Metascore
81

Universal acclaim - based on 16 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 14 out of 16
  2. Negative: 0 out of 16
  1. With equal measures of beauty, terror, and comedy in their own stuff, there's plenty going on besides stunt covers. [2 May 2003, p.71]
  2. Amidst all the fun is a dynamic record that holds your attention.
  3. The Bad Plus plies a refreshingly playful, forcefully dynamic, and knowingly irreverent sensibility that stretches the boundaries of the format without dislodging the music from its foundation.
  4. What is impressive is that the trio manages to sound contemporary using only piano, bass, and drums, and without resorting to electronic gimmicks.
  5. Their songbook bravado and grip of extreme dynamics are vividly caught in the poleaxed cover of Nirvana's "Smells Like Teen Spirit."
  6. A fun and decidedly unsnobby listen for both jazzophiles and newbies alike.
  7. I hope that These are the Vistas doesn't go down in history as "that record where the jazz guys played Nirvana", because it is much more than that.
  8. Merges jazz, pop, and the conservatory in a heady and original way, accessible and seriously playful.
  9. 80
    This is exhilarating stuff. [Mar 2003, p.111]
  10. 80
    An acoustic jazz trio for the future: funny, imaginative and completely unbeholden to the traditions of the music. [#14, p.130]
  11. 80
    The band achieve an impressive impact with a wide dynamic range. [Jun 2003, p.109]
  12. [The Bad Plus] aren't exactly reinventing jazz, but they are up to the task of aggressively disdaining genre conventions, in terms of upending arrangements, going with eclectic programming, and revamping their instruments' respective roles.
  13. 70
    This is a hard, focused album that should both piss off and impress the jazz and rock clientele in equal measures.
  14. They have a knack for hitting the melody where some more experimental outfits might opt for a diverse array of craziness.
  15. Far from essential, but... a good jazz starting point for the unitiated. [Mar 2003, p.90]
  16. The cover of Blondie’s “Heart of Glass” is pretty inventive.... Unfortunately for the group, the album doesn’t approach these moments of sublimity nearly enough.

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