
    70
    The grandiose title betrays an even greater (purported) mythology: New York/Portland psych-rockers Akron/Family claim to have written their fifth album in a cabin built into the base of Mount Meakan, an active Japanese volcano.
  19. 70
    Second self-titled albums are always interesting decisions, but The Cosmic Birth and Journey of Shinju TNT truly does function as a rebirth, a re-debut of a band that blatantly refuses to contain their creativity and innovation.
  20. Feb 16, 2011
    70
    On S/T II, Akron/Family strikes a balance between chaos and composure that feels constantly at risk of tipping fully into one or the other.
  21. Feb 14, 2011
    70
    Keys and effects -- including layered samples from the bands early recordings -- sound like the foundation to the songs, creating a fuzzy expanse that the players worm their way into.
  22. Feb 11, 2011
    70
    On their latest effort, no track is longer than 5:45, and they kick the whole thing off with arena riffage and a song about bears.
  23. Apr 22, 2011
    60
    it ens up a tie between waffling self-indulgence and occasional moments of inspiration. Definitely not predictable, though. [Apr 2011, p.110]
  24. Feb 28, 2011
    60
    Akron/Family remain squarely on the frontline in the battle against bad vibes, and their Shinju TNT is a stylistic trainwreck of the most giddy and heartwarming order. Stay cosmic, fellas.

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