The Magic Numbers - The Magic Numbers
Metascore
80

Generally favorable reviews - based on 24 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 20 out of 24
  2. Negative: 0 out of 24
  1. 100
    The Magic Numbers have made one of the records--perhaps the record--that 2005 is destined to be remembered for. [Jul 2005, p.110]
  2. Nothing quite prepares you for the sheer beauty of The Magic Numbers' music.
  3. A record that will endure beyond this year, this decade and the rest.
  4. The comparisons to the Mamas and the Papas are ultimately weak; there's a lot of blues mixed in with the folky pop, and traces of '80s British band Prefab Sprout, who also spun their troubles into melodic gold full of boy/girl harmonizing.
  5. The Magic Numbers is one of the best pop albums of the year.
  6. There are pretty, moody moments... but what unites them all is a cheery, zippy exuberance that is rare these days. [21 Oct 2005, p.75]
  7. There's a bit an identity crisis going on here, but fans of this stuff ought to fall under the Numbers' spell pretty darn fast.
  8. Gives up its delights slowly and not without a wry smirk along the way. [11 Jun 2005, p.66]
  9. 80
    Unlike the solar-powered efforts of The Thrills or The Polyphonic Spree, they understand, like The Beach Boys before them, that the best way to soundtrack a broken heart is to drench it in sunny three-part harmonies. [Jul 2005, p.102]
  10. 80
    Resistance is useless. [Oct 2005, p.139]
  11. If you can forgive them their fondness for epic arrangements, theirs is a debut to transport you to a gentler place. [Jul 2005, p.122]
  12. I am tempted to describe The Magic Numbers as the new Coldplay because they have in spades what originally made Coldplay so wonderful; that is, a complete lack of affectation and waves of translucent, warm vulnerability, along with hushed vocal lines that sink into your brain like hot ball bearings.
  13. The songwriting falls a couple of times too many into timid generalities about love and loss; the melodies, though lovely, are sometimes interchangeable.
  14. It's entirely contrary to conventional CD construction and all the more appealing for being so. [2 Oct 2005]
  15. While the lyrics tend toward the generic and vapid... the primary appeal of Magic Numbers is the lovely harmonizing.
  16. If you like the singles, you won’t be disappointed by The Magic Numbers, but you won’t be astounded either.
  17. Cheeseball preciousness weighs down slower numbers such as "This Love," but when they're firing on all cylinders, the Magic Numbers treat their record collections like Romeo treats the idea of true love: as a source of wide-eyed wonder and a reason to get out of bed.
  18. The album becomes increasingly hard to hold onto. The band gets lost in the feel of hippie-era California and forgets that the musicians they admire were skilled craftsmen as well as aesthetic adventurers.
  19. 68
    A charming if adolescent collection of bubblegum harmonies and none-too-complicated pop. [#17, p.101]
  20. Given their youth, it does indeed promise much, but please, hold off on that honours listing for a while yet.
  21. Pleasant enough.... but many [songs] fall short, and the constant harping about love... begins to wear thin. [#11, p.111]
  22. High, lovely harmonies notwithstanding, a good 15 minutes chopped could've meant the difference between merely being noticed and creating a minor masterpiece of nostalgia-infused pop.
  23. It all glides by easily enough on its surface, but dig a little deeper and The Magic Numbers reveals itself to be not just a crashing bore, but an irritating one.

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