The Devil, You + Me - The Notwist

Generally favorable reviews - based on 22 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 15 out of 22
  2. Negative: 0 out of 22
  1. There’s no doubting it’s a very good album. The band’s best? Probably not. A successful return from a hiatus overlong? Certainly.
  2. 80
    This belated reunion has developed further into thr most affectingly sad, sweet, sepia sound rooted in Marcus's forlorn vocal and delicate ripples of detail--jazzy-to-motorik rhythm and haunting synthetic drones. [JUly 2008, p.102]
  3. It seemed as if they'd perfected the balance of 2002's glowing "Neon Golden," but here manage to continue the evolution. [July 2008, p.108]
  4. Acher has a light touch, repeating simple phrases and subtle, smeared blue notes. As a lyricist, he’s a master of the soft sell, allowing his enigmas to carry their own weight.
  5. Throughout, eerie production touches (metallic clinks and synth bleeps on 'Where in This World') and organic sounds (acoustic guitars and glockenspiel on the title track) fit seamlessly to form the Notwist's most charming and complex work to date.
  6. Each track is unique, thanks in part to Markus Acher's peculiar voice and The Notwist's ability to seamlessly blend acoustic pop and electronic rock into a genre-bending, intriguing, and sometimes catchy, electro-fuzz pop, resulting in an uncommonly captivating album that gets better with each spin.
  7. The Notwist's songs sound almost too arranged and it's only after they've seeped in a little that it becomes easier to admire the trio's deftness, the way they absorb electronica's qualities of dissonance and disruption and use them as essential building blocks of their music. [June 2008, p.59]
  8. Fortunately, The Devil, You + Me shows that the Notwist been keeping their ears to the street and their asses in the studio since releasing 2002's indie-synth breakthrough "Neon Golden."
  9. But what this offering lacks in mirth, it more than makes up for in transcendence as well as dissonance.
  10. Even after a six-year siesta, the Notwist's approach to pop music-- exploiting both its formal properties and endless possibilities-- is no less captivating and visionary than before.
  11. As a standalone unit, it's a bit too pallid and self-consciously dour to serve as an introduction for newcomers. For those already hooked, though, The Devil should make a fine soundtrack for a depressive summer.
  12. It has that same slightly unnerved but ultimately comforting effect, and like Neon Golden, you might want to take it everywhere with you, even when you can only replay it in your mind.
  13. 70
    On their sixth album, these ever-evolving German indie rockers stick with the electronic-tinged direction of 2003’s Neon Golden, but with a little less emotional heft.
  14. Devil [is] a nusanced album that only slowly reveals its gifts. [July 2008, p.160]
  15. Frankly, the band's relucatance to change would be fine if the material were exceptional. Instead, it's merely quite good.
  16. For a band that has used a kitchen-sink approach in the past, The Devil, You + Me benefits from what is not in the mix. [Summer 2008]
  17. After a good handful of listens nothing hugely sticks and it isn't quite clear what they're aiming for.
  18. 60
    The Devil, You + Me is no milestone of experimentation, but The Notwist win extra points with their emotional restraint, lyrical maturity and elegantly complex arrangements. [Aug 2008, p.101]
  19. It's not that The Devil, You + Me is particularly bad; it merely and consistently recalls the band's more emotionally satisfying earlier work, while rarely equaling or surpassing it.
  20. 60
    The Notwist’s last album, 2003’s "Neon Golden," was irresistibly catchy and irretrievably downbeat. Both of those qualities are muted on The Devil, You + Me, the German combo’s long-in-the-making follow-up.
  21. While it’s a solid follow-up to "Neon Golden," The Devil, You + Me falls short of its predecessor in that, taken as a whole, it doesn’t amount to more than the sum of its parts.
  22. The best thing to do with this album is to put the first and last tracks on repeat, and give everything in between a shot when you’re stuck in bed sick; it could be the perfect moment.

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