Universal acclaim - based on 22 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 21 out of 22
  2. Negative: 0 out of 22
  1. We hear a lot of different sounds, but are never left in any doubt that they flow together with such fire and skill that you feel they could knock out a freeform jazz number and still sound like the same band.
  2. BSP are an odd bunch: out of place, out of time, and quite possibly out of their minds. But given time to explore the depths of this record, they're also often out of this world.
  3. While some of their songs deliver nothing more than noisy twaddle, British Sea Power are a formidable band when they choose to simply stop making sense.
  4. “British Sea Power’s Classic”? Not quite. Not yet. But we can see the high-tide mark.
  5. BSP's performance art antics and throwback posturing come with a distinct set of innovations and surprises, and The Decline of British Sea Power proves that BSP have the song-power to back up their bullshit.
  6. The mish-mash of moods and modes leaves little from which to gather a theme.
  7. With an unlikely rock blend of classicism and narrative, British Sea Power has composed a brilliant album that's nearly perfect. It's not exactly pop, but it might as well be.
  8. Basically, it's the album they'd always promised us they'd make; consider 'The Decline...' British Sea Power's entrance pass to the ranks of the truly mighty.
  9. British Sea Power's slightly camp, wholly menacing, startlingly audacious debut is unlike anything you'll hear this year.
  10. An enchanting, rhapsodic album of uncommon depth.
  11. Given the potency of their debut, British Sea Power’s Decline can safely be interpreted as a marvelous exercise in self-deprecation.
  12. British Sea Power have the talent and vision to be a truly inspirational new guitar band.
  13. The Decline of British Sea Power is a record you'll probably tell your friends about, but it won't make you into a fervent, foamy-mouthed convert -- at least, not unless you're in a suitably receptive mood and play the record at its optimum volume...which, in case you wondered, means as loud as possible.
  14. Under The Radar
    BSP are in a league of their own -- a young band with an arsenal of ideas, the brains to pull them off and the guts to let them loose into the world. [#5, p.98]
  15. Mojo
    This is an album of stadium sized melodies and exquisite songwriting, allied with almost too many ideas. [Jun 2003, p.110]
  16. Uncut
    A riveting debut packed with ideas and invention. [Jul 2003, p.126]
  17. Blender
    British Sea Power's vision makes most independent rock seem callow and weak-minded. [Sep 2003, p. 119]
  18. Q Magazine
    Unabashed whimsy merges seamlessly with melodious garage rock. [Jul 2003, p.100]
  19. Alternative Press
    An intriguing debut. [Nov 2003, p.108]
  20. The diverse influences are still percolating, and any sense of cohesive absorption of earlier rock outfits' methods and styles never quite congeal into original expression.
  21. Entertainment Weekly
    It's not all darkness: The Brighton, England-based quintet offers enough straight-ahead rockers to keep the CD from turning into dirge overkill. [Oct 2003, p.95]
  22. Magnet
    As confusing as it is ultimately compelling. [#61, p.89]

Awards & Rankings

User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 39 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 15 out of 16
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 16
  3. Negative: 1 out of 16
  1. G
    Nov 23, 2006
    A truely astounding album.
  2. ahmose
    Sep 24, 2005
    This a great album. Great lyrics, melodies. A classic.
  3. nickd
    Jan 9, 2004
    See, people who say "the emporer has no clothes" should be shot for music fascism. Fantastic record, bombasic, pompous (14-minute long tracks See, people who say "the emporer has no clothes" should be shot for music fascism. Fantastic record, bombasic, pompous (14-minute long tracks and 41-second monk chanting, anyone?). It's not that arty, it's just great music. Now excuse me, I'm just off to murder the idiot who gave it 2. Full Review »