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What a Time to Be Alive Image

Universal acclaim - based on 24 Critics What's this?

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Generally favorable reviews- based on 23 Ratings

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  • Summary: The 11th full-length studio release for the indie rock band led by Mac McCaughan features guest appearances from David Bazan, Katie Crutchfield, Sabrina Ellis, Skylar Gudasz, and Stephin Merritt.
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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 21 out of 24
  2. Negative: 0 out of 24
  1. Feb 16, 2018
    What A Time To Be Alive is the rawest Superchunk album since the band’s 1990 debut and undoubtedly its most ferocious.
  2. Feb 16, 2018
    What a Time to be Alive roars.
  3. Feb 7, 2018
    An activated rage focuses and elevates the album from standard melodic post-punk to a timely, resonant mission statement.
  4. Feb 12, 2018
    This infectious record is a timely reminder that punk’s greatest trick has always been to make the isolated feel less alone.
  5. Feb 20, 2018
    It’s a hurricane of pop-punk fury with as much ferocity as anything the band recorded 25+ years ago.
  6. Mar 12, 2018
    What a Time to Be Alive, the yawp and the yeah and the yowl, is the perfect thesis and pinched nail. It’s the resolution to remain unhampered by despair while excising and atomizing all the moments we have to despair in.
  7. Feb 7, 2018
    This album bristles with anger, desperation and disbelief. Hopeful resilience is occasionally brought to the fore as well, and guest backing vocalists from acts including The Magnetic Fields are on hand to help Superchunk feel less adrift and alone.

See all 24 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 3 out of 3
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 3
  3. Negative: 0 out of 3
  1. Feb 19, 2018
    My apologies for offending the person who didn't like this album, they probably thought it was weird, and I guess I should say this albumMy apologies for offending the person who didn't like this album, they probably thought it was weird, and I guess I should say this album comes from a genre in rock music that's more eccentric than normal. With that being said, here's my track-by-track review of this album.
    What a Time to Be Alive: Solid track. Solid singing... it's basically just solid all-around. Some of the feedback that buzzes throughout the song may be quite annoying for a bit, but it eventually adds to the charm of the song. I also wish that the drums were a bit more pulsing, although the drum-playing itself is quite excellent, I just wish it were a little bit louder in parts. Despite my criticisms, this is still a very good opening track. Lovely fade at the end as well (9/10)
    Lost My Brain: A short song with a simple message. This song is very exciting, but I feel as if it could've been developed more. However, what is in this song is quite electric, and the last fifteen seconds at least help the brevity of the song feel justified. (8/10)
    Break the Glass: The quiet moments of this song help amplify the atmosphere during it's loudest moments. It can be a bit repetitive at points, but there are so many things going on in this song that it's hard to even notice that, and the guitar solo and vocal harmonies that occur elevate the song past that. (9.25/10)
    Bad Choices: Relies on a low guitar progression and quiet-yet-thundering drums. It's a lot calmer than the other tracks so far, but it doesn't relish in this fact as much as it should because the vocals still manage to get a bit drowned out at points. Still a solid, if somewhat forgettable track. (8.25/10)
    Dead Photographers: Don't question it. It's just that insane. (10/10)
    Erasure: One of the better-produced and more melodic tracks of this album... I don't have any qualms with it. I think it's just all about taste when it comes to this one. (10/10)
    I Got Cut: This track wears its influences on its sleeve like many of the other "cuts" on this album (I hate myself for making that pun) but once it gets past the post-punk intro, it does become its own song. The chorus is also very catchy, albeit this song is a little bit basic lyrically, at least in my opinion... as always, the guitars in this song shine. (8.75/10)
    Reagan Youth: The intro of this song... wow... I do feel as if the chorus to this song should've been higher in pitch rather than lower, but that's just me. (9.5/10)
    Cloud of Hate: Nevermind about the last one's intro, this one takes the **** cake, holy **** The chorus in this one is also much better in my opinion and quite frankly... this track is just explosive in every aspect, even the background vocals add to the intensity of this track... and it's unforgettable despite how short it is. (10/10)
    All for You: This song slows the album down (if slightly) to deliver a simple rock anthem with great vocals and great guitar progressions... also, I just finally noticed that the bassist was even a musician on this album, lol... Good breaks and quiet bits... sorry, my mind is melting a little bit from the volume, I really need to turn it down. (9.5/10)
    Black Thread: Well, it's a good enough send-off... "and it's stitched into your heart, and it's wrapped around your head" are good lyrics... I didn't give this song a good rating because it's impossible to hear the bassist... to be fair, I rarely hear a bassist on most rock albums, lol. When background vocals are in this track, they are surprisingly angelic, which is a nice contrast to everything that's going on in this track. (9.75/10)
    Album Rating: 102/110 or 9.27/10... or a 9 by Metacritic standards...

    This album is one of the best rock trips of the year (so far... it's only February) so I reckon it's worth checking out. It manages to make the most out of a brief running time and will probably leave you feeling exhilarated afterwards.
  2. Feb 28, 2018
    Modern pop punk based on actual hooks. That's news. It doesn't hold up completely for the whole record, but there's still plenty of catchyModern pop punk based on actual hooks. That's news. It doesn't hold up completely for the whole record, but there's still plenty of catchy stuff to listen to. Same energy as they had twenty years ago. That's pretty crazy. Expand
  3. Mar 6, 2018
    Un notable album pop punk. Cuesta encontrar buenos exponentes actualmente del género. Se agradece este tipo de discos, claros y directos.

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