Veckatimest - Grizzly Bear
Metascore
85

Universal acclaim - based on 36 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 32 out of 36
  2. Negative: 0 out of 36
  1. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with this album and on the contrary, Grizzly Bear has clearly made the year’s best album.
  2. This one is probably the closest rival to Merriweather Post Pavilion we’ve heard this year.
  3. Really, the only fault of this record is that its most arrestingly beautiful minute is its final one: everything that comes before, however brilliant it is at the time, pales once that choir swells, just for a few too-fleeting seconds.
  4. For those patient enough to wait for this record to relinquish its quiet delights, the treasures waiting to be discovered it are rich indeed.
  5. With such songs as 'Southern Point,' which builds from shuffling, folk-jazz grooves into a squelchy, winding fairytale, breathtaking piano-pop anthem 'Two Weeks' and the towering drama of 'I Live with You,' we join the consensus: this is a record to swoon over.
  6. While Veckatimest contains just over fifty-two minutes of some exceptional music, it lacks one critical component that's essential to any form of art: emotion.
  7. It’s a sophisticated work, delicately and meticulously crafted, and its effete pleasantness lends itself as well to "Late Night" performances as "New Yorker" coverage.
  8. Really, in a world far too concerned with backstories and far too lacking in good old dedication to craft, Grizzly Bear's just about as boring as they come: four guys who very quietly set out to make a fantastic record. And so they did.
  9. Underneath the orchestral flourishes and children’s choirs, beneath even the frequent textural shifts and melodic detours, are a set of melodies that find new ways to cut straight to the listener every time.
  10. 90
    Combine some of the best pipes in the game with Grizzly Bear's newfound comfort in executing the grand & epic, and you've got Veckatimest; a total triumph that threatens to dwarf their own previous "House."
  11. Ambitious yet restrained, elegant yet exciting, Veckatimest is an endlessly-rewarding album which seems destined to vie with Animal Collective's Merriweather Post Pavilion for the title of the year's best.
  12. Veckatimest works like a cash-back bonus, the more you give in to it, the grander the return.
  13. 80
    While I’m not sure Veckatimest is the huge improvement on Yellow House that some blogs claim it to be, it’s unquestionably a lovely record and it deserves to be heard on land, sea, indoors and out.
  14. It's clear that Veckatimest was made for a lot of listening. Nearly every song feels like the musical equivalent of a big meal: there's lots to digest, and coming back for second (and thirds, and more) is necessary.
  15. 80
    Even as they feature orchestras, women's choirs, and Beach House singer Victoria Legrand on Veckatimest, the album is still an intimate, ascetic affair.
  16. The musical emphasis subtly shifts, from track to track and within tracks to create something that feels rather greater than the sum of its parts.
  17. The album dips and tips and ultimately soars as a result, Rossen and company having turned near-disaster into sonic triumph.
  18. This back and forth continues throughout the album and makes for a satisfying mix of clarity and perplexity. In the indie rock game, Grizzly Bear’s expansive scope is unmatched.
  19. Veckatimest's only down side is a touch of preciousness, a need for refinement that, unchecked, might nudge Grizzly Bear towards the polite rather than imaginative. It's a small quibble. For now, this is almost perfect.
  20. Already a front-runner for 2009's most gushed-over art-rock record, the third disc from this Brooklyn quartet has a sound that is completely its own.
  21. The result is a piece of art that had too much pressure ascribed to it, that found its creators trying too hard to make a masterpiece when they could have followed a more natural progression.
  22. Grizzly Bear did what's often impossible for lesser acts: shrugged off the overheated tongues of the Internet, refined its sound, and put out a solid disc.
  23. If the second half brings diminishing returns, it's still more than worth the trip.
  24. Their skilled playing remains modest enough, but on this subtler and more pretentious material, the skills predominate, and just in case they don't, let's add a string quartet here and real choirboys there.
  25. The Brooklyn quartet Grizzly Bear has earned a reputation for dense sonic buildups and gorgeous harmonies, and the group's third album "Veckatimest" excels on both accounts.
  26. Easily the band's most engrossing and dense album yet, Veckatimest subsumes the listener in dreamy washes of colliding instrumentation and symphonic crescendos.
  27. Even the songs that seem simple have greater depth than is at first apparent, and the band's skill at crafting complex music in an increasingly accessible way makes Veckatimest a rich listen.
  28. On Veckatimest, by contrast, the experimentation can go over the top: the additional arrangements may not add much aside from being one more thing to admire. And, paradoxically, doing that moves some songs out of the avant-garde and squarely into the middle of the road.
  29. All bets aren’t necessarily off in terms of whether or not Grizzly Bear have hit their plateau--recall that we did this with "Yellow House" in 2006; oops--but it’s hard to imagine them giving us more to enjoy in one sweeping statement than they have here.
  30. It plainly improves Grizzly Bear’s sound, and lends itself well to multiple spins, because each repeated listen reveals another perfectly crafted shard you missed on the last go-round.
  31. A feast for repeated listening, Veckatimest yields the kind of eccentricities a fan can spend months winding and unwinding.
  32. Veckatimest offers more than just an inventive exercise in collage: It’s like hearing the past few centuries of music playing in symphony, which sounds--thrillingly and reassuringly--like the future.
  33. This is a superb record, a spirted illustration of sepia-tinged Americana that feels linked inextricably with Animal Collective's "Merriweather Post Pavillion" as one of the not only most hyped, but also finest records of 2009. [Spring 2009, p.66]
  34. It's a beautiful piece of work. [June 2009]
  35. 60
    Awesome in scope and execution, it's an album that's ultimately easier to admire than it is to love. [Jun 2009, p.108]
  36. 93
    An Album this deep-hearted and digestible call out for mass-consumption. And the more people who hear this record, the better. [Spring 2009, p.90]
User Score
8.8

Universal acclaim- based on 173 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 47 out of 55
  2. Negative: 6 out of 55
  1. Nov 5, 2010
    10
    It's pulls you in with Two Weeks, and just grows on you from there on in. Grab your headphones and prepare to go on a musical journey for the next 50 minutes, almost every song is a classic and the album flows very well. Full Review »
  2. RyeR.
    May 29, 2009
    10
    The year's best album. With a bullet.
  3. Andy
    May 27, 2009
    9
    A Pet Sounds inspired record that does not sound derivative. You won't hear many bands create more beautiful music than Grizzly Bear do on Veckatimest. Full Review »