Metascore
75

Generally favorable reviews - based on 12 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 8 out of 12
  2. Negative: 0 out of 12
  1. Insanely catchy '60s- inspired pop music in addition to sound collages, field recordings, drony ambience, cathartic noise, and outlandish production that makes Phil Spector's "Wall of Sound" look like a cubicle divider.
  2. Time will tell, but Black Foliage has all the marks of a major pop masterpiece -- brilliant tunes, innovative arrangements, clever lyrics, a thoroughly adventurous spirit, and a musical depth that always reveals something new on repeated listenings.
  3. So maybe Black Foliage can be a bit self-indulgent and uneven at times (the short connecting tracks that recur throughout the album, for example), but such missteps go along with a brimming imagination that boldly explores the outer limits of rock's subconscious.
  4. It's a sonic wonderland, and the jump-cut delirium is transporting. But as pop projectionists, the group might want to keep a keener eye on the focus.
  5. If the preceding Dusk at Cubist Castle was the Olivia Tremor Control's very own White Album, then the labyrinthine Black Foliage is their Smile -- it's an imploding masterpiece, a work teetering on the cliff's edge between genius and madness.
  6. Full of not-quite-familiar arrangements and you'd-swear-they-were-purloined specks of Sgt. Pepper, the album's many pleasures fly at the listener from every angle.
  7. Amiable multi-instrumental pop shuffles in the hazy mode of the Beatles' Magical Mystery Tour, gauzed with intricate four-part harmonies and a host of sound effects, bump up against loping, kitchen-sink ambientronic instro-ludes in albums that seem created somewhere outside of standard time by art students with a serious pop jones.
  8. At its most generous, this may be the music of the young Brian Wilson's dysfunctional dreams. But at its most pretentious it's his bad trip.
  9. The Georgia collective's second album is pop at its most playful and the avant-garde at its cuddliest -- a four-act, twenty-seven-song fantasy trip in which structure and chaos keep leapfrogging each other.
  10. It's sort of a bi-polar album of sorts, as it probably could have been cut down a lot in length and made into a concise gem of an album, but then you'd lose the odd atmosphere of the rest (which will either drive you nuts or space you out).
  11. Teasing the limits of pleasure and agony, 'Black Foliage' is a messy, irritating listen. But it's worth persevering just for those odd moments of gorgeousness.
  12. Over 27 unpredictable tracks that run the gamut from soaring Byrdsian harmonic rock to the sound of wind in the trees played backwards, Black Foliage is a marathon.
User Score
8.6

Universal acclaim- based on 11 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 10 out of 11
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 11
  3. Negative: 1 out of 11
  1. Sep 6, 2011
    8
    The point at which pretentious avant-garde nonsense and brilliant, brooding psychedelic pop combine to form an album that teeters on theThe point at which pretentious avant-garde nonsense and brilliant, brooding psychedelic pop combine to form an album that teeters on the precipice between pure perfection and pure annoyance. Full Review »
  2. JimR
    Jan 12, 2006
    10
    This is a fantastic album by an underrated band. It is a worthy successor to Dusk At Cubist Castle. Black Foliage has great pop tunes and the This is a fantastic album by an underrated band. It is a worthy successor to Dusk At Cubist Castle. Black Foliage has great pop tunes and the experimental music is good. The Olivia Tremor Control is better than Neutral Milk Hotel in my opinion Full Review »
  3. eded
    Jul 13, 2004
    10
    ... You're just a sleepy company, yeah, but that's alright... soundtrack to my last week in Vancouver, perfect