• Record Label: Merge
  • Release Date: Jul 28, 2015
Metascore
79

Generally favorable reviews - based on 29 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 23 out of 29
  2. Negative: 0 out of 29
Buy On
  1. Jul 27, 2015
    100
    TMLT feels like the Titus Andronicus record par excellence, it pushes and shoves at the boundaries of what such a record could or should conceivably sound like.
  2. 100
    This is music that wants to be read as a text, and deserves to be. The fact that it comes to us in an era of smartphones and shortening attention spans only serves to underscore its audacity.
  3. 91
    No, TMLT is not as precise as The Monitor, nor as pleasurable. It does, however, surpass it in imagination and aim. This alone cements The Most Lamentable Tragedy as one of this year’s greatest rock records.
  4. Jul 23, 2015
    91
    Best of all, it’s very self-aware. Stickles puts it all on the table, ready to blame, excuse, forgive and destroy himself perhaps as an example for us when we’re trying to decide how to deal with our own imperfections.
  5. 90
    Of course The Most Lamentable Tragedy is ridiculous. It's also dumb, intelligent, heartbreaking and life-affirming.
  6. Aug 3, 2015
    90
    While Matt Bellamy drowned in pretension and tone-deaf bombast, Stickles astutely embraces the grandiose, distilling his troubles into some of the sharpest songwriting of his career and a spectacular display of ownership.
  7. Jul 30, 2015
    90
    If you can convince yourself of TMLT being a novel, a musical, or five EPs crammed into one record, the experience becomes more immersive and rich.
  8. Jul 30, 2015
    90
    The Most Lamentable Tragedy is the product of one of the best punk bands of our time making music in their prime, and when you factor in the level of ambition present, you’re left with a rock opera for the ages.
  9. Jul 29, 2015
    90
    The high, both in the story line and in the course of the album, is temporary. But it’s one of several vertiginous peaks on a pretty vertiginous record.
  10. Uncut
    Jul 28, 2015
    90
    The Most Lamentable Tragedy feels like a quintessentially modern album, a scintillating examination of mania and neurosis that uses the history of rock'n'roll as mere stage dressing for its bravura performance. [Sep 2015, p.65]
  11. Jul 23, 2015
    90
    Great art isn't great art because it's easy, and this 90-plus-minute, five-act rock opera inspired by Stickles' experience with manic depression is absolutely worth spending the time with.
  12. Jul 31, 2015
    83
    You can hear, see, feel Titus Andronicus trying their damnedest, and when the band’s talented musicians aren’t interrupted for the sake of concept, that enthusiasm and the resulting excellent songs pass infectiously to the listener.
  13. Jul 27, 2015
    81
    A 29-track, 93-minute rock opera that immediately restored their claims to outsized ambition, as only a 29-track, 93-minute rock opera might.
  14. 80
    The album demands a lot from our short-attention-span culture, but it's not time you'll feel like you've wasted. [Sep 2015, p.98]
  15. Aug 3, 2015
    80
    The Monitor makes the listener feel unified with the band in their alienation. The Most Lamentable Tragedy presents an abstracted story as its emotional core, and it’s significantly harder to respond to that more distant lyrical perspective.
  16. Aug 3, 2015
    80
    Sad, contemplative and euphoric in equal measure, The Most Lamentable Tragedy is a true triumph.
  17. Jul 30, 2015
    80
    Sometimes suggesting a cross between Hüsker Dü's Zen Arcade and Bruce Springsteen's The River, The Most Lamentable Tragedy is as big, smart, and heartfelt as either of those albums, and a striking example of what Titus Andronicus can achieve.
  18. Jul 30, 2015
    80
    There's not much that's accessible about The Most Lamentable Tragedy, but that's a good thing.
  19. Jul 30, 2015
    80
    The Most Lamentable Tragedy can be a harrowing listen, but it’s also laced with jokes and music that’s fun and invigorating.
  20. Jul 28, 2015
    80
    There are a few weak spots (Stickles' voice is much less suited for the closing ballads than the freight-train punk tracks, though the ballads better suit the surprisingly hopeful lyrics), but The Most Lamentable Tragedy is never less than interesting and rarely less than thrilling.
  21. 70
    A few indulgences like an ‘Auld Lang Syne’ singalong are the main gripes to dampen an otherwise monumental presence.
  22. Jul 30, 2015
    70
    Tragedy reflects the wild mood swings associated with those suffering from bipolar disorder; raging one moment, euphoric the next before settling into a seemingly bottomless depression. And like those suffering, it’s not always a pleasant listening experience, but when it’s on, it’s some of their best and most musically mature work yet.
  23. Jul 29, 2015
    70
    A shaggy chorale, a piano ballad, organ drones and Celtic touches--including a hurtling cover of the Pogues' "A Pair of Brown Eyes"--provide variety. But the center remains frontman Patrick Stickles' desperate howl.
User Score
7.8

Generally favorable reviews- based on 51 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 42 out of 51
  2. Negative: 8 out of 51
  1. Aug 19, 2015
    10
    A truly amazing album! Theres not a single dull moment on here (except for maybe the silent tracks). The story there trying to get across isA truly amazing album! Theres not a single dull moment on here (except for maybe the silent tracks). The story there trying to get across is amazing, but the best [art about this album is the drums and guitars. By far my favorite rock album of the year! Full Review »
  2. Aug 5, 2015
    10
    I've enjoyed a lot, it's probably my AOTYSF. For me it's just an adrenaline rush through and through, it makes the hour and 30 minutes feelI've enjoyed a lot, it's probably my AOTYSF. For me it's just an adrenaline rush through and through, it makes the hour and 30 minutes feel like 45 minutes. The story line is very deep and well thought-out which gives it a lot of replay value, especially with all of the resources Patrick has put out there, but I still find myself enjoying as a pure, simple rock record. Songs like Come on, Siobhan, No Future Part IV, Fired Up, Lookalike, Dimed Out, and Stranded (On My Own) are super catchy and fun while also having damn good lyrics that fit in to the story. And, parts like the the stretch of (S)HE SAID (S)HE SAID to Please are just pure catharsis. This immediacy make the album work on so many levels of involvement and attention. I can put this on just to rock out to or to study carefully, following along to the story and getting a deep emotion connection. So, overall Stickles and Co have created a near perfect album in my eyes. Full Review »
  3. Aug 3, 2015
    10
    This is a concept album for the ages. It will never be placed on the level of Dark Side of the Moon or Sgt. Pepper, but it's close in quality.This is a concept album for the ages. It will never be placed on the level of Dark Side of the Moon or Sgt. Pepper, but it's close in quality. It sounds exactly like what it is: a spectacular breakthrough album from a versatile punk rock band who not only has high ambitions, but is also capable of turning those ambitions into beautiful reality. The lyrics, might I add, are an inspiring manifesto on conquering the evils of mental illness and those of our corrupt society. Contrary to what reviewers have asserted, there is no "filler" on this album. Each one of this album's 93 minutes, and each of its 29 tracks, is important and necessary. The album is expertly arranged so that the enormous rock tracks–every one of which is guaranteed to melt your face off–have room to breathe. The album forces you to take it all in carefully. Of course it's long, of course it takes a while to listen to, and of course you have to spend some time poring over the lyrics to really get the message. But good art isn't supposed to be easy. The only complaint about this album that I recognize as legitimate is that some people find Patrick Stickles's vocals grating and unpleasant. I disagree, but I see why some people might think that. But if you aren't bothered by punk rock vocals in general, then it shouldn't be a problem for you. Overall, this album is a 10 for me, and easily the best album of the year so far except for Kendrick Lamar's To Pimp a Butterfly. Full Review »