The Volunteers


Generally favorable reviews - based on 12 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 11 out of 12
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 12
  3. Negative: 1 out of 12
  1. Entertainment Weekly
    One of the most expansive "punk" records in recent memory: hushed vocals, toy pianos, and weird drum-machine beats, alongside soaring (and often howling) rock. [Listen 2 This supplement, Mar 2004, p.12]
  2. Onelinedrawing, in general, may be a bit too saccharine for some listeners, and it lacks the classic power pop levity of a Brendan Benson or Weakerthans, but The Volunteers is a wildly inventive record that can stand tall beside earnest peers like Saves the Day's In Reverie.
  3. 80
    Striped of its proto-emo veneer this is sterling stuff, which - although fraught with angst - is run through with a mellow, humbling tone that is as infectious and accessible as it is true to hardcore’s staunch code of ethical values.
  4. It’s one of those growers. The lyrics are clever. The running-order is immaculately conceived - it's practically a concept album.
  5. He’s able to craft songs that are touching without becoming seriously over-sensitive.
  6. It's got tunes and inspiration to spare, and its genuine modesty chips away at your resistance.
  7. Even while it's unfortunately anticlimatic, The Volunteers is a fine record, and a welcome addition to the modern singer/songwriter canon.
  8. Blender
    The best songs here brace his vulnerability with expansive flourishes. [Apr 2004, p.134]
  9. Alternative Press
    An organic burst of music and melody that is Matranga's best work yet. [Apr 2004, p.84]
  10. Rolling Stone
    Matranga has a warm, whispery voice and an eagerness to please, giving him some of the huggable-rock-star appeal of an Eddie Vedder or Chris Carrabba. [10 Jun 2004, p.91]
  11. Where The Volunteers falls down, surprisingly, is in the excessively slick production. Despite the ethos and lyrics, musically this is not the handmade, indie effort you might expect.
  12. More than one track goes on about how love will eventually get us to heaven and such, and the sickly, sugary sweetness of it all just leaves a bad taste in your mouth.
User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 5 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 2 out of 2
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 2
  3. Negative: 0 out of 2
  1. NicolasK
    Apr 18, 2004
    un son relaxant avec une voix superbe
  2. ryann
    Mar 30, 2004
    extremely overwhelming in its honesty. this represents what music should be about : love.