Average User Score: 8.6Mar 18, 2014Duke pretty much said it all. Really bad songwriting here! No progression, just atmosphere. Atmosphere does make a song, it only should betterDuke pretty much said it all. Really bad songwriting here! No progression, just atmosphere. Atmosphere does make a song, it only should better an already good song.… Expand
Average User Score: 8.2Nov 13, 2013I had written off Spencer as going too far off the deep end. The whole everything being a metaphor with allusions to greek mythology (andI had written off Spencer as going too far off the deep end. The whole everything being a metaphor with allusions to greek mythology (and mythological creatures) thing was getting really stupid. This abum has redeemed him in my eyes. Magnificent, majestic, simple, and beautiful, with hardly any of the crap listed above.… Expand
Average User Score: 8.7Aug 27, 2013This is FAR from being as good as Veckatimest. It starts and ends strong but the entire middle (half the album or more) is a giant slump. IThis is FAR from being as good as Veckatimest. It starts and ends strong but the entire middle (half the album or more) is a giant slump. I don't know what people are thinking these days. I could name hit after hit off of Veck. This one has 1 or 2.… Expand
Average User Score: 8.9Aug 27, 2013Don't listen to the critics. Personally, I found it to be better, as a whole, than Grizzly Bear's 'Shields' or the much lauded 'Lonerism' byDon't listen to the critics. Personally, I found it to be better, as a whole, than Grizzly Bear's 'Shields' or the much lauded 'Lonerism' by Tame Impala. It has an equal measure of subtlety and huge in-your-face moments, sometimes even occurring at the same time. If you like psychedelic music (like the Flaming Lips, for example) then check this out.… Expand
Average User Score: tbdMay 5, 2013I thought Shinju was pretty lack-luster but at least on that they were still bein crazy and trying new things. This album plays it way tooI thought Shinju was pretty lack-luster but at least on that they were still bein crazy and trying new things. This album plays it way too safe for them and suffers because of it. It's boring and the melodies aren't that intriguing. None of the songs even throw you for a loop with an interesting change partway through. This band used to be my favorite but it seems like they are just digging a hole at this point. Only good song is "In the Morning" which I should mention could have been a great song but they never push it to that next level and pretty much just let it repeat.… Expand
Average User Score: 9.1Feb 6, 2013I find the amount of overwhelming praise for this album absolutely ridiculous. It has some obvious, glaring flaws which I will show you. Let'sI find the amount of overwhelming praise for this album absolutely ridiculous. It has some obvious, glaring flaws which I will show you. Let's get into it. The whole thing SOUNDS great (wonderful production and choice of everything, really) BUT the song structures are often weak and the melodies are pretty mediocre at points. When you break down the songs themselves they often are very blase and repetitive. Some songs even putter out in the middle and just cruise to the endpoint. Like he just didn't know where to go with the song and just said it, I'll just extend the current part for 2-3 minutes and add in a couple solos. They won't notice'. Some entire songs are like that. When you get past all the gorgeous sounds there's not an awful lot of meat on these bones. I will say that 'apocalypse dreams' and 'elephant' are wonderful. 'Gotta be above it' is great too. The rest is ok but it's too repetitive to last for me.
Now I'm going to talk about random songs
'Mind Mischief' is pretty good. It relies heavily on effects and studio trickery like many of the other songs but it definitely works on this one. The melodies are good too and the song itself 'travels' just enough to satisfy. Don't think I'll be coming back to it that often but it's good.
'Music to Walk Home By' could have been immense. I can easily see how this song could have just launched into a whole 'nother dimension but it doesn't really travel far. It's still ok to good but again, repetitive (without very strong melodies to fancy it up).
'Why won't they talk to me' is SO ****ing annoying. How many times do we really need to hear the chorus ffs (it's not that amazing to begin with) and if he is going to reach a 'cathartic' moment of realization by saying "But I don't even care about it anyway. I wouldn't listen to a word any of them say. They just talk about themselves all day. One day Ill be a star and they'll be sorry" then he shouldn't ruin that moment by relegating back to the chorus which makes it seem like he doesn't really believe what he just said. For listeners relating to his experience this could have been therapeutic but instead it just wallows in self-pity and shallow fantasies of revenge.
'Feels like we only go Backwards' is the biggest mistake here. They took what could have been an amazing song (with the addition of a part or 2) and just REPEAT THE out of the chorus. That is basically the whole song. It sounds gorgeous and has strong melodies so it is still 'good' though it wears out its welcome quicker because of the overbearing repetition.
'Keep on lying' is like they took 5 seconds of music and just looped it, threw on some OK guitar and organ solos/drones and called it a song.
Anything I didn't mention is pretty much OK to 'blah'. I'd give it a 6 based on the strength of the better songs.
I hear some people throwing around the word masterpiece which is just ridiculous. Something like 'Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots' or even the Ruby Suns 'Sea Lion' is much closer to a psych-pop masterpiece than this.… Expand
Average User Score: 8.0Oct 31, 2012A huge helping of subtle, loose and sprawling guitar psychedelia for your next road (or home) trip. Two of the shorter tracks are out of placeA huge helping of subtle, loose and sprawling guitar psychedelia for your next road (or home) trip. Two of the shorter tracks are out of place and therefore throwaways hence the 8. Would be a 9 if not for that.… Expand
Average User Score: 7.7Sep 10, 2012I want to partially agree with indiekid on this. There is a LOT of unnecessary sounds enveloping this whole thing and when stripped away someI want to partially agree with indiekid on this. There is a LOT of unnecessary sounds enveloping this whole thing and when stripped away some of the songs aren't left with much. There are also a decent number of songs where the sound effects actually take away from the song. (Ex: 'Moonjock' with those horrible internet radio noises on the chorus and all over the song in general). My biggest gripe is the production/mastering. It is just awful. Compared to their previous sonic outings this thing sounds like it's in mono. Just totally flat and 2d sounding. Everything is all shoved together and instruments and tracks don't have space to really breathe. For instance, 'New Town Burnout' could have been IMMENSE given the right touch. Same thing with 'Father Time'. Finally, I'd like to say that it seems the lyrics to on this album are just sort of thrown together and most of them come off as contrived to me. I'm not buying it. What the hell is a 'honey can roll' anyway? or a 'bionic hee-haw'? It almost seems like this band has become a caricature of themselves. I hope they can pull it out and right this on the next one though.
Previous points withstanding, there are still a handful of decent tracks here, hence the 5 rating. Highlights: Moonjock (if you can get past the awful sounds), Today's Supernatural, Applesauce, Monkey Riches.… Expand