Average User Score: 8.2May 9, 2013Bradford Cox's late friend Jay Reatard is all over this album. Not a bad thing at all, but a far cry from the Deerhunter fans have grown to love. Which doesn't mean they won't grow to love this Deerhunter. If the dreamy, blissed-out Deerhunter of the past had his head in the clouds, the Deerhunter of Monomania has plummeted to the street.
Neon Junkyard is a great opener that suggests the distortion and feedback of Turn It Up, and catchy rhythms of Cryptograms, but that sound is often backgrounded to a garage-style punk sound throughout most of the record. About half of the songs here are really hard not to like, the most pop-friendly Deerhunter has ever been. The most accessible of which might be mistaken for the impressive new Strokes material a few unfortunate souls have anticipated for the past decade, and never received. And this is still better that that ever could be. The Missing, Dream Captain, Blue Agent, Sleepwalking, and Back to the Middle could all be very successful summer singles. Yet for some reason, the lead single chosen is the album's title track. Which isn't a bad song, but in some way seems to sum up the point of the album, yet remains one of the less impressive, and harshest sounding tracks. But at least it's fun, which I can't really say for the following Nitebike, which sounds like a Kurt Vile outtake that doesn't go anywhere.
Anyhow, most of this record is fantastic and worth everyone's time. If you haven't enjoyed Deerhunter in the past, you might just find yourself tapping your foot to Monomania, certainly their most fun and least cerebral of albums yet, but still reinforces the band's tendency to release increasingly pop-oriented albums with a mere hint of the noise they once made.… Expand
Average User Score: 8.5Aug 26, 2011"Our love, Frankenstein in nature and design,
Like the Shelleys on their very first time,
When our bodies become electrified,
Together we bring this creature alive
It's alive... it's alive... it's alive!"
Wild Beasts could very well pull off decent post-punk revival or the same Radiohead retreads countless others have been attempting for years, and they could do it better than any of them. Smother goes where none of their contemporaries could attempt. The slower tunes take a while to catch on, but it's the album's relentless mood that keeps it beating. At times it feels like something a sexier Elbow or more charismatic Coldplay might attempt before drowning it in sentimental orchestra or bombast.… Expand
Average User Score: 8.5Mar 9, 2011This live EP is a must-have for two reasons. It proves Kid A and Amnesiac were not only stunning experiments but made for fantastic live music pulled-off and performed seamlessly. And it proves why Amnesiac will always be rated lower than this and Kid A when you hear the near unrecognizable brilliance of Like Spinning Plates live.… Expand
Average User Score: 9.2Mar 9, 2011I'm a diehard fan, but even a few years later I am split on this album. In comparison to their prior work, this album doesn't do as much for me. The over-orchestration, the pointless Faust ARP, the mediocre guitar throwback of Bodysnatchers, this annoyingly paced Videotape, the excellent Go Slowly left to rot on a second disc of throwaways... Yet somehow, it all works. In the right mood, on a lovely day, this album is incredibly satisfying, even refreshing, and song after song send shivers down my spine. By far their most accessible album since The Bends, it's sometimes overly sentimental and downright gushy at points. The climaxes are almost annoyingly affective, like a cheap thrill ending up better than you anticipate. But so was "High & Dry", dammit. And that was the song that made me a fan. So maybe it isn't full of mind-bending experiments. It's still pretty great. It will never be my favorite, but despite my complaints, this album just works. Listen to it with the love of your life.… Expand
Average User Score: 8.6Mar 9, 2011The last two records being growers after initial let-downs, I'm hoping this one grows on me a bit more as well. Aside from the title track, which doesn't work as anything other than an introduction, the first side is the strongest. "The Last Living Rose" and "The Words That Maketh Murder" are two of the best songs she's made. After the death-ridden longest track "All and Everyone" and the beautifully rendered "Battleship Hill", in which "cruel nature has won again", one starts to wonder if the album continues on like this. While the occasionally upbeat music tends to perk up the content on the first half, a few more songs in and it's about as bleak as can be: a feeling that trods on and on, despite the mostly short duration of songs. I began to recall, and nearly yearn for, a minute or so of birds singing: as done on 2004's Uh Huh Her. Considering Polly's most recent hair stylings and this album's cover, it wouldn't seem out of place. It might even inject some life into this otherwise death-filled experience of an album.… Expand