The Flower Lane - Ducktails
Metascore
72

Generally favorable reviews - based on 32 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 20 out of 32
  2. Negative: 1 out of 32
  1. Jan 28, 2013
    90
    The amount of growth is staggering, and moving from the hazy-headed territory of older Ducktails to songwriting this polished and still pulling it off speaks volumes for the purity of the project's development, as well as Mondanile's refreshed vision as an artist.
  2. Feb 8, 2013
    80
    The Flower Lane is a collection of hazy but beautifully constructed songs. [Mar 2013, p.98]
  3. Feb 6, 2013
    80
    Crisp drum figures add punctuation, and a noodling sax help evoke a mood of traveling the city at night. [Mar 2013, p.91]
  4. There's a modicum of standard Teenage-Fanclub-meets-Mekons indie jangle. Far more interesting, however, are the dreamy, dazed disco tunes.
  5. Jan 17, 2013
    80
    He has created a work of insidious beauty: creeping, pervasive and better for it.
  6. Jan 29, 2013
    76
    The Flower Lane provides width for Mondanile to freely explore bluesier, spacier frontiers, and the fresh air to achieve a cohesive clarity that builds on the successful points of his previous efforts.
  7. Feb 11, 2013
    75
    This is particularly adept record-collector rock for the rest of us. [No. 95, p.54]
  8. Jan 29, 2013
    75
    On The Flower Lane, Mondanile mostly sticks to what's familiar, but injects a healthy dose of finesse.
  9. Jan 23, 2013
    75
    It's not as challenging as previous Ducktails recordings, but a pleasant pop record nonetheless, and the band's most universally accessible yet.
  10. Jan 29, 2013
    71
    The relatively sumptuous presentation of The Flower Lane successfully separates it from the rest of Ducktails' discography. Unfortunately, a familiar emptiness remains.
  11. Feb 13, 2013
    70
    Sure, it's no masterpiece, but The Flower Lane represents Matthew Mondanile's most consistent record to date.
  12. Feb 12, 2013
    70
    Every song, for better or worse, is constructed with its own identity in mind, and if nothing else, Mondanile commits to each and every one of these attempts at distinction.
  13. Feb 1, 2013
    70
    It is a surprisingly refreshing listen.
  14. 70
    The Flower Lane is an honest-to-god pop record.
  15. Jan 29, 2013
    70
    The Flower Lane is a testament to Mondanile's growth as an artist that translates a prolonged history of potential into a complete and well-crafted work.
  16. Jan 29, 2013
    70
    The Flower Lane is arguably not as essential, nor quite as oddly memorable as previous collected Ducktails instalments, but it does appear to be a new phase of the band.
  17. Jan 25, 2013
    70
    The Flower Lane succeeds mostly because of Mondanile's dedication to purity.
  18. Jan 22, 2013
    70
    While not breaking new sonic ground, the broad brush strokes of nostalgia rarely wilt.
  19. Jan 17, 2013
    70
    It's all well-crafted, but the end result can often sound like a slightly disjointed compilation album. [Feb 2013, p.70]
  20. 65
    For the most part, then, The Flower Lane is a glowing ember of a record that shares much of the spark of Mondanile’s “day job” band, but also a little of their occasional tendency toward stylistic appropriation over dedication to content and originality.
  21. Jan 31, 2013
    60
    New wave, soul and house beats make this his most genre-bending album yet.
  22. Jan 29, 2013
    60
    The record feels akin to 40 minutes of stoned stargazing in a college dorm room. And the kid down the hall has yet to add substance to the conversation.
  23. Jan 29, 2013
    60
    If you've got a unquenchable thirst for reverb-y guitar pop, The Flower Lane is a pleasant album worth a listen, but those looking for something more should probably look elsewhere.
  24. Jan 24, 2013
    60
    The divide in styles is the problem: two is enough to prevent a clear personality shining through, but not enough to give it a sense of adventure.
  25. Jan 17, 2013
    60
    All designs are firmly fixed on a glorious technicolour gem, but it's fair to say results are mixed.
  26. Feb 4, 2013
    54
    It just lacks in a hallmark of all prior Ducktails releases: imagination.
  27. It sounds like he's trying to sound less weird, when he doesn't seem to understand that this very weirdness is part of what made him so endearing as a solo artist in the first place.
  28. 50
    Its songwriting, production, and delivery harbor no risks, and therefore the album safely passes by its listeners without leaving anything but a want for something a little more lively.
  29. Feb 1, 2013
    50
    The Flower Lane is far from a failed endeavour, but something special has been lost in the graduation from bedroom to studio.
  30. Feb 1, 2013
    50
    The album's shiny surfaces and tight musicianship subtly whisper "don't touch", preventing any serious emotional connection with the music.
  31. 50
    From there on in, though, it's ploddingly lightweight.
  32. Mar 1, 2013
    30
    On Flower Lane, Mondanile and the gang stepped out of the bedroom and into the studio, and the result is something just as sterile as every other song by Real Estate.
User Score
7.5

Generally favorable reviews- based on 8 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 1
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 1
  3. Negative: 0 out of 1
  1. Jan 29, 2013
    8
    A great, surprising album. I've listened to Ducktails in the past and have always been pleased with the songs that Matt from Real Estate could crank out. This album however is completely different than any other album that he has released in the past. Mondale proves his skills as a song craft as he uses all of the guest spots on here perfectly. This album has a few gems on here like "Under Cover" and "Assistant Director" while tracks like "Ivy Covered House", "Letter of Intent" and "The Flower Lane" are also stand outs. Seriously though, almost every track on here can stand alone by itself. I'm really impressed by this album. I recommend this album to Real Estate and non-Real Estate fans alike. Full Review »