Generally favorable reviews - based on 14 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 7 out of 14
  2. Negative: 0 out of 14
  1. With their infectious beats and clear guitars mixed with head-bobbing electronic, New Young Pony Club has what cannot be learned, yet what is one hundred percent necessary for achieving greatness: hubris.
  2. The contrasts are ecstatic, setting in stone just how remarkable a comeback New Young Pony Club have pulled off. The Optimist is a super-smart pop album at the top of its game.
  3. In making this (undoubtedly scary) leap away from what’s expected of them they’ve pulled off the second album reinvention of 2010.
  4. The tricky second album phase has been completed and it’s an excellent product. The future’s bright.
  5. This whole album holds together in a way that their debut didn't. It's a bold step forward that commands respect and suggests that they may have some longevity.
  6. While it is still caught a little in-between moods and is clearly front-loaded, ‘The Optimist’ feels more instinctive than ‘Fantastic Playroom’, and is ultimately a step up because of that.
  7. The Optimist won’t make anyone forget Fantastic Playroom, but it does work as a nice complement and shows that the group may have some staying power.
  8. Despite these forays into a wider world, and the dreamy, vulnerable and hypnotic subtlety of 'Stone', you can't help but think that NYPC have still got one foot firmly anchored in the glowstick glimmer of past glories.
  9. It's a clinical, dark, adult pop record.
  10. Q Magazine
    Not as instant as the old stuff, but there's more substance here. [Apr 2010, p.116]
  11. The Optimist too often gets lost in non-committal melodies as Bulmer tries and tries again to capture quote-worthy elegant wastefulness.
  12. It regresses to the essence of an increasingly stale sound with a series of second-rate tracks and bored performances. This is co-option at its base; you were a few years too early, Nick.
  13. Uncut
    Tahita Bulmer, once the coy mistress of nu rave, now singing lines like "we wake up in the morning and tyhe glass is empty" in a portentous tone, oddly reminiscent of early-'80s Hazel O'Connor, but no more engaging than her erstwhile deadpan party mode. [Apr 2010, p.95]
  14. The Optimist is an album for people who don’t enjoy reading too far into their favorite songs or who don’t analyze lyrics and think deeply into melodies. There’s no way to really do that on this album. It’s a poor attempt at a follow-up album. The band is too caught up in being serious to even realize that there’s not a whole going on beneath the surface.

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