The Red Thread - Arab Strap
The Red Thread Image

Generally favorable reviews - based on 17 Critics What's this?

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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 14 out of 17
  2. Negative: 0 out of 17
  1. Arab Strap mix the stoic, set-permanently-at-dawn folk whispers of last year's Elephant Shoe with the beat-friendly sense of their best early singles: "The First Big Weekend," "(Afternoon) Soaps," "Cherubs." The music sheds its amateur charm for the sound of a band in control of its art and its drum machines.
  2. Aidan Moffat's bitter tales of messy love and messier sex are wrapped in windy textures and gurgling undertones that obscure his misanthropic tendencies. [3/9/2001, p.83]
  3. Unremittingly bleak but absolutely compelling. [#204, p.68]
  4. Arab Strap's gradual refinements have hit a peak, but don't expect anything new. Slithery programmed beats, tingly guitars, plodding rhythms, and whispered/warbled sing-speak lead the way yet again, with occasional piano licks and strings thrown in for very good atmospheric measure.
  5. Yes, then, Arab Strap are a terrific band, with possibilities that seem infinite. Still, I am certain that the songs on The Red Thread could have been better if the group had bypassed its trademark vocal style and actually played along with the lyrics, singing as if something in the lives of its characters were at stake.
  6. But though the music is as good as anything they've ever done, rarely resorting to that downbeat, drunk-in-pub-tells-his-life-story tendency they've too often made their trademark, the lyrics are way below [Aidan] Moffat's usual standard.
  7. Five years later, it's easy to be blasé about [Aidan] Moffat's disgruntled first-person narratives. [#154, p.68]

See all 17 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 3 out of 3
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 3
  3. Negative: 0 out of 3