Generally favorable reviews - based on 16 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 13 out of 16
  2. Negative: 0 out of 16
Buy On
  1. Dec 9, 2011
    You could single out any song on the album for praise or inclusion on a killer summer mixtape and you wouldn't go wrong... this album is one of the sleeper picks for best-of 2011.
  2. Jul 26, 2011
    A compact and incredibly gratifying introduction to a new lo-fi talent.
  3. Aug 25, 2011
    It is a flavorful fusion as unique as the Yugoslavian Spomenik that graces the cover of his eponymous full-length debut on Fat Possum - and one that stands apart from the seemingly endless barrage of home-recorded acts who have posted their wares on Blogger, Bandcamp and Tumblr these days.
  4. 70
    They've created for themselves a unique soundscape and vibe to explore in future releases. In short, they've proven that knowledge is great, but a rocking album trumps all.
  5. Jul 14, 2011
    If you love Zappa, Unknown Mortal Orchestra could be your artist of the year.
  6. Jun 30, 2011
    Unknown Mortal Orchestra is the most basic, easily digestible, pre-chewed pop archetype. With zero nutritional value.
  7. Jul 19, 2011
    Unfortunately, as the album progresses into its latter half, attention wanes.
  8. Nielson probably didn't know what he was getting into when he started UMO and is probably still figuring it out now. If that means more sleepless nights for him, all the better for us.
  9. Jun 30, 2011
    Like wheedling out the spare remnants of a bygone era, UMO stands as a rather unique endeavor that packs plentiful guitar riffs and sample-based techniques befitting of the funk tag.
  10. Jul 8, 2011
    The album is a pleasure to listen to, with enough airy energy to fit a summer playlist and angst raw enough to carry it over into the shorter, colder days of winter.
  11. Jun 30, 2011
    Combined with an expert use of space rare for such a lo-fi record, UMO manages a unique immersive and psychedelic quality without relying on the usual array of bong-ripping effects.
  12. Oct 4, 2011
    Unknown Mortal Orchestra is an ambitious debut, there can be no doubt about that. But too often, the careful distribution of musical allusions and sonic ambiguities devolves into perfunctory assertions of individuality.
  13. Jun 30, 2011
    Unknown Mortal Orchestra has produced the rare indie pop record that seizes you on the first listen but also rewards repeated playing.
  14. Jun 30, 2011
    Unknown Mortal Orchestra lines up nicely with the ex-Beatle's McCartney and McCartney II LPs. And like those two releases, Unknown Mortal Orchestra's idiosyncrasies and straightforward melodies portend greater, untapped potential.
  15. Jun 30, 2011
    As Unknown Mortal Orchestra wears on, there is some loosening of the pop reins, ending the album on a wandering psychedelic journey reminiscent of Grizzly Bear. A nice trip indeed.
  16. It recalls MGMT before the wheels came off. Which is no bad thing.

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