• Record Label: Domino
  • Release Date: Oct 21, 2003

Generally favorable reviews - based on 19 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 17 out of 19
  2. Negative: 0 out of 19
  1. Throughout Cedars, Clearlake continually find beauty in melancholy and melancholy behind beauty, while raising your hairs in reverence with occasional guitar squalls.
  2. Uncut
    A beautiful record. [Mar 2003, p.100]
  3. This is one of the most unique, inviting, and ultimately thrilling song cycles released this year.
  4. Alternative Press
    Moody music that avoids settling on any one sound for more than half a song. [Feb 2004, p.78]
  5. Mojo
    Rich, but foreboding stuff. [Mar 2003, p.106]
  6. While Cedars probably won’t appeal to listeners not already immersed in the Britpop canon; it will likely prove rather impressive to those who are.
  7. An album of didactic power and limitless ambition.
  8. Q Magazine
    Treat Yourself With Kindness... calls to mind what Morrissey and Marr might have come up with if requested to soundtrack the closing credits of It's A Wonderful Life. [Mar 2003, p.102]
  9. Under The Radar
    It's painful, joyful and glorious. [#5, p.98]
  10. If Cedars has an artistic failing, it's that the songs tend to blend together after "Almost the Same".
  11. 'Cedars' is a record of huge maturity - witty, often quite sad, occasionally perverse, but hugely charming nonetheless.
  12. One of the better British rock discs that I've heard in awhile.
  13. Are you worn out by your Travis and Coldplay CD's? In the market for some new Brit-Pop? Clearlake creates songs with equally appealing melodies to the aforementioned bands, while eschewing the relentlessly anthemic quality that occasionally mires the genre.
  14. It's like reading an impressive primer of British post-punk with the chapters completely jumbled.
  15. Yet, for all of its strengths, the monumentally somber "Cedars" does suffer from a few ill-conceived pieces, like the needless, patience-trying "It's All too Much" and the abstractly rhythmic "Treat Yourself With Kindness."
  16. Unfortunately, when Clearlake misses the mark, it does so widely.
  17. It's not as cheeky as Pulp and not nearly as abrasive as British Sea Power; however, Clearlake is equally provocative.
  18. Honestly, the first few listens are the worst; Cedars grows on you to the extent that you get past its often-horrendous lyrics after a while and learn to appreciate its strongest moments.

Awards & Rankings

User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 6 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 6 out of 6
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 6
  3. Negative: 0 out of 6
  1. Mr.Nice
    Feb 2, 2005
    This is one of those albums that you can play repeatedly, finding new nuggets of beauty each time. Simon Raymonde's production is flawless.
  2. BenjaminBunny
    Jun 8, 2004
    British goth-pop that's a little silly, but delivers some memorable hooks--"Almost The Same" is one of my favorite songs of the last year.
  3. MattT
    Dec 24, 2003
    From desperation to hope and back again throughout the record. A nice but forboding listen throughout.