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Generally favorable reviews - based on 14 Critics What's this?

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  • Artist(s): John Darnielle, Franklin Bruno
  • Summary: Previously known as The Extra Glenns, the duo that comprises John Darnielle of The Mountain Goats and Franklin Bruno of Nothing Painted Blue, releases its first album under the new name.
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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 12 out of 14
  2. Negative: 0 out of 14
  1. If the verse-chorus-verse of these gorgeously understated, quiet but hardly grooveless artsongs makes your teeth hurt, Grizzly Bear will give you something to suck on any year now.
  2. Dec 14, 2010
    Not only does Undercard not disappoint--there are more than a couple earworms here and there--but it's brilliant and fresh from two musicians who aren't exactly freshmen to the scene.
  3. Dec 14, 2010
    Undercard peddles in a more mature, assured--though no less skeletal-kind of songcraft.
  4. Dec 14, 2010
    By the end of Undercard, one realizes how integral Franklin Bruno has been to the songs' successes. Not all of the compositions here reach their potential, but Bruno almost consistently nails his efforts to create the right mood for Darnielle's storytelling.
  5. Dec 14, 2010
    As Darnielle's first release on his new label, Merge, opening a new chapter in his career, Undercard may not be a total knockout, but it's an eminently worthy diversion from (or preface to) the main event.
  6. Dec 14, 2010
    While much of contemporary music fixates on flash and bang, it's refreshing to hear emphasis on what the singer is saying. With a lyricist this gifted, that more than suffices.
  7. Dec 14, 2010
    Undercard tastes like diluted Darnielle. Nonetheless, there's enough gold buried here to recommend it, even if it's not strictly canonical by my personal reckoning.

See all 14 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
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