The Winter Of Mixed Drinks

  • Record Label: Fat Cat
  • Release Date: Mar 9, 2010

Generally favorable reviews - based on 28 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 22 out of 28
  2. Negative: 0 out of 28
  1. On Winter of Mixed Drinks, they focus and polish Organ Fight’s epics--and add a healthy dose of optimism.
  2. The Winter of Mixed Drinks is more polished, more polite than the band’s earlier offerings, but it’s reassuring to note that the band’s scruffy-hearted charm still lies just below the surface.
  3. Any listener who has experienced the emotions associated with a romantic split should appreciate the album.
  4. The problem is that the songs all have a similar arch, with instrumental grandeur substituting for the previous album’s emotional punch and tears-of-rage specifics.
  5. The Winter of Mixed Drinks is a minor disappointment, then, in that in wake (and perhaps as a result) of his heart’s subsequent rehab Hutchison’s songs can’t really sustain the weight-loss of their ego.
  6. Musically, too, there's a definite sense of progression. These tracks have a richer and warmer sound than anything the band have previously released, and rather than standalone expressions of emotional dysfunction, they feel very much connected, bound together by their complex arrangements and sumptuous yet subtle production.
  7. In the broader context of British alternative music, it cements Frightened Rabbit at the creative peak of the folk-crossover scene.
  8. The result is a sound that remains accessible, even sing-along worthy, as it wrestles with the most perplexing existential questions.
  9. Filter
    Like its predeccessor, though, this set is a compelling document of brilliant truths and lies and dramatic threats and regrets. [Winter 2010, p.100]
  10. At times, a more professional Frightened Rabbit comes off as a less passionate one, but then the band drops a cut like "Skip the Youth."
  11. Mojo
    Generous handclaps and a beautifully thrumming guitar buoy The Loneliness & The Scream. Living In Coulour, meanwhile, is a statement of intent, chiming pianos and a reeling rhythm pushing things along, typifying an album made by a band happily at the peak of its powers. [mar 2010, p.90]
  12. This album will, at least in theory, open a new chapter in the band's story, but the songs--as well as being significantly more streamlined--manage to stir and move like never before.
  13. The album deviates from their previous alt-folkish sensibilities: the fuzzed-up shoegazing of ‘Things’ and the anthemic chorus of ‘Living In Colour’ herald an exciting new bullshit-free dawn.
  14. This isn't a bad album, and these quotes are by no means deal breakers, but it is a little telling that an album about “feeling lost” suffers from a distinct lack of focus or specific vision.
  15. The fuller orchestration might translate better onstage and help the band gain a wider audience, but this water-themed record mostly leaves you with the wrong kind of sinking feeling.
  16. Frightened Rabbit wrings a winning simplicity from all this august isolation. A cardiac pulse animates many of the songs, a mightily thwacking unison at the core of all the kaleidoscopic embellishment.
  17. "Midnight Organ Fight" announced with its title that its underlying concern was sex (not getting it, not getting it from who you want, being unfulfilled by it), and the songs on this new album, though more lyrically complex, seem neutered by comparison.
  18. Those mixed drinks, they can warm you up or weigh you down, as the snow piles up. On this album the band always goes for the former, and that warmth extends out to the listener.
  19. Although the album is listenable and even uplifting at times, no songs readily stand out as particularly important or poignant in the way that “Keep Yourself Warm” or “Old Old Fashioned” from The Midnight Organ Fight do.
  20. Q Magazine
    While unmistakably Scottish leader Scott Hutchison has taken a great songwriting leap forward, the more ingredients his group throws in, the more effecctive and more inspiring the Selkirkers are. [Mar 2010, p.102]
  21. To some it will seem cloying and trite, but persevere: underneath Scott Hutchison’s warm burr lie a clutch of songs that deserve to be held close and tight.
  22. Frightened Rabbit has always relied quite heavily on its members' charm, and for the most part, Mixed Drinks preserves that beautifully.
  23. 60
    His proud croon and the band's surging folk rock mean the emotional effect is closer to rebirth than suicide, but by the time the fourth song to feature a metaphorical drowning rolls around, the string parts start to matter more than the sentiments, which was probably not the intent.
  24. Frightened Rabbit is mostly content to continue exploring the vein it tapped a couple of years ago. Fans will need to be slightly more patient, but they’ll ultimately be well rewarded.
  25. The Rabbit are a band overdue a breakthrough, and fans of everyone from Arcade Fire to the similarly revamped Maccabees will find much to love here.
  26. Despite these vigorous moments, too often The Winter Of Mixed Drinks falls prey to indistinguishable mid-tempo material.
  27. Uncut
    The words are often stark and painful, the singing is almost religious, and the tunes tend towards exultant. When they remember to be lovely, as on "Yes I Would," the chemistry is intoxicating. [Mar 2010, p.84]
  28. Under The Radar
    The emotional immediacy of a jilted lover has been replaced with a series of tired metaphors, and as a result The Winter Of Mixed Drinks falls significantly short of its predecessor. [Winter 2010, p.82]
User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 26 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 1
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 1
  3. Negative: 0 out of 1
  1. Oct 3, 2010
    Swim Until You Can't See Land isn't a song, it's an anthem, a damn anthem. I got this album feeling a bit skeptical Midnight Organ Fight wasSwim Until You Can't See Land isn't a song, it's an anthem, a damn anthem. I got this album feeling a bit skeptical Midnight Organ Fight was an okay album but got tired at the end, so I didn't really want to get this album, but I did, and I'm glad I did. Such an emotional album. Full Review »