The Moon & Antarctica

  • Record Label: Sony
  • Release Date: Jun 13, 2000

Universal acclaim - based on 22 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 20 out of 22
  2. Negative: 1 out of 22
    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. Puncture
    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]
  5. Their most cohesive collection of songs to date...
  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. The music on The Moon & Antarctica is as lonely and desolate as the title suggests...
  9. Select
    Big choppy riffs and plaintive vocals recall Pavement in non-quirky mode. [Sep 2000, p.105]
  10. 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.
  11. Magnet
    A dark album that shines very brightly. [#46, p.85]
  12. 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.
  13. 80
    Remarkably mature and absorbing.
  14. 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.
  15. A visit to desolate regions... a 60-minute, 15-song treatise on isolation, displacement and a seemingly bottomless spiritual void.
  16. What is lost in warm immediacy is gained in eclectic cool...
  17. The studio scrubbing leaves no noticeable film; even the effects--like the spacey guitar that launches "Gravity Rides Everything"--ring true.
  18. 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").
  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

Universal acclaim- based on 120 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 50 out of 55
  2. Negative: 0 out of 55
  1. Jack
    Jul 12, 2006
    Oh yes... Ohhh yes.
  2. May 28, 2011
    Staggering. A masterpiece of sound, ambition, ambiance, and songwriting, this album is something that no alt-rock collection is complete without.
  3. TimE
    Nov 8, 2005
    This is a fans only record. All the hardcore fans will say this is the best because it didn't have any top 40 hits. I aint no sell out This is a fans only record. All the hardcore fans will say this is the best because it didn't have any top 40 hits. I aint no sell out and say that Good News... is there epic masterpiece Full Review »