The Loon - Tapes 'n Tapes

Generally favorable reviews - based on 27 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 19 out of 27
  2. Negative: 0 out of 27
  1. The Loon will stand up as one of the best albums of the year, and Tapes 'n Tapes as a jewel in the American music crown.
  2. You will not be able to tear yourself away from this album. This is no daringly outrageous, Kid A-esque “progressive” music that nobody really enjoys listening to. This is rock 'n roll.
  3. 90
    This rocking trio is so good, we don't even care that it made a plethora of best-of-2005 lists--it'll end up on our rocking list for the '06. [Jul/Aug 2006, p.132]
  4. The first must-listen record of the year.
  5. The Loon is nothing short of an incredibly focused song suite, minus all the extraneous frivolities that you’ve gotten too used to hearing from an "incredibly focused song suite."
  6. Never quite knowing which Feelies riff or Malkmus vocal turn or, hell, CYHSY organ sound these guys will strike with next is precisely what makes The Loon such a rich, participatory, and eminently repeatable experience.
  7. The Loon excites with twisty guitar tangents, an airtight country two-step, and commanding choruses that Grier belts out with the fervor of a preacher. [28 Jul 2006, p.67]
  8. And yet for all the disparate elements, we haven't heard a record all year so secure in its own vision, or a collection of songs that sound so much like they need to be together. The only downside of this is it kind of smothers the potential for standout Oh. My. God. moments.
  9. 'The Loon' retains a genuinely empathetic sincerity that deserves applause, but should be praised to a greater degree for bringing weird, left-of-centre indie back to the fore.
  10. 80
    Even when you're not sure where they're going, you can't wait to see what happens when they get there. [Aug 2006, p.86]
  11. Tapes 'n Tapes might have to dismantle their influences soon. But right now, they're building something beautiful.
  12. An original and largely unaffected effort that reminds you why you dug indie rock's yesteryear. [Aug 2006, p.87]
  13. A sprawling delight that only gets richer with each successive listen.
  14. The Loon is an exercise in heavy-lidded ballsiness.
  15. 70
    They've yet to match the live genius of the [Arcade] Fire, but their album's got much more life than their static stage shows. [Aug 2006, p.95]
  16. The Loon is crafted like a true album; even if all the songs don't quite reach the level of its highlights, it all hangs together well.
  17. The Loon is a rare thing: an indie-rock record that's as lovable as it is bewildering.
  18. On first listen, "The Loon" is not as immediate as several key tracks are individually. But after further study, the pieces eventually fall into place, and it becomes clear that this foursome has a solid debut on its hands.
  19. A solid, solid debut with enough tunes to last the summer, at least.
  20. To be fair, "The Loon" stops short of pastiche, but it is too transparently a paean to Tape 'n Tapes' heroes.
  21. It’s not hard to grasp the appeal of their music; it’s just hard to understand why it’s eliciting such a strong response. [#14]
  22. 60
    Tapes 'n Tapes take not just their frazzled vocals but also their low-fi mixes, fuzzed-out guitars, semi-sequitur lyrics, falsetto refrains and general air of nearly falling apart from campus kings Pavement. [Aug 2006, p.114]
  23. At times they lack the focus to quite surmount their influences. [Aug 2006, p.117]
  24. We know this routine well; it's comfortable and pleasing to the ears. But throw on a disc by one of the originators (Pavement) or the cream of the modern crop (Wolf Parade) and Tapes 'n Tapes is trumped hands-down.
  25. The Loon owes so much to Stephen Malkmus and Frank Black that one imagines lawyers might be called.
  26. [A] thoroughly underwhelming debut, an album that merely paints within the lines already drawn by Pavement and the Pixies.
  27. They want to be every band to every bloke, shuffling between genres in an effort to jack all and master nada.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 58 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 28 out of 36
  2. Negative: 4 out of 36
  1. Mar 26, 2012
    Sweet collection of slick, well crafted songs. Every one sounds different from any other; some are explosive, some are laid back and chill. And it has its own unique energy running through. I've never heard anything quite like it. Full Review »