The Campfire Headphase

  • Record Label: Warp
  • Release Date: Oct 18, 2005
User Score
9.0

Universal acclaim- based on 68 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 65 out of 68
  2. Negative: 1 out of 68

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  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 the ambient genre. The woozy and calming vibes emanated throughout are nothing short of unparallelled.
  2. FredR
    Oct 30, 2005
    10
    Brilliant and moody. Interesting way to start your day.
  3. johnc
    Oct 18, 2005
    7
    '84 Pontiac Dream reveals a decaying 7-note company sound logo - at 0:28 and again at 1:56. Details like this make the album worth the filler.
  4. ChairmanSac
    Oct 20, 2005
    9
    I am thoroughly enjoying this album. After repeated listenings, I feel it is just as complex as their previous releases, if not more complex at times. It's lighter, folkier and less sinister than their older work, but I don't feel this is a problem at all. It's a welcome change. See you in hell if you think otherwise.
  5. Synthetrix
    Oct 20, 2005
    7
    A good album, but not their best by any means even though they seem to have progressed in some ways, the album is a bit lackluster and sleepy.
  6. TimD
    Oct 20, 2005
    9
    A stunning album! I had high expectations for this album and I can honestly say BoC have exceeded them. Crucially, they manage to evolve and incorporate new sounds without losing what makes them so unique. Thoroughly recommended.
  7. GustavoR
    Apr 19, 2006
    10
    I love this album is excellent but every cd of Boards of Canad is Great !!! I like the combination of their sounds, it's a perfect mix of them. Excellent Job.
  8. LeeM
    Nov 25, 2005
    10
    Sounds like the homing signal of a dying alien. Or the fragments of nostalgia left in the scattered brains of a murdered child. What more do you want?
  9. AdamC
    Oct 17, 2005
    8
    So, glancing around at several reviews of The Campfire Headphase, my impression is that most people mildly enjoy the new Boards of Canada album but they ultimately find it a bit of a dissapointment. I would have agreed with those statements at first, but I have since listened to it a few more times and discovered that, for me, this is the perfect autumn album. Sure it isn't as dense So, glancing around at several reviews of The Campfire Headphase, my impression is that most people mildly enjoy the new Boards of Canada album but they ultimately find it a bit of a dissapointment. I would have agreed with those statements at first, but I have since listened to it a few more times and discovered that, for me, this is the perfect autumn album. Sure it isn't as dense or complex as their previous work, but you know what? I like it better this way. Melancholy and uplifting at the same time which seems to evoke the strongest emotions from me. Good job BoC. I'll be spreading the word around... Expand
  10. kg
    Oct 18, 2005
    9
    Much has been written on the third long player of Boards Of Canada. 'Guitars' is the word that is mostly associated with this album, but I think that the focus on organic intruments doesn't touch the weathered down, nostalgic atmosphere of the Boards' music a bit. The cricts demand change, but I conservatively like it that way - their sound is the reason I love the Much has been written on the third long player of Boards Of Canada. 'Guitars' is the word that is mostly associated with this album, but I think that the focus on organic intruments doesn't touch the weathered down, nostalgic atmosphere of the Boards' music a bit. The cricts demand change, but I conservatively like it that way - their sound is the reason I love the artists in the first place. You got to embrace this album. Make love to it. What at first seem to be bland tunes without any direction will soon open up their insides to you... just give it some time. You can't properly review this without letting it stick in your cd player for a week. This is why this album, which I consider better than their highly acclaimed breakthrough album Music Has The Right To Children. While this dreamy album may not be as varied and deep as the darker Geogaddi, this piece of art will truly grow on you until you won't listen to anything else on a misty nature walk or a sunny road trip. Sure, there are some low points on the album. Texture showoffs like 'Ataronchronon' pass by unnoticed, and with tracks like 'Hey Saturday Sun', the feeling you've heard this before is not far away. These are countered by songs I consider BoC's best: the haunting 'Slow This Bird Down', the playful '84 Pontiac Dream', the uplifting 'Chromakey Dreamcoat', the magistral 'Oscar See Through Red Eye', and the closer 'Farwell Fire', slowly dying down like a real campfire. Get this album and let it soak into your brain. Expand
  11. spence
    Oct 19, 2005
    8
    For me, the thing missing in this album is the sinister feeling/ambience the previous albums leave when listening to.
  12. EricJ
    Nov 9, 2005
    9
    A bit lighter than geogaddi. They're getting back to that old MHTRTC sound yet they're pushing things in a new direction too. Only real problem with this album is that it took YEARS to make
  13. [Anonymous]
    Oct 19, 2005
    9
    Yes, more of the same, only with some acoustic guitar added, which is just a superficial, first listen notice, but it's growing so much on me. It's really pretty great, so much more satisfying to me than the darker, more varied Geogaddi, which i find too disturbing to warrant the kind of repeat listening i'm giving this one. It's so comforting this music. And i think Yes, more of the same, only with some acoustic guitar added, which is just a superficial, first listen notice, but it's growing so much on me. It's really pretty great, so much more satisfying to me than the darker, more varied Geogaddi, which i find too disturbing to warrant the kind of repeat listening i'm giving this one. It's so comforting this music. And i think that's the big difference here. The first two had their slightly warped moments that put things on edge, which is great, but this one is a wonderful, feel-good warm-fuzzy out-in-the-country album. And there's really nothing wrong with that at all. Expand
  14. JTolbert
    Dec 10, 2005
    9
    Still realy good, even if it sounds redundant. Their sound is so solid that I could hear their formula for years and never get tired of it. Still better than most electronica I hear. Perhaps because I was born in 1970 and grew up in North America watching public television as a child too, it brings tears to my eyes.
  15. scottw
    Oct 21, 2005
    9
    i have only heard the album 3 times, but i am not disappointed. quite the opposite. i think that this is a very deep and complex work. to say that this album is better or worse than previous works would be a mistake. this is it's own body of work. i love the change from the sinister to a more organic sound. i love this album so far.
  16. MattP
    Oct 26, 2005
    10
    I believe it will take some time to realize what a masterpiece has been created here, but Boards of Canada are arguably better than ever. From the hypnotic, warbling guitar of Chromakey Dreamcoat to the Headphase fade-out of Farewell Fire, it is evident that Boards skills that have been honed througout the years have come together to make an superb album. In time peole will realize that I believe it will take some time to realize what a masterpiece has been created here, but Boards of Canada are arguably better than ever. From the hypnotic, warbling guitar of Chromakey Dreamcoat to the Headphase fade-out of Farewell Fire, it is evident that Boards skills that have been honed througout the years have come together to make an superb album. In time peole will realize that this is their best, and much less than MHTRTC and Geogaddi then was first assumed. Amazing record. Expand
  17. ThomasH.
    Feb 15, 2009
    10
    Stunning record! One of the best albums I've ever heard!
  18. cody
    Nov 19, 2005
    10
    Some of the best music i have heard in my entire life...
  19. JulesH
    Nov 5, 2005
    9
    The most innovative electronic composition out there. Definitely for headphones, over and over. Songs 3-5 are perhaps the best electronica ever put to a CD grrove...
  20. JohnK
    Oct 18, 2005
    10
    This album simply needs to be listened to more than a few times to get the real effect, much as Music Has The Right To children needed. This is a fantastic album, and a return to form after Geogaddi, which I did not care for nearly as much as MHTRTC.
  21. TimR.
    Oct 18, 2005
    7
    Well, when I first put on the new 'Boards' cd, I had to eject it out of my player to make sure I didn't accidentally put on a second rate 'Air' album. It hurts me to say this, considering I am a huge 'Boards of Canada' fan, but the record does not continue in the tradition of innovative off beat, but yet on, beat sequencing...and alas, where are those Well, when I first put on the new 'Boards' cd, I had to eject it out of my player to make sure I didn't accidentally put on a second rate 'Air' album. It hurts me to say this, considering I am a huge 'Boards of Canada' fan, but the record does not continue in the tradition of innovative off beat, but yet on, beat sequencing...and alas, where are those bueatuful sound bites of the much inspired NFB (Nation Film Board) of Canada...the cut up, edited, and broken up sampling. To those of you who by happen chance read and remember my review of the last Broken Social Scene record, you may first consider my comments on the 'Boards' hypocritical, therefore I will clarify and define my concept of 'progression'. It appears that some of the critics who reviewed the 'Broken Social Scene' record thought that it was not as 'progressive' as its predecessor. In the case of the Broken Social Scene' I found their new record to be 'progressive' in the sense that the band continues to take big jumps to explore multiple 'genres', thus taking their sound into new sonic territory. However, the 'Boards of Canada' are also considered progressive, first by generating an original sound that continue to refine and explore with explicit 'progressive' experimentation, while at other times, they are extremelly subtle in their 'progression', content on refining their sound. (either way, it works for me) On this album, the 'Boards' substitute 'progression' all together---there is no exploration...their use of generic, and arguably, overly melodic guitar, has replaced their once layered sounds that were composed of nonlinear, but yet linear, rhythmical patterns. Without the passion that can be heard on their earlier work, this record sees that the 'Boards' are cash grabing their eagerly awaiting fanbase; or, and it is my hope, they are having a creative dry spell and just need time to regroup. Here's me hoping. Expand
  22. JosephP
    Oct 19, 2005
    9
    While it might breeze by on a first listen, upon returning there is just an amazing sensation, especially in such tracks as Satellite Anthem Icarus, Slow This Bird Down, and Oscar See Through Red Eyes. Perfect for the end of a busy day, relaxing and beautiful.
  23. SeanT
    Dec 11, 2005
    8
    brings more of a human touch to their music. this one feels like it has more of a soul than the last few. and i like the wide use of guitar on this one.
  24. TreyW
    Dec 10, 2005
    10
    Boards of Canada offers a taste of the right-brained world and what lies beyond. (Psychedelic music of epic proportions.)
  25. HughJ
    Dec 10, 2005
    10
    This is the album I expected when Geogaddi was released. The subtle, intricate details at the edge of perception once again demonstrate why Boards of Canada are the premier act in electronic music. Reviewers who knock this album for not being "different enough" from their past work clearly don't get the point.
  26. WarpedJosie
    Oct 23, 2005
    9
    While Campfire is missing some of the melody/dissonance friction of Music and especially Geogaddi, I find that I like the evolution of BoC's sound . I didn't want everything they create to sound like Sunshine Recorder or Kid For Today. They still have managed to hit on chord progressions that absolutely give me goosebumps. Mmmmmmmm.
  27. aelxnexus
    Oct 24, 2005
    7
    Boards of Canada is unique. This album contains a lot of sounds allready explored in their first two great LPs (the guitars are new), and still sounds wonderfull!
  28. JamieB
    Jan 29, 2007
    10
    I think that this is BOC's best work thusfar and progresses to a more organic, lighter sound. They incorporated the guitars beautifully. This is the best possible way they could've gone after Geogaddi. Anxious to see where they go next.
  29. TristanL
    Nov 16, 2005
    10
    Fantastic Album that's really turned me on to the Boards Of Canada - amazing layering and fantastic textures - good stuff!
  30. JoeS.
    Nov 24, 2005
    10
    People are so f***ing stupid.
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. The Campfire Headphase lacks the transcendent grace that made Music Has the Right to Children and even Geogaddi classics in their field.
  2. This is music you listen to when drugs don't work anymore.
  3. 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]