Swing Lo Magellan - Dirty Projectors
Swing Lo Magellan Image

Generally favorable reviews - based on 41 Critics What's this?

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Universal acclaim- based on 78 Ratings

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  • Summary: The sixth album for the experimental indie rock band was recorded in Delaware County in New York state and produced by the band's lead singer, Dave Longstreth.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 37 out of 41
  2. Negative: 0 out of 41
  1. Jul 10, 2012
    By the dazzlingly innovative and heartfelt record's end, the band has worked in a bit of everything it has to offer, and offered it with winning sincerity.
  2. There is so much to both genuinely appreciate and enjoy on Swing Lo Magellan that it makes you wonder why these have to sometimes be exclusive ways to experience an album.
  3. Jul 2, 2012
    Swing Lo Magellan, then--deadly serious even at its most eccentric, wilfully awkward even at its most accessible, dense and intricate even at its most freewheeling. Same as it ever was.
  4. Jul 6, 2012
    It's pretty f***ing awesome.
  5. Jul 12, 2012
    The Dirty Projectors are still fantastic weirdos making fantastically weird music, but Swing Lo Magellan humanizes them by letting you see through to their heartstrings.
  6. Jul 27, 2012
    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.
  7. Jul 10, 2012
    Simply put, the music on Swing Lo can't support its great ideas. To quote Dylan, "a song is anything that can walk by itself." Maybe time will prove me completely and utterly wrong, but as far as I can tell, nothing on Swing Lo walks by itself.

See all 41 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 7 out of 9
  2. Negative: 1 out of 9
  1. Dec 18, 2012
    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. Expand
  2. Aug 19, 2012
    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 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
  3. Jul 12, 2012
    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 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
  4. Jul 11, 2012
    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. Collapse
  5. Aug 12, 2012
    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 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
  6. Jul 10, 2012
    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 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
  7. Nov 14, 2012
    THIS BAND SUUUUUUUUCKS!!!! Just watched them on letterman and I cannot believe he has fallen into the despair of having to play bands that labels force feed on us. They were out of harmony sounded whiny and down right suck!!! I'm now embarrassed to admit that I am from Brooklyn. Lets cross our fingers and wish for a major bus accident or plane crash that wipes them off the charts Expand

See all 9 User Reviews