• Record Label: Superego
  • Release Date: Apr 15, 2014
Metascore
79

Generally favorable reviews - based on 14 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 12 out of 14
  2. Negative: 0 out of 14
  1. 90
    It's an album without pretense or misstep. [May 2014, p.88]
  2. Apr 8, 2014
    88
    It's a unified album, in which sound is every bit as crucial as craft. Despite the formidable solo careers involved, The Both improbably sounds like the work of a band.
  3. Apr 15, 2014
    83
    Even as Mann pushes toward friendly pop-rock and Leo pulls toward spiky punkiness, the lack of struggle in that mild tension makes for a charm offensive that’s hard to resist.
  4. Apr 15, 2014
    80
    The Both charms like few collaborations of its ilk, a side project that transcends dabbling and brings out the best in Leo and Mann.
  5. Apr 14, 2014
    80
    The duo’s self-titled debut’s greatest strength is the pair’s hand-in-glove harmonies. Coupled with Mann’s gift for a pop melody and Leo’s penchant for spiky, urgent guitars, the end result is a best-of-both-worlds situation.
  6. Apr 14, 2014
    80
    They work hard to make it a true collaboration, and due to that effort and the high quality of the songs they each brought, it works amazingly well.
  7. Apr 8, 2014
    80
    The unlikely pairing works precisely because of the contrast between their approaches, as they locate a vibrant middle ground on rawboned yet tuneful rockers like "The Prisoner" and dynamic ballads like "No Sir." [May 2014, p.69]
  8. 75
    It’s [not] the best album from either performer (the low-pressure nature of their collaboration makes for equally low stakes), but it’s definitely the most digestible.
  9. Apr 17, 2014
    70
    New Wave heartthrob and master songcrafter Aimee Mann gets welcome vocal and guitar snarl from Ted Leo, a post-punk heartthrob in his own right whose unfussy attack benefits from Mann's melodic and harmonic touch.
  10. Apr 8, 2014
    70
    The tunes barely let up until the Mann-led "Hummingbird" and "Honesty Is No Excuse" more than halfway through, and even then the usual boring singer/songwriter-isms become a nice resting place from the otherwise inescapable hooks.
  11. Apr 15, 2014
    69
    The Both’s self-titled release is the sound of a first date that wasn’t exactly a drag but won’t be leading to a second meet-up.
  12. Aug 1, 2014
    67
    The Both brings refreshing energy to a pair of catalogs whose unlikely intersection succeeds superbly.
  13. If the music still plays to the lighter side of power pop, it’s more animated and edgy than either musician has managed in too long a time.
  14. Apr 14, 2014
    54
    At heart, this is an enthusiastic debut that can’t quite live up to its own billing, but at least it shows two veterans who have bravely embraced the neophyte’s challenge of figuring out their sound.
User Score
7.3

Generally favorable reviews- based on 7 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 2
  2. Negative: 0 out of 2
  1. smw
    May 21, 2014
    10
    The album is outstanding, with Mann and Leo creating a more appealing sound together than either had done separately. "Milwaukee," "BedtimeThe album is outstanding, with Mann and Leo creating a more appealing sound together than either had done separately. "Milwaukee," "Bedtime Stories," and "Hummingbird" stand out as highlights for their catchy hooks and beautiful vocal harmonies. (Even my kids love those songs, to my pleased surprise!) They've called the album a tribute to their mutual musical hero, the late Scott Miller (pop musician, leader of Game Theory; look him up on Wikipedia), and "Bedtime Stories" exemplifies The Both's fidelity to his hook-laden, musically complex, intellectual model of power pop. Full Review »
  2. May 13, 2014
    4
    It's okay. But i can't say i like it. I'm not sure i'll remember any of the tracks by the end of the month. Nothing really stuck with me.It's okay. But i can't say i like it. I'm not sure i'll remember any of the tracks by the end of the month. Nothing really stuck with me.

    Maybe some people like this kind of music, but i don't. Which is strange, 'cause i enjoyed a few of Aimee Mann's earlier work.
    Full Review »