Swing Lo Magellan - Dirty Projectors
User Score
8.6

Universal acclaim- based on 79 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 74 out of 79
  2. Negative: 4 out of 79

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  1. Dec 22, 2012
    5
    I found songwriter David Longstreth's explanation to almost every song of this album on RapGenius.com and this dude is saying pretty much always "I'm not sure what I want to say with it; I can't really explain it; I don't know; etc." And I'm just thinking what the hell I should think of this CD now. I don't know what he wants to tell me with the lyrics and he doesn't know either. TheirI found songwriter David Longstreth's explanation to almost every song of this album on RapGenius.com and this dude is saying pretty much always "I'm not sure what I want to say with it; I can't really explain it; I don't know; etc." And I'm just thinking what the hell I should think of this CD now. I don't know what he wants to tell me with the lyrics and he doesn't know either. Their style is good and partly, when I get the meaning of the songs, it's also very nice to listen to. But if I don't get the lyrics I'm confused and additionally their kind of music is a very strange one. The songs don't touch me and the lyrics often seem meaningless. But half of the songs are still quite nice. Expand
  2. Dec 18, 2012
    10
    With this one, David has slowed down the prog elements and made them more digestible for the impatient and unintelligent. What you hear when you listen is an ultra advanced musician dumbing down music to the level he feels comfortable doing so, and it is great.
  3. Aug 19, 2012
    9
    I was always a fan of The Dirty Projectors since I first heard Bitte Orca. Although I didn't find that album to be quite the masterpiece it was being hailed as from a lot of people, I still found it to be a solid record that did grow on me over time. Swing Lo Magellan is a different beast, however. It's the sound of a complete band coming together. It's as if The Dirty Projectors dabbledI was always a fan of The Dirty Projectors since I first heard Bitte Orca. Although I didn't find that album to be quite the masterpiece it was being hailed as from a lot of people, I still found it to be a solid record that did grow on me over time. Swing Lo Magellan is a different beast, however. It's the sound of a complete band coming together. It's as if The Dirty Projectors dabbled in music to finally make this album. Dave Longstreth has clearly matured as a musician. From his vocals to his songwriting, He does no wrong in this album. All In All, Swing Lo Magellan is one of the best albums this year. A- Expand
  4. Aug 12, 2012
    8
    Really great album. The Dirty Projectors kinda switched out the adventurous nature of Bitte Orca for some straight up pop songs. The harmonies, squiggly guitar, and quirky percussion are still there though not as daring and bold as previous efforts. They still do it better than anyone else in the game so they really only have themselves to beat but clearly they weren't out to make anotherReally great album. The Dirty Projectors kinda switched out the adventurous nature of Bitte Orca for some straight up pop songs. The harmonies, squiggly guitar, and quirky percussion are still there though not as daring and bold as previous efforts. They still do it better than anyone else in the game so they really only have themselves to beat but clearly they weren't out to make another Bitte Orca so don't hold it against them. The playfulness on songs like "Unto Caeser" is refreshing and the general sing-along tone of the album is communicated through David Longstreth's undeniable knack for melody. Even in the quite moments like "Impregnable Question" and "Irresponsible Tune" Longstreth shows that hes not above cryptic lyrics and intricate instrumentation all the time. The album cover is also the best of the year so far and displays quite a funny scenario. I feel the caption should read "yeah were in a rock band..ya know...with guitars and stuff". Expand
  5. Jul 19, 2012
    9
    It took a few listens but this album really grew on me, and now I love it. I wasn't a huge fan of Bitte Orca, but i will probably go back and give it another listen after learning to really appreciate what they did on this album.
  6. Jul 12, 2012
    9
    A really great followup to what was already a fantastic album, Swing Lo Magellan is quirky, varied and probably the most listenable thing the group have ever made, even though they haven't lost any of the individuality and delicate craftsmanship that made past efforts so good. Blissfully weird and epic-sounding cuts "About to Die" and "See What She Seeing" that would sit perfectly in aA really great followup to what was already a fantastic album, Swing Lo Magellan is quirky, varied and probably the most listenable thing the group have ever made, even though they haven't lost any of the individuality and delicate craftsmanship that made past efforts so good. Blissfully weird and epic-sounding cuts "About to Die" and "See What She Seeing" that would sit perfectly in a playlist next to "Useful Chamber" or "Temecula Sunrise", are contrasted on the album with such minimal, beautifully written songs as the sugary "The Socialites" and the folksy title track. All in all, while it may not be an album that showcases Dave Longstreth's eccentric songwriting to its full extent, it does something even harder: it condenses all its elements into a collection that is both very accessible and likeable from the first listen. Expand
  7. Jul 11, 2012
    9
    More approachable than Bitte Orca, but just as carefully crafted. This album's pleasantness does not detract from its artistry, and its artistry does not impede its pleasantness. Hardcore Dirty Projectors fans may need a couple extra spins to appreciate the changes in Longstreth's songwriting, but this is a truly excellent album.
  8. Jul 10, 2012
    7
    If you're hoping for Bitte Orca Pt. Deux, this is certainly not it, but this release shows the most straightforward songwriting Dave Longstreth has ever conjured up. When paired with a decent level of experimental dabbling in the forms of quirky drum machines, lovable childish handclaps, and of course some very impressive female harmonies, this album is the lovechild of the two veryIf you're hoping for Bitte Orca Pt. Deux, this is certainly not it, but this release shows the most straightforward songwriting Dave Longstreth has ever conjured up. When paired with a decent level of experimental dabbling in the forms of quirky drum machines, lovable childish handclaps, and of course some very impressive female harmonies, this album is the lovechild of the two very different halves of its mastermind's brain. Swing Lo Magellan is no game-changer in the Longstreth discography; in fact, comparing it to other works is counterproductive. It's a standalone batch of solid, brave rock songs that is very much enjoyable in its own context. Expand
Metascore
80

Generally favorable reviews - based on 41 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 37 out of 41
  2. Negative: 0 out of 41
  1. Sep 13, 2012
    78
    Dirty Projectors has never done so much with so little, a rare feat reiterated by the disarming, insistent standout, "Gun Has No Trigger."
  2. Aug 8, 2012
    80
    Sometimes brilliant, often infuriating, it's a must-check nonetheless.
  3. Jul 27, 2012
    73
    They have it in them to write great pop music or truly important experimental music, but Dirty Projectors have to decide where they want to end up before they start.