The Understanding Image

Generally favorable reviews - based on 31 Critics What's this?

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Universal acclaim- based on 36 Ratings

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  • Summary: The duo's second album is far more vocal-oriented, and darker, than their debut.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 17 out of 31
  2. Negative: 0 out of 31
  1. An immersive experience that has unexpected turns and deep emotions at the core of every song. [#10, p.114]
  2. 90
    A masterful submersion in the pop allure of ambient and house music. [#16, p.94]
  3. Perfect for a top-down ride to the beach. [Aug/Sep 2005, p.115]
  4. 60
    The beat-programming is crystalline, the feeling is frozen, the soul is northern if it's there at all. [Sep 2005, p.136]
  5. Even the best tracks bobble like a helium balloon tugging from a child's clenched fist... but not quite forcibly enough to pull free.
  6. There's nothing distinctive about it.

See all 31 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 15 out of 19
  2. Negative: 2 out of 19
  1. NikolaiNikolai
    Feb 26, 2006
    A change from Melody A.M and a step forward to "the electro cult icon" that Ryoskopp becames with "The Understanding!!!"
  2. JonathanG
    Aug 11, 2005
    Very emotionally charged, this album integrates the progressive nature of their previous album, Melody AM, with true musical intellect. As a very discriminating listener, I am highly impressed by this album, when one considers what Royksopp has created together with Melody AM. They are taking music to new heights. I can only imagine what they have in store for their third album. I have recommended this group to friends and co-workers and everyone who hears them is SHOCKED and AWED by their originality and wants a CD, no matter what type of music they lsiten to. They are a refreshing group when you consider how bland music is these days. Expand
  3. LeightonP
    Jul 12, 2005
    A largely different but excellent follow up to Melody A.M.
  4. Jun 18, 2012
    Honorable Mention for obscure sounds such as Sombre Detune and What Else Is There? (which has beautiful vocals of Karin Dreijer Andersson), and for the most chill-out-oriented songs, such as 49 Percent and Beautiful Day Without You. A really interesting work. Expand
  5. salomey
    Sep 2, 2005
    it's an interesting affair this one like most albums i think it's a bit too long and it doesn't grab my interest the entire duration of the disk then again i couldn't really mention a weak spot i will refrain comments on whether it's innovative or not if only because i don't care about innovation i won't be able to hear the aspects of innovation of this album in 2009 anymore anyway and i will still play this album then because of the strong melodies and far above standard production Expand
  6. AngieM
    Aug 3, 2005
    I have heard better... You get this GarageBand finish idea on a few songs, it seems as though they did not go too deep into things. They shouldn't be that scared to go further. Otherwise one or two good things. I miss the freshness of Melody A.M. Expand
  7. Mobius
    Jul 29, 2005
    This album just sounds like some real poor euro trash. this reson for this comment is that after listening to Melody A.M. which is a fantastic album full of unique tunes and every single track on it is just awsome, you would expect more of the same on there next album, Well NO this album is full of euro lyrics every track is one long bore. gone are those chill out tunes and gone are those happy rifts no more poor leno this album was a complete waist of money. I mean when you like a group u like them because of the style of music they do and after there melody a.m. album i thought this would be almost as good how wrong i was. on the plus side the CD does make a great coffie coaster Expand

See all 19 User Reviews