Metascore
82

Universal acclaim - based on 22 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 20 out of 22
  2. Negative: 1 out of 22
  1. Moment for moment, there's not a more significant collection of songs to spend your life with...
  2. For the first time, Modest Mouse craft an album, not a collection of songs. That they manage to go beyond any other rock band out there is staggering.... OK Computer must be mentioned, for Modest Mouse just got invited to the same club.
  3. Production notwithstanding, the major-label move is the lyric sheet, which situates their circular minor-key riffs in a congruent worldview: eternal recurrence as infinite regress as cosmic bummer.
  4. Their most cohesive collection of songs to date...
  5. Clocking in at an hour, and incorporating much schizophrenic style-hopping, this is far from the concession to one-dimensional economy often required for a major-label debut. [#47, p.53]
  6. 90
    The Moon's musical and thematic diversity is glued together by Brooks' ability to instill even the most desolate musical climes with warmth and emotion.... One of the year's most oddly endearing records so far.
  7. Plaintive, nakedly honest lyrics collide with keen observation... an hour of enrapturing atmosphere.
  8. 80
    Big choppy riffs and plaintive vocals recall Pavement in non-quirky mode. [Sep 2000, p.105]
  9. Isaac Brock's goofy, hyperactive child voice, capable of earnest whine and arch speed-rap, peels the lid off his inability (refusal?) to come across as cool.
  10. 80
    Remarkably mature and absorbing.
  11. 80
    A dark album that shines very brightly. [#46, p.85]
  12. The music on The Moon & Antarctica is as lonely and desolate as the title suggests...
  13. The Moon and Antarctica is darker and colder than their previous stuff, but maintains the very particular blend of peculiar lyrics and uncompromising rock that consistently weaves through all their records.
  14. What is lost in warm immediacy is gained in eclectic cool...
  15. Ultimately, "Moon" may frustrate because it really is a little bit of everything: spastic, Talking Heads-ish funk ("Tiny Cities Made Of Ashes"), campfire acoustic yarns ("3rd Planet," "Gravity Rides Everything"), and Sonic Youth-ish rock epics ("The Cold Part," "The Stars Are Projectors").
  16. A visit to desolate regions... a 60-minute, 15-song treatise on isolation, displacement and a seemingly bottomless spiritual void.
  17. A sort of concept album about cold and distant places--creepy sound effects and odd nods to science and space abound--these 15 songs rarely settle into one place for long, opening with the characteristically potent "3rd Planet" before veering off into weird cacophony, jarring interludes, mellow meanderings, and general tunelessness.
  18. The studio scrubbing leaves no noticeable film; even the effects--like the spacey guitar that launches "Gravity Rides Everything"--ring true.
  19. 50
    But, due to poor track titling and a rather wishy-washy sound (first it's Rusted Root, and then the Pixies, then Frank Black and the Catholics), the album ultimately doesn't have much of a solid impact.
  20. 30
    The Moon and Antarctica does show Modest Mouse willing to change. Too bad it wasn't for the better.... Mistaking subject for style, Modest Mouse has chosen to accentuate on a tendency to drift rather than an ability to write emotionally effective songs.
User Score
9.2

Universal acclaim- based on 101 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 49 out of 52
  2. Negative: 0 out of 52
  1. May 28, 2011
    10
    Staggering. A masterpiece of sound, ambition, ambiance, and songwriting, this album is something that no alt-rock collection is complete without.
  2. Nov 2, 2013
    8
    [8.8] You might figure that an odd band like Modest Mouse has to reach the full extent of their eccentricity to make their best album. The Moon and Antarctica is relatively tame for Modest Mouse, and consistently great. The distortion of this album, its constant distant echo, its playfully serious tone, and most importantly, Issac Brock's schizophrenic approach to singing. This is easily accessible to those who understand it in context, but to those who dismiss it as "weird," shouldn't have bothered to try Modest Mouse in the first place. The Moon and Antarctica is as "consistent" as Modest Mouse can possibly get. Full Review »
  3. Aug 7, 2012
    10
    A great kaleidoscope of emotion and sound. Few albums are as hard hitting as "The Moon And Antarctica" Isaac Brock is nothing short of a genius, this album is a look into the head of the Modest Mouse Front-man. This album takes you on a journey through his mind, like a collage of memories, drunk ramblings, introspective thoughts, and beautiful soundscapes. "The Moon And Antarctica" is a classic and if at first you don't "get it" give it a couple more listens it's well worth it for this timeless slice of Americana. Full Review »