The Understanding

User Score
8.1

Universal acclaim- based on 42 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 34 out of 42
  2. Negative: 3 out of 42

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  1. JoeS
    Jul 15, 2005
    10
    This album is fantastic. I loved Melody A.M., but this album really takes it to the next level. Royksopp is awesome.
  2. JonC
    Jul 27, 2005
    9
    An excellent, mature follow-up to Melody AM. More lyrical, with growth into more structured melodies. A different direction to excellent Air-esque AM, but for the good.
  3. NikolaiNikolai
    Feb 26, 2006
    10
    A change from Melody A.M and a step forward to "the electro cult icon" that Ryoskopp becames with "The Understanding!!!"
  4. Manjero
    Apr 8, 2008
    9
    This under appreciated gemstone of an album by Royksopp is another great addition to your electronic collection. Unlike Melody A.M., The Understanding takes on a more dreamy, majestic aura, which can easily rival to A.M.'s greatness. This new, welcoming light doused onto The Understanding magnifies the mystical nature that is Royksopp.
  5. FredR
    Nov 3, 2005
    8
    Although uneven at times, this disc is powerful and ambitious. Only This Moment is worth the price of admission. The singing on The Understanding is amazing, the lyrics are touching, the production sizzles and sparkles, it bristles with life and blows through the speakers like a celestial wind. Wow, what am I writing? If you like electronic music you need to purchase this CD. Royksopp and Although uneven at times, this disc is powerful and ambitious. Only This Moment is worth the price of admission. The singing on The Understanding is amazing, the lyrics are touching, the production sizzles and sparkles, it bristles with life and blows through the speakers like a celestial wind. Wow, what am I writing? If you like electronic music you need to purchase this CD. Royksopp and Bent are the best imports, check them out, you won't be disappointed. Expand
  6. LeightonP
    Jul 12, 2005
    9
    A largely different but excellent follow up to Melody A.M.
  7. JonS
    Jul 14, 2005
    9
    Not an all out classic, but what a fantastically beautiful record. The track Alpha Male is just awe-inspiring. The record left me a bit disappointed on first listens, but has kept on growing. There are no Eples or Poor Lenos here, but the record is all the better for it. In stark contrast to Dot Music's reviewer, I am extremely grateful that not every band "is reacting to our Not an all out classic, but what a fantastically beautiful record. The track Alpha Male is just awe-inspiring. The record left me a bit disappointed on first listens, but has kept on growing. There are no Eples or Poor Lenos here, but the record is all the better for it. In stark contrast to Dot Music's reviewer, I am extremely grateful that not every band "is reacting to our circumstances". There is more need than ever for music that is intensely human, escapist and non-political. Still, maybe that too is a reaction. Expand
  8. VladA
    Jul 28, 2005
    9
    Losin faith in metascores because of this record. Obviously some reviewers didn't give this one enough listens because it is impeccable. Dense instrumentation with magnetic hooks. Real good stuff. Better than Melody AM.
  9. djs
    Aug 20, 2005
    8
    more to it than melody am - varied, lush, really damn good actually. its abundance of really good tunes and lots of singing might take it out of the "cool downbeat" cliche? but thats no bad thing.
  10. salomey
    Sep 2, 2005
    8
    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 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
  11. Christian
    Jul 13, 2005
    9
    A really good album - different, but really good!
  12. JonathanG
    Aug 11, 2005
    9
    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 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
  13. Jun 18, 2012
    8
    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.
Metascore
68

Generally favorable reviews - based on 31 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 17 out of 31
  2. Negative: 0 out of 31
  1. For the most part, "The Understanding" saunters along without a trace of urgency, which is unfortunate as Royksopp were always at their best when electronic ingenuity rather than pastel-shaded synth washes were holding things up.
  2. This is the one that puts them firmly and officially up there in the top tier of the dance-music crossover-album crowd, up with the Daft Punks and, umm, Basement Jaxxes.
  3. Röyksopp have little left to say aside from what others have said more clearly in the past.