The New Romance - Pretty Girls Make Graves

Generally favorable reviews - based on 23 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 18 out of 23
  2. Negative: 1 out of 23
  1. At once daring and danceable, The New Romance is the best Talking Heads record Bikini Kill never made. [Oct 2003, p.120]
  2. 90
    Feel[s] immediate and experimental all at once. [#23, p.98]
  3. Put Pretty Girls Make Graves on the short list of bands that matter and make sure you get this record.
  4. The album exists in that scarcely inhabited rock-and-roll world where technical prowess coexists peacefully with clear and simple songcraft, the former never forgoing the latter.
  5. Hard to resist. [12 Sep 2003, p.153]
  6. 80
    Amid the fidgety guitars and twitchy rhythms are enough hair-raising hooks to reach far beyond the counters of independent record stores. [Sep 2003, p.128]
  7. The guitar throughout the album has an unusual approach which certainly helps PGMG stand out from the crowd.
  8. These are neither wimpy pop songs nor iron-fisted punk songs, but a shimmying amalgamation of DIY attitude and velvety songcraft, not altogether dissimilar to Learning to Crawl-era Pretenders.
  9. 80
    Pretty Girls Make Graves' sound relishes frenetic, funky guitar leads and loping bass lines from which everything (de)generates. [#5, p.105]
  10. The one-two punch of "Blue Lights" and "Chemical, Chemical" will be making year-end mix CDs like crazy.
  11. Maintains the urgency of their debut, developing ideas that were only in their infancy on their debut.
  12. 75
    Pretty Girls believe in anthems, which would be irritating if they didn't make you believe, too. [Oct 2003, p.107]
  13. PGMG is at its strongest when trafficking in one particular base emotion: Anger. It's when the band attempts to emote on a frequency dominated by the likes of Bright Eyes and Dashboard Confessional that the group gets into trouble.
  14. 70
    They present a united, often more supple front. [Nov 2003, p.131]
  15. Frequently explodes with ideas. [Oct 2003, p.112]
  16. Throughout The New Romance, the group crafts exciting, layered, tempo-shifting tracks where jolts replace hooks, but Zollo plays ringmaster, whispering and bellowing and enacting the stressed-out characters that populate her stark stage.
  17. Pretty Girls Make Graves fall slightly short of their ambitions and capabilities, producing songs that are good, even very good, but less than what they’ve proved themselves to be capable of.
  18. Whereas their debut album 'Good Health' saw the unlikely and frankly scary collision of Fuzazi and Rocket From The Crypt, 'The New Romance' leans resolutely on the emo-punk side.
  19. It is a difficult task to understand just what the fuss is about. [#236, p.72]
  20. Doesn't do justice to the power and passion of this scorching young band. Go see them live.
  21. In places it's an absolute doozy. And in other places it's bloody awful.
  22. 30
    Tepid, predictable.... It's sleek and stylized, the spastic, jittery punk replaced by impassioned, searching guitar lines. [#60, p.110]
User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 11 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 7 out of 7
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 7
  3. Negative: 0 out of 7
  1. BenD
    Sep 24, 2005
    A great rock record. Everything fits together perfectly. The guitars are fast and screaching, but they don't detract from the vocals or the rest of the song Full Review »
  2. BrandanC
    Aug 13, 2005
  3. TheLoveofDerekFudesco
    Feb 24, 2005
    Absolutely sublime. I agree, fresh with every listen, bright and anthemic. Kookier than Good Health, but individuality is never a bad thing. A fantastic live band too! Full Review »