Tiny Cities

User Score
7.4

Generally favorable reviews- based on 23 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 18 out of 23
  2. Negative: 4 out of 23

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  1. GeoffD
    Nov 9, 2005
    9
    Beautiful! An album like this makes me appreciate Modest Mouse even more. I always assumed MM was brooding but in actuality, the lyrics are quite heartfelt.
  2. BobS
    Nov 10, 2005
    8
    A very good interpretation of Modest Mouse songs but it is too short and leaves the feeling of being unsaitsfied at the end. Its the album equivalent of Lost in Translation
  3. ChrisJ
    Nov 8, 2005
    10
    Critics who are going to look at this album as Modest Mouse covers are going to miss the point. This is the same kind of album as Wilco/Billy Bragg's Mermaid Ave. These are Kozelek's interpretation of Modest Mouse lyrics. These are solid songs, and fans of Sun Kil Moon and Kozelek will love them, fans of Modest Mouse and Sun Kil Moon will adore it!!!
  4. MrJones
    Jan 24, 2006
    9
    Classic Kozelek style. This is a fantastic album if you havent heard too much Modest Mouse.
  5. BrandonS
    Jan 7, 2006
    5
    I really expected more out of this CD from what I read on several websites. Albiet, I'm not much for slow moody melodies, I really thought I'd get a totally new perspective on my beloved Isaac Brock lyrics. Instead I got a lyrical rehashing over bland musical attempts. It felt like I was listening to a college student doing covers of their favorite bands with nothing more than I really expected more out of this CD from what I read on several websites. Albiet, I'm not much for slow moody melodies, I really thought I'd get a totally new perspective on my beloved Isaac Brock lyrics. Instead I got a lyrical rehashing over bland musical attempts. It felt like I was listening to a college student doing covers of their favorite bands with nothing more than an acoustic guitar and a mediocre monotone voice. The tracks that did justice to the originals, and possibly surpased Modest Mouse's art were "Dramamine" and "Convenient Parking." However, I'm going to argue that Modest Mouse CD's tend to have a reoccuring theme, as well as a sort of pattern or flow to them, and this album, by taking songs from every modest mouse CD, doesn't have the same organizational feel, asside from the common monotone throughout the entirety of it. It's worth a listen by any modest mouse fan, but for anyone else, I think it's best to stick to this band's original work. Expand
  6. markm
    Jul 6, 2007
    0
    I'm a fan of sun kil moon and RHP as well as modest mouse. This album is terrible. MK's version of Tiny cities is completely laughable. I can't believe the ratings, my jaw dropped when I heard these songs. I
  7. JayS.
    Apr 9, 2008
    10
    B-e-a-utiful. I can't believe some of the reviews I've read for this album. Having just listened to it again I can only think they had socks in their ears. By the way I haven't heard the originals and will now check them out.
  8. neilo
    Nov 19, 2005
    3
    I give it a 3 because the guy can sing. But to take someone's songs, remove the nuance and grace that the original compositions had so as to just bring the simplified emotion of the song to the front, and then get credit for it as an artistic accomplishment is ridiculously wrong. Shame on anyone who considers this art. It is to music what cliffs notes are to literature
  9. BillB
    Dec 3, 2005
    9
    You've got to give Mark credit for completely reinventing these songs. "Tiny Cities" does exactly what an album of covers should do. Now, he just needs to put out another album of original stuff.
  10. H.Young
    Nov 14, 2005
    7
    Excellent production and performances, but there's too much of a good thing coming through too clear. Modest Mouse's lyics, buried under layers of fractured noise, come across as one aspect of a larger whole in that context, as a secret you can let yourself in on or not. But in this new covers record, they are featured. They deserve to be featured; they're beautiful. But Excellent production and performances, but there's too much of a good thing coming through too clear. Modest Mouse's lyics, buried under layers of fractured noise, come across as one aspect of a larger whole in that context, as a secret you can let yourself in on or not. But in this new covers record, they are featured. They deserve to be featured; they're beautiful. But there's not enough breathing room on the disc for all these heavy hitting songs to sit so close to each other. Where's the 3 minute musical segue? Where's the drastic variation from the original melody that makes it completely unrecognizable? Where's the sham that allows the secret? That said, I have already been caught listening to Sun Kil Moon's Ocean Breathes Salty on repeat, and maybe, through the multiple repeat listens that *will* occur, I will learn to enjoy this album as much as Ghosts of the Great Highway. But maybe not. Brought so much closer to the core of these intense songs, I find myself looking for the SPF 50. Expand
  11. Brendan"EagleEye"W
    Nov 8, 2005
    10
    This is really good. Mark has reworked the songs and they have a very nice relaxingness to them. I like them.
  12. jonj
    Dec 29, 2005
    9
    hate modest mouse and not that keen on RHP, but in this album - through two months of continuous play - have found a deep if fractious view on the world. It ain't pretty but it sure it great.
  13. MichaelM
    Dec 6, 2005
    8
    I'd prefer an album of originals, but anything from Kozelek is pure gold as far as I'm concerned.
  14. James
    Dec 30, 2007
    8
    I like Modest Mouse and I've liked a lot of what Kozelek has done, both with SKM and RHP, and I really like this album. The first few spins were colored by the overwhelmingly negative reviews, but once I was able to hear the album for itself, it presented itself as a terrific set of songs. The Modest Mouse versions of these songs are useless as points of comparison...they have as I like Modest Mouse and I've liked a lot of what Kozelek has done, both with SKM and RHP, and I really like this album. The first few spins were colored by the overwhelmingly negative reviews, but once I was able to hear the album for itself, it presented itself as a terrific set of songs. The Modest Mouse versions of these songs are useless as points of comparison...they have as little to do with these versions as The Dirty Projectors' most recent album has to do with Black Flag. Expand
  15. BenC
    Nov 13, 2005
    6
    This album cannot be compared to Ghosts of the Great Highway. It is not a Sun Kil Moon album- it is a Mark Kozelek album. It is more comparable to What's Next to the Moon, Mark's album of AC/DC covers, in that it's charm comes from the challenge of taking very disparate songs out of an artist's catalogue and molding them to create a cohesive sound. And Tiny Cities This album cannot be compared to Ghosts of the Great Highway. It is not a Sun Kil Moon album- it is a Mark Kozelek album. It is more comparable to What's Next to the Moon, Mark's album of AC/DC covers, in that it's charm comes from the challenge of taking very disparate songs out of an artist's catalogue and molding them to create a cohesive sound. And Tiny Cities definitely has a cohesive sound; although, because of this, many songs sound similar. You'll be impressed (and moved) if you know the Modest Mouse songs, but if not, then you're more than likely to be bored of the trite, similar sounding songs, especially since the CD lasts just over a half hour. If you've been a RHP and Sun Kil Moon fan for awhile, and come to expect masterfully crafted and varied albums, you might be a little disappointed. Expand
  16. JohanS
    Nov 15, 2005
    8
    Mark Kozelek is one of the most underestimated artists of all time.
  17. KurtG
    Nov 28, 2005
    9
    While not beating Ghost of the Great Highway by any means, Kozolek's smooth vocals and beautiful guitar help to shed a brand new light onto these songs. A very niuce listen...
Metascore
64

Generally favorable reviews - based on 19 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 9 out of 19
  2. Negative: 1 out of 19
  1. Billboard
    90
    Flecked at every turn with Kozelek's unique interpretive bent, "Tiny Cities" is a triumph.
  2. Even with Kozelek's laudable work on this outing I feel that something more robust could have emerged had the roots been original.
  3. Under The Radar
    70
    A large part... of a Mark Kozelek song is the arrangement.... In that sense, Tiny Cities is a collection of perfect Mark Kozelek songs. [#11, p.108]