Metascore
61

Generally favorable reviews - based on 19 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 6 out of 19
  2. Negative: 0 out of 19
  1. Some songs are intensely gripping, like the instrumental rave-up "Chemistry," which drives along like Mogwai never happened. Others are plain weird.
  2. Aggressive yet soulful, "War" doesn't just straddle the line between rock and electronica—it destroys it.
  3. If there’s a central problem with War Stories, it’s that at times it strays too close to rock orthodoxy and loses the offbeat stylistic flourishes that made Unkle such an exciting proposition to begin with.
  4. The result is a stormy set of dark, synth-streaked psych-rock jams that carries a whiff of tomorrow while looking back to the stomping proto-metal of Black Sabbath and Blue Cheer.
  5. So, once again UNKLE have produced another good rather than great album that sounds ahead of the curve.
  6. War Stories is another win for Lavelle.
  7. There are enough excellent moments on War Stories to judge it a success, but there's another sense of missed opportunity hanging over the album.
  8. While the results aren't entirely successful, "Twilight," especially, by Massive Attack's 3D, proves that Lavelle can reimagine 'soul' like no one else.
  9. Amid the many features and incredible dynamism that mark every UNKLE full-length, there are no songs to grab onto and little of real essence.
  10. 60
    Unfortunately, on the rest of War Stories, Lavelle plays it safe by sticking close to poppy electro-dance tunes.
  11. 58
    The overall atmosphere is grey, too blah and insular to be colorful.
  12. It's solid enough, but given the imagination they once possessed, it sounds like UNKLE are trying too hard.
  13. The album as a whole is something of a grab-bag. One track can be great, the next stunningly mediocre.
  14. A whole album featuring Astbury or Clark would be spectacular, but the remainder of War Stories sounds like paint-by-numbers remixes. [Summer 2007, p.85]
  15. 50
    War Stories feels more like a random compilation than a fresh exploration. [Aug 2007, p. 110]
  16. War Stories is the most unadventurous, most typically rock UNKLE release to date.
  17. It falls flat, offering little hope for the listener; after a few disappointing rounds of thinking that the next track simply HAS to be solid, the album exits as if it were never really there. Without a doubt, War Stories is the weakest and most disappointing UNKLE release to date.
  18. 40
    A turgid modern, progressive rock with superficial hip-hop sheen. [August 2007, p.119]
  19. Every track on this record grows into some such perfectly orchestrated climax, surging as a function of the production alone and with nary a hook or clever turn of phrase or structural complication in sight.
User Score
8.3

Universal acclaim- based on 36 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 21 out of 24
  2. Negative: 2 out of 24
  1. Nov 9, 2010
    9
    If you know anything about UNKLE and Lavelle, their music is all about experimenting. To me, all of UNKLE's albums are different, but not in aIf you know anything about UNKLE and Lavelle, their music is all about experimenting. To me, all of UNKLE's albums are different, but not in a bad way. In fact it's like the music is evolving. While I love this idea of experimenting with sound and coming closer to the rock (what is wrong with that?) with this album, I realize that some may not like the sound. This is a sound you either love and understand or hate. But listen to the album before taking the word of anyone's review and make your own decision. Full Review »
  2. PatrickH.
    Mar 6, 2008
    9
    So good it hurts. Great workout music. And you should hear them perform it live.
  3. JimmyH.
    Jan 6, 2008
    8
    There really aren't too many weak points on this album, i have no clue why it's getting the critical mauling that it is. Unlike There really aren't too many weak points on this album, i have no clue why it's getting the critical mauling that it is. Unlike Never, Never, Land, these tracks are actually bearable to some extent, which was the main weakness with UNKLE's second album. The highlight of this album is either Josh Homme's Restless or Persons And Machinery from Autolux, both are some of my favourite songs of 2007. I definitely recommend this album. Full Review »