Swoon - Silversun Pickups

Generally favorable reviews - based on 21 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 12 out of 21
  2. Negative: 1 out of 21
  1. Swoon is a bit of a dying whale of a record. In a good way; vast, dark, a little mysterious, sad, dignified and palpably in pain.
  2. If Swoon isn't quite this year's "Tusk," the Silversun Pickups are exploring fresh territory of their own and keeping it easy to follow.
  3. It would be thrilling to hear a Silversun Pickups record which finally shakes off all their influences and creates something entirely their own. Swoon isn't quite that record, but it takes them closer to that goal, and is a seductive, intricate thing of beauty in itself.
  4. It's intimate, accessible, and--Pumpkins comparisons aside--fairly unique in today's scene. What more could one ask for?
  5. 80
    Heavier, headier, and roaring with a kind of rock assault unimaginable from its first, the band lays it all on the table from the get-go. [Spring 2009, p. 91]
  6. It lacks some of Carnavas’ instant pleasures, but Swoon finds Silversun Pickups on the right path.
  7. 70
    Aubert’s dude-sings-like-a-lady tenor conjures false hope for a relationship he knows is doomed. SSPU salute misery as a kind of ideal, the opposite of love but just as beautiful.
  8. Swoon improves on the Pickups' 2006 debut, Carnavas, with less slavish writing and more articulated dynamics.
  9. 70
    The Pickups also pile on the sophomore-album enhancements here, deepening a sound that scarcely wanted for depth beforehand.
  10. Swoon, then, is a mixed listening experience, with the solemnity and over-seriousness of the general tone and the occasionally grating nature of that voice being more or less mitigated by some lovely melodies and first-rate guitar riffs.
  11. The fuzzed out riffage and ethereal interludes are in place, but Swoon lacks the diverse textures, clever lyrics, and emotional depth that the Pumpkins honed over a 10 year span. And this is as it should be.
  12. We are left with not so much a Pickup as a throwback: agreeable, but never truly unmissable.
  13. There's no denying that the darker mood suits them--although with Kevin Shields and co now out of retirement as well, it could be back to the drawing board again. [May 2009, p.119]
  14. They sound more attractive, though, when they excercise a little restraint, as on 'Substitution:' less dramatic, but less contrived, too.
  15. Swoon ultimately delivers the exact same results as its predecessor mostly because it's written in nearly the exact same way. The problem all along for the Silversun Pickups isn't that they sound too much like the Smashing Pumpkins. They just sound way too much like themselves.
  16. It's pleasant enough, particularly when the breathy vocals fade away to leave behind cascades of guitars, but even at its best, it's nothing more than an approximation of Smashing Pumpkins at their peak, with all the interesting parts stripped away.
  17. The Silversun Pickups show here that they've got a competent grasp of the amp-frying guitar soundscape, but someone needs to teach them how to write a decent rock song.
  18. Swoon’s self-induced flaws are endless, which is disappointing because Silversun Pickups seem like great musicians who could easily craft an exciting song--if they stepped out of the Pumpkins’ shadow.
  19. 40
    This second album owes nothing to Kevin Shields and just about everything to the Smashing Pumpkins. [May 2009, p.69]
  20. 40
    For all the dazzling dynamics, much of it recalling the '90s from shoegaze to Sonic Youth, the writing leaves little lasting impression, and Brian Aubert's affected vocals drag things down. [Jul 2009, p.97]
  21. Even a past-it Smashing Pumpkins ‘reunion’ with only Corgan remaining is more acceptable than this awful mimickery and that’s not a good place for a band to be.
User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 51 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 12 out of 12
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 12
  3. Negative: 0 out of 12
  1. Feb 13, 2014
    The Puckups, well, pick up a lot of flack for sounding like Gish-y Pumpkins, but this album has an atmosphere- a density- that calls to mind a Kevin Shields production. Still, solid songwriting and the ability to manipulate mood really shine through the dense sonic fog. "The Royal We" is our favorite track, but "Panic Switch" gets the most attention, perhaps for its urgent delivery. Overall, Swoon tastefully serves up a well-balanced tracklist, leaving the listener full after 51 minutes of flavor. Producer Dave Cooley seems to be the secret ingredient as evidenced by the lack of flavor in SSP's Cooley-free third album. So, don't write reviews when you're hungry, but do pickup this album and listen all the way through. Full Review »
  2. May 25, 2012
    Swoon is the album that made me love SSPU. From the emotional "Growing Old Is Getting Old" to the upbeat, distortion and effects-heavy "Panic Switch", this album is fantastic. My only gripe is that I felt "Surrounded" was a somewhat average song in an almost perfect record, which brought down the score a bit for me. This is still one of my favorite albums and I would recommend this record to anyone and everyone. Full Review »
  3. Jun 11, 2011
    This is the best album ever! The vocals are great! The songs are amazing and well written! The cd is pure gold and the only cd (not counting metacritic cause i rate it different on here) that ive given a 10 Full Review »