• Record Label: Sub Pop
  • Release Date: Sep 9, 2014
Metascore
73

Generally favorable reviews - based on 20 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 14 out of 20
  2. Negative: 1 out of 20
Buy On
  1. His outfit have returned with an album that skirts close to perfection in its 35 minutes of glorious madness and transcendent, George Harrison-like guitar solos.
  2. Sep 15, 2014
    80
    What it loses in irreverence it gains in solemnity and seriousness, but this is still the Zahner-Isenberg of before, ruminating on his past with a conflicted conscience that threatens his every thought.
  3. Mojo
    Sep 12, 2014
    80
    It's an even more pop-centric prism of West Coast folky radiance. [Oct 2014, p.92]
  4. 80
    This is an album both challenging and gorgeous-sounding. If occasionally over-ambitious, it is always attention-grabbing, and very often risk-taking in the most positive sense.
  5. Sep 11, 2014
    80
    While the rest of us went to work or college or worse after graduation, Avi Buffalo hit the road, but they too spent those formative years navigating the strange cognitive duality of post-high school young adulthood, and the sad, strange, and beautiful At Best Cuckold does an awfully nice job distilling that unease into audio form.
  6. Uncut
    Sep 4, 2014
    80
    The template remains classic American pop-rock served with a glaze of summer-fried weirdness, redolent of The Shins, Flaming Lips and Neil Young, but now there's real heart beneath the often twee facade. [Oct 2014, p.67]
  7. Q Magazine
    Sep 4, 2014
    80
    A happy return. [Oct 2014, p.103]
  8. Sep 4, 2014
    80
    Notwithstanding the distinctive high pitch of his voice, Avi’s music has evolved from the childlike lightness of his debut’s glorious highlight Truth Sets In--and perhaps that’s the crucial point: the truth has set in.
  9. Sep 10, 2014
    72
    Avi Buffalo are trying and failing to act their age on At Best Cuckold, and ain’t nothin’ wrong with that either.
  10. Sep 25, 2014
    70
    While At Best Cuckold is an album of entertaining truth and teenage legitimacy, and while its sprightly sound and pleasant air create a funny kind of optimism, it does not offer material that will sustain itself over time.
  11. Sep 12, 2014
    70
    But because of its uneven idiosyncrasies and its cheeky self-flagellation, At Best Cuckhold sounds like Avi Buffalo’s coming of age story.
  12. Sep 5, 2014
    70
    At Best Cuckold is a strong cohesive whole, a sum of all its theoretically disparate parts, and one that wears its idiosyncrasies proudly on its sleeve.
  13. Sep 4, 2014
    70
    At Best Cuckold isn't an explosive game changer, nor is it particularly different to what's already out there, but it sure as hell earns a proud place above its peers.
  14. Under The Radar
    Sep 5, 2014
    65
    What we lose is some of that unhinged spirit that so impishly drove tunes like "What's In It For" or "Jessica." What we gain: more exploratory songwriting, some melancholy indulgence, some added guitar and arrangement chops, and a healthy dose of life. [Sep/Oct 2014, p.72]
  15. Sep 10, 2014
    60
    Avi Buffalo have achieved this in theory, but the product is a mostly unremarkable follow-up to a promising debut.
  16. Sep 4, 2014
    60
    At Best Cuckold is so highly polished that it feels a little lacking in the kind of blindsided naivety that comes hand in hand with romance.
  17. Sep 4, 2014
    60
    At Best Cuckold is much like the autumnal vibe it tries to project in that, like autumn, you don't mind its existence but you kind of just want to go back to that excellent summer again.
  18. 58
    Zahner-Isenberg has changed his focus more toward the piano and atmospherics on At Best Cuckold, as opposed to the complicated guitar lines of their debut, and it works well. However, to keep growing, the band can’t stay focused on cute adolescent lyrics that, while tongue-in-cheek, don’t match the lush intricacies of the music behind them.
  19. Magnet
    Nov 5, 2014
    50
    The emotional mood of At Best Cuckold never breaks away from the spell of his comfortable lethargy. [No. 114, p.53]
  20. Sep 16, 2014
    30
    Sometimes Avi Buffalo’s entrance into the gauntlet of the undisguised voice leads to a pretty song or two, maybe a moment of blissful pop; but more often than not, the songs whimper without much intelligible emotion.

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