We Were Dead Before The Ship Even Sank

  • Record Label: Sony
  • Release Date: Mar 20, 2007
Metascore
78

Generally favorable reviews - based on 38 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 33 out of 38
  2. Negative: 0 out of 38
  1. Another solid (if not necessarily great) record.
  2. Uncut
    80
    [The album] adds a newfound sang-froid to their quiet/loud approach. [May 2007, p.100]
  3. Q Magazine
    80
    A fantastic voyage. [May 2007, p.128]
  4. Mojo
    80
    A winner. [May 2007, p.106]
  5. Like everything the band has released since signing with Epic in the teeth of a millennial panic, it's louder and somewhat less twisty than the group's indie output.
  6. In fairness, We Were Dead... excites almost as much as it frustrates; the problem lying not so much in its commercial aspirations per se as an occasional inability to integrate them into a satisfying whole. That, and there’s too much shouting. And it’s way too long.
  7. Both Marr and MM mainman Isaac Brock have a weakness for bombast that can make them sound like Snow Patrol playing Gogol Bordello, but the album heaves with vim and variety.
  8. Under The Radar
    90
    Not just an album that revisits the dancey guitar-pop that made "Float On" an unlikely #1 hit, but sharpens and emboldens it for their most accessible album to date. [#16, p.93]
  9. This is a band working at the very top of their game, and this album is a beautiful, brilliant beast.
  10. The Modest Mouse frontman has the kind of overbearing personality that seems to bring out the best in Marr: their collaboration on the band's fifth album is thrilling.
  11. Easier than ever to grasp, yet still constantly, joyously vexing, We Were Dead is another terrific set from a band that couldn't make something dull even if drowning were the only other option.
  12. Spin
    80
    While Brock's pop instincts have never been more refined, his jitteriness has never run more rampant. [Apr 2007, p.85]
  13. This 14-track-strong album is very much good news for people who loved Good News for People Who Love Bad News.
  14. Alternative Press
    80
    Much of We Were Dead feels like a culmination of the sound that Modest Mouse have spent the last decade or so honing. [May 2007, p.145]
  15. The album as a whole does drag on, and the songs aren't as immediately grabby as those on their last disc, but We Were Dead is more interesting and varied than Good News.
  16. Music dignitaries and primordial fans will be contented. If they’re smart, they’ll rejoice.
  17. We Were Dead Before The Ship Even Sank is a really good, if not necessarily phenomenal, rock record.
  18. If "We Were Dead . . ." is a little much to take in all at once, the sheer mass of the tunes becomes easier to manage over repeated listens.
  19. Blender
    90
    Is there another "Float On"? It scarcely matters: 10 years into their career, Modest Mouse have stumbled into their best album yet. [Mar 2007, p.137]
  20. The results are enthralling, even when they seem to be thrashing at coherence. [19 Mar 2007]
  21. We Were Dead sounds like Modest Mouse, only better.
  22. Billboard
    80
    There's more melody than usual to be found here. [24 Mar 2007]
  23. The problem is, there's simply too much record here.
  24. At 62 minutes, this album feels self-indulgent, and some of the 14 songs leave little impression.
  25. It’s a sincere album that is as friendly and rewarding as any of their previous works.
  26. This could be Modest Mouse's finest hour were it not a little long - the nuances are occasionally rather swamped by the effort of listening to the hour-long record through.
  27. A disproportionate amount of the album's tracks sound like a commercialized knockoff of previous songs, past highlights revisited after a process of radio ready distillation.
  28. It's a successful experiment... largely because the differences between Marr and Mouse turn out to be more harmonious than anyone could have expected.
  29. There are some excellent moments.
  30. Clearly, what we’re dealing with here isn’t a new Modest Mouse, but one with a few new, calculated tricks.
  31. We Were Dead... is denser than its predecessor with tunes that seem willfully harder to penetrate.
  32. In the end, it's not as excellent as their early work, but still pretty entertaining.
User Score
8.6

Universal acclaim- based on 244 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 8 out of 151
  1. Jan 6, 2011
    7
    We Were Dead Before The Ship Even Sank has some really good tracks on it. Modest Mouse has made another solid album. The sound of it is aWe Were Dead Before The Ship Even Sank has some really good tracks on it. Modest Mouse has made another solid album. The sound of it is a little different from their previous work "Good News For People Who Love Bad News". It sounds pretty good for the most part. My favorite song on the album is "Spitting Venom". Amazing song. And "Dashboard", "Little Motel", and "Fire It Up" are all great tracks. All In All, a solid album with a handful of great tracks. B Full Review »
  2. Djimi
    Jun 14, 2007
    10
    More pure quality from Modest Mouse. I think some critics are just being pathetic and trying to go against the grain by giving it mediocre More pure quality from Modest Mouse. I think some critics are just being pathetic and trying to go against the grain by giving it mediocre reviews just because they've become popular and had good sales, 'cos it really is a great band on top form. Full Review »
  3. DylanS
    May 30, 2007
    9
    Another quality release from Modest Mouse. A nice mix of the Good News and Moon and Antartica sound to create the second best release of Another quality release from Modest Mouse. A nice mix of the Good News and Moon and Antartica sound to create the second best release of their career and one of this years best. Don't be afraid of the accesibility of their sound, it's still Modest Mouse, just with exceptional song structure + Johnny Marr was a great addition. Full Review »