• Record Label: XL
  • Release Date: Apr 7, 2017
Metascore
87

Universal acclaim - based on 20 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 19 out of 20
  2. Negative: 0 out of 20
Buy On
  1. Apr 6, 2017
    100
    Exquisite opener Piel captures the interplay between poise and prostration that has made Catholic ritual such a rich artistic seam, while arch humour is provided by Whip--hyper-real lashing accompanied by the sound of a powering-down robot--and Desafío, which takes disposable Eurotrash pop and makes it worthy of pious contemplation.
  2. Apr 7, 2017
    91
    If the skittering fluctuation of Ghersi’s past releases gained him a cult following, then the open-hearted ballads sprinkled throughout Arca should earn him his well-deserved breakthrough.
  3. Apr 10, 2017
    90
    Arca likewise refuses to ossify into a legible and easily recognizable shape, defying our expectations of the artist’s output while remaining untethered even to a clearly delineated internal logic. All of this evasion paradoxically pays off, and the resulting album is both emotionally enrapturing and conceptually thrilling.
  4. Apr 7, 2017
    86
    Arca's most accomplished work to date.
  5. 85
    The anguished sentiments of the songs resonate whether you understand Spanish or not, with the celestial tones of the tracks serving as an illuminating pathway to either heaven or hell.
  6. Apr 5, 2017
    85
    The discoveries Ghersi makes on Arca allow him to write his most relaxed and intimate songs. His work is still mysterious, but not as opaque--it doesn’t keep you at an arm’s length, instead he offers up his pleasures more readily.
  7. 83
    It’s beautiful. The second half of the album, as mentioned earlier, is less interesting.
  8. 83
    By peeling back the layers of his persona, Ghersi breaks himself down in an attempt to find rebirth, trying to reconcile with his past and present. The result is his most daring and enthralling record yet.
  9. The Wire
    Aug 8, 2017
    80
    Arca’s operatic tone adds another layer to the expression of emotion and open sexuality in his work--“Piel” and “Coraje” being particularly striking. Ghersi’s voice emerges quietly, piercing through foreboding sonics with sombre gentleness. [May 2017, p.54]
  10. Jun 5, 2017
    80
    Translating to ‘skin’ in English, its urgent, high-pitched signal follows the melancholy first-take of the artist’s vocal, who’s sung before but never with such vulnerability. It marks the start of a soaring new direction.
  11. May 26, 2017
    80
    Even the wordless tracks on Arca are among the producer’s most powerful vignettes.
  12. Apr 24, 2017
    80
    As always, Ghersi pushes his boundaries on Arca, and the vulnerability he displays makes it some of his most exciting and moving music yet.
  13. Uncut
    Apr 20, 2017
    80
    This intensely personal touch humanises his alien sound design, casting him as a kind of sensual mutant whose comradeship with Bjork makes perfect sense. [Jun 2017, p.23]
  14. Apr 14, 2017
    80
    Arca suggests a sort of shift that is so well-defined, confident, significant, and grounded in the artist’s own past aesthetics that it capably reconstitutes its onlookers’ iconic definition of the artist.
  15. Q Magazine
    Apr 12, 2017
    80
    There are echoes of other singular vocal talents such as Jonsi and Anonhi, but Ghersi here occupies a sonic multiverse of his own creation. [Jun 2017, p.102]
  16. Apr 6, 2017
    80
    Peeling back the density and obtuseness of Xen and Mutant, Arca is his most engaging, emotionally draining and confrontational album to date.
  17. Apr 6, 2017
    80
    Arca rides a steady stream of minimalist melancholia, juxtaposed against Ghersi’s intense, operatic vocals--the effect is one of ceremonial transcendence.
  18. Apr 5, 2017
    80
    This back-and-forth is carried along throughout Arca, demonstrating that Ghersi hasn't lost his fondness for tempered electronic cacophony (see "Castration" and "Whip"), but has expanded his palette, to mind-bendingly gorgeous results.
  19. Apr 5, 2017
    75
    It’s a challenging but rewarding listen which uncovers itself most rewardingly when given full attention on a dark and melancholic night.
  20. Apr 10, 2017
    60
    Words make Arca’s tense, sad hyper-modernity a little more accessible, if no less strange.
User Score
8.0

Generally favorable reviews- based on 201 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 20 out of 201
  1. Apr 13, 2017
    10
    This will probably be one of the truest and most sentimental albums you'll hear this year 2017. Mystery, chaos, love, betrayal are some of theThis will probably be one of the truest and most sentimental albums you'll hear this year 2017. Mystery, chaos, love, betrayal are some of the sentiments addressed in one of the greatest works ever produced by the Arca. His music transcends, allowing the listener to travel in the troubled world of Alejandro Ghersi. There are 13 songs well done with great caution, bringing a musical minimalism. And as always, Arca comes out in front and shows a masterpiece. Full Review »
  2. Apr 8, 2017
    6
    I really tried to like him, because I like his work with Björk. But no, I think he is overrated. The music doesn't make sense and to me soundsI really tried to like him, because I like his work with Björk. But no, I think he is overrated. The music doesn't make sense and to me sounds like some empty noises with no connection. I could enjoy two or three songs, though. Full Review »
  3. Apr 8, 2017
    10
    This album is the perfect mesh between 'Xen' and' Mutant'. The industrial thrusts are still there and so are the classical music twists, butThis album is the perfect mesh between 'Xen' and' Mutant'. The industrial thrusts are still there and so are the classical music twists, but with the added lyrical element, there seems to be something profoundly grounding and self aware that his first two albums didn't quite capture. This feels personal, wounded and broken while also evoking a new sense of freedom. Full Review »