Those The Brokes - The Magic Numbers

Generally favorable reviews - based on 22 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 10 out of 22
  2. Negative: 1 out of 22
  1. 90
    Magic Numbers have pushed their abilities while keeping their strong points on performance and substance. [Mar 2007, p.100]
  2. 90
    The real story of this breathtaking follow-up... is Romeo Stodart's transformation from merely a good songwritier to an outstanding one. [Feb 2007, p.85]
  3. It might be easy to criticise 'Those The Brokes' as a stab at busting through into the MOR mainstream, but it's fairer to see it as The Magic Numbers developing their expression while staying faithful to their core sound, and quiet charm.
  4. It’s hard to fault the album for a little flab when the band’s trying new things and mostly doing them well; hopefully they’ll realize that underproduction simply isn’t their style next time around.
  5. Lopping off about twenty minutes would have improved things no end, but mostly it needs focus - focus that would probably have come with time.
  6. Those seeking more of the same will not be disappointed. [Dec 2006, p.128]
  7. It’s impressive how far this band can push its bright, modest sentimentality in 2007 without fetishizing it, making it hard and unpleasant.
  8. 64
    There are just too many frickin' snoozers. [#24, p.89]
  9. [Buyers oif the CD will] hear several solid-to-excellent songs that extend the rootsy trajectory of the Magic Numbers' fine first outing, making up in winsome intensity what they lack as far as edginess or sex appeal.
  10. The group’s second album continues in the same vein as the generally winning debut--only now the arrangements are lusher and more ornate and, in a few unfortunate cases, the songs are longer.
  11. Unfortunately, the record's winning first half is followed by an intensely dull side two. [#16, p.93]
  12. 60
    This would be a strong set if they culled three tracks, shortened a few others and rearranged the sequencing. As it is, this record suffers from a distinct mid-album crisis. [Dec 2006, p.103]
  13. 60
    Rather than producing themselves, they could benefit from a wise head adding a touch of reverb, a sting of echo.
  14. Those the Brokes is a looser, livelier album than its predecessor, significantly less cloying and precious than the debut.
  15. Many songs here are too long and similar in tone to the band's ubiquitous debut. But given time, the moments of real magic peek through.
  16. It's still heavy on the harmonies and hummable choruses, of course, and does meander into happy-clappy, round-the-campfire territory too often for those of us with a low saccharine threshold.
  17. This sophomore set likewise has moments of indelible pop bliss, but too often veers off track with unnecessarily long songs and dull arrangements.
  18. There are four or five genuinely decent songs on here - but ultimately, as a whole it just feels a little too worthy, a little too overwrought, and a little too formulaic to be worth the 64 minutes and 32 seconds of your life.
  19. 50
    The arrangements and singer-guitarist Romeo Stodart's delivery both veer toward cloying. The band also seems to have forgotten the art of brevity, resulting in too many songs that drag on past the five minute mark. [August 2007, p.115]
  20. There are too many tracks on here that seem unfinished in a way, content to noodle around for far too long without making too much of an impression.
  21. A frustrating set with glimpses of gorgeousness.
  22. Redundant, needlessly long, Those The Brokes rarely matches the 60s California-dreamin' good-vibes pop of its successful self-titled predecessor.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 12 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 3
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 3
  3. Negative: 2 out of 3
  1. JimM
    Jun 13, 2007
    Trite and sadly lame. What was Romeo thinking when he thought the lyrics, "This is a song/and these are the words"X10 would help them sell records?
  2. Danfromthebush
    Nov 19, 2006
    Superb.....technically better than the first...but who cares anyway.....I've just recently discovered this band and I sing their praises....flogging their album(s). Full Review »
  3. MFinger
    Nov 18, 2006
    No so long ago the Magic Numbers were the hottest live act in London with shows selling out even a year before they signed to Heavenly. Why? I'll never know! This is just tired old Heart FM fodder but what amazes me is how the band's supposed strengths is said to lie in their songwriting and harmonies. Sorry but they ain't no Mamas and Papas. Romeo has one of the weakest leads I've heard and the female backing is just unconvincing and vapid not to mention flat! Music doesn't have to be offensive and edgy to be appealing but if you're going to record an album so devoid of sonic invention in an attempt to highlight the greatness of the songwriting at least spend some time on the song and make and effort to put in a good performance. Too many people are doing this kind of thing so much better. Needless to say I won't be joining the cult. Full Review »