• Record Label: Warp
  • Release Date: Oct 18, 2005
Metascore
79

Generally favorable reviews - based on 30 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 25 out of 30
  2. Negative: 0 out of 30
  1. Admittedly, The Campfire Headphase becomes excessive at points.
  2. The spell is broken, however, by pieces like "Tears From the Compound" and "Oscar See Through Red Eye," which get lost in the marshes of their own hypnotic rhythms, sugar-sweet synths and lo-fi, breathy drones.
  3. As well as being their most accessible, The Campfire Headphase emerges as the most solid Boards of Canada album to date.
  4. The pair have opted for unfiltered analogue over cleaned-up digital, too, achieving a lush density with loops and textures and a warm wooziness overall that's a million miles removed from their last effort, 2002's dark and almost mathematically complex "Geogaddi".
  5. It’s definitely going to be divisive, this album – there are some who simply won’t welcome this definitive stride away from the electronic psychedelia that’s been the Boards’ purlieu for so long.
  6. This feels like a step down from the last two albums.
  7. This record isn’t gonna kick you in the head the way that BoC’s last two outings have on occasion done. The break beats aren’t gonna blow you away and there’s nothing here that’ll really get your blood rushing. If you give it the time, though, Campfire reveals itself as an truly beautiful piece of work, better produced and with a tighter sense of melody than the Sandisons have shown in past.
  8. Overall, it's Boards of Canada trying new things and experimenting outside of the box that they built for themselves; commendable and quite addictive.
  9. Boards of Canada seems to be able to release albums pre-aged, so that all the things that might have bugged you a couple years ago now sounds like another part of why it's a classic.
  10. Unlike 2002's 'Geogaddi', it's a wholly gripping journey throughout.
  11. The Campfire Headphase lacks the transcendent grace that made Music Has the Right to Children and even Geogaddi classics in their field.
  12. Despite its lengthy gestation period, there is more than a hint of deja vu about The Campfire Headphase.
  13. Campfire does little to surprise.
  14. This record contains some of the most astounding music that Boards Of Canada have ever composed.
  15. This is music you listen to when drugs don't work anymore.
  16. [A] supreme collection of future-perfect broken nostalgia.
  17. Even the best parts lack anything new or novel to add to a sound already perfected.
  18. “Dayvan Cowboy” is almost worth the price of admission, but it makes the remainder of the album seem derivatively “New Age.”
  19. Ultimately, The Campfire Headphase shows continuity with the duo's previous recordings but fails to replicate the sheer beauty and awe-inspiring quality of past material, sounding at times like the work of very good Boards of Canada copyists.
  20. I don't fault them for trying some new things, but the results are mixed at best.
  21. Under The Radar
    80
    No, the album will not change your life as of yet, but it might prolong it before we’re all wiped off the planet by environmental destruction. [#11]
  22. New Musical Express (NME)
    70
    The likes of 'Chromakey Dreamcoat' sound like they were made on a potter's wheel rather than an iBook. [15 Oct 2005, p.36]
  23. Urb
    100
    The Campfire Headphase is enough of a genre bender to finally introduce this music to a well-deserved new audience. [Dec 2005, p.94]
  24. Mojo
    80
    It's a less alien, less disturbed and thoroughly lighter record. [Nov 2005, p.104]
  25. Uncut
    80
    Occasionally, they lapse into their own shuffling comfort zone, but there's always a pixel-level attention to detail here. [Nov 2005, p.102]
  26. Q Magazine
    80
    Radiates good feeling and warmth. [Nov 2005, p.131]
  27. Alternative Press
    80
    While The Campire Headphase sounds slightly defalted compared to [earlier] discs, it stlll has many charms. [Jan 2006, p.144]
  28. Paste Magazine
    70
    Only takes a small step forward. [Dec 2005, p.108]
  29. Entertainment Weekly
    67
    Somewhere along the way, the moody micro-bleeps and spacey strums have become a wee bit monotonous and predictable. [21 Oct 2005, p.77]
  30. Billboard
    80
    It is a testament to Mike Sandison and Marcus Eoin's production acumen that the songs here sound so organic despite their computerized origin. [22 Oct 2005]
User Score
9.0

Universal acclaim- based on 69 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 66 out of 69
  2. Negative: 1 out of 69
  1. Sep 8, 2012
    10
    An absolutely stunning masterpiece, The Campfire Headphase proves that Boards of Canada are deserving of their position at the pinnacle of theAn absolutely stunning masterpiece, The Campfire Headphase proves that Boards of Canada are deserving of their position at the pinnacle of the ambient genre. The woozy and calming vibes emanated throughout are nothing short of unparallelled. Full Review »
  2. Aug 29, 2017
    9
    The Campfire Headphase is a beautiful conglomerate of acoustic guitar and psychedelic synth all without straying from the formulaic, nostalgicThe Campfire Headphase is a beautiful conglomerate of acoustic guitar and psychedelic synth all without straying from the formulaic, nostalgic nature of BoC's previous releases. Full Review »
  3. Jan 2, 2017
    10
    Quite a different take of Boards of Canada when compared to their previous two LPs. The crunch and disturb is replaced with swooning guitarsQuite a different take of Boards of Canada when compared to their previous two LPs. The crunch and disturb is replaced with swooning guitars and strings. Tracks like Peacock Tail and Dayvan Cowboy really showcase this change the most. Definitely a solid record from the brothers Sandison. Full Review »