Metascore
85

Universal acclaim - based on 20 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 20 out of 20
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 20
  3. Negative: 0 out of 20
Buy On
  1. Nov 5, 2015
    100
    Elaenia flits, swoops and soars beautifully, impossible to pin down, let alone cage.
  2. Nov 9, 2015
    90
    Elaenia is fated to become one of those albums that inspires ritualistic listening parties held by small groups of audiophiles. That shouldn't be held against it.
  3. Nov 3, 2015
    84
    It's a record best heard loud, because the quiet parts can be very quiet, and its spirit lies less in melodies or even moods than in tiny details.
  4. Dec 22, 2015
    80
    Until the release of this album, Shepherd’s output might have proved hard to follow for the casual listener, comprising as it did sundry white label releases, one-offs and remixes. Fortunately, Elaenia acts as a brilliant encapsulation of a huge talent.
  5. 80
    Of all albums this year, Elaenia is one that could be--probably will be--discussed for some time. It’s as impressive and rewarding as you want to be.
  6. Nov 11, 2015
    80
    The songs on Elaenia sound closer to psychedelic jazz and post-rock, and feel more like improvised jam sessions than carefully sequenced electronic music. It's a risky strategy, but the gamble pays off big.
  7. Nov 10, 2015
    80
    Shepherd's flawless Eglo catalogue had the power to coax his followers off the dance floor with him, and Elaenia's sophisticated sense of musical accomplishment ought to keep them there.
  8. 80
    All the nerding-out is secondary to the emotional pull exerted by these creeping, tickling and soaring tracks.
  9. Nov 6, 2015
    80
    It is a salve, and a beautiful, mysterious thing, which doesn’t necesarily need to be anything more than a beautiful, mysterious thing, however many hours of labour and technical nous have been spent crafting it.
  10. Nov 6, 2015
    80
    This is intelligent dance music (with no capital letters)--clever and warm, sophisticated and joy
  11. Nov 4, 2015
    80
    Shepherd is among London's most sought-after DJs, known for marathon sets that span everything from disco's deepest cuts to feel-good hip-hop. But here he steps away from those club sounds in favor of a fully immersive experience that's unbounded by genre.
  12. Nov 4, 2015
    80
    What makes his debut so appealing is that Shepherd never sounds too rigidly loyal to any genre or sound, making Elaenia a fascinating and confident debut from a tenured rookie.
  13. Nov 3, 2015
    80
    Eleania demands focus, too, but pay attention to it and you'll be rewarded.
  14. Nov 2, 2015
    80
    As Shepherd’s confidence grows in his compositions, he gives each element of the song enough time to stand on its own, without the bells and whistles of the Ensemble’s (slightly more) enormous orchestra.
  15. Q Magazine
    Oct 28, 2015
    80
    An astonishing cohesive record. [Dec 2015, p.107]
  16. Uncut
    Oct 28, 2015
    80
    Much here, like the outstanding "Silhouettes (I, II & III)," sits elegantly in a progressive tradition that draws on Teo Macero's collage work on In A Silent Way, David Axelrod's string arrangements, and Four Tet's own "Thirtysixtwentyfive." [Dec 2015, p.71]
  17. Oct 28, 2015
    80
    Elaenia is one of those rare albums that crosses genres and audiences with ease due in thanks to the sheer craft that's gone into its seven tracks.
  18. Oct 28, 2015
    80
    [An] extraordinary beautiful debut. [Dec 2015, p.87]
  19. 75
    Elaenia stands out as a remarkably assured debut album from an artist who took his time putting it together.
  20. Nov 4, 2015
    70
    The album is not without its flaws, mostly coming from the disappointing length and one filler track. The record only lasts seven songs, and with the flood of ideas that Shepherd clearly brings to the table, it’s a damn shame we don’t have more time in his world.

Awards & Rankings

User Score
8.4

Universal acclaim- based on 28 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 27 out of 28
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 28
  3. Negative: 1 out of 28
  1. Jan 31, 2016
    9
    A stellar combination of post-rock, electronica, and ambient, Floating Points’ newest recording almost flew under my radar. I happened to comeA stellar combination of post-rock, electronica, and ambient, Floating Points’ newest recording almost flew under my radar. I happened to come across this album on Soundcloud.com, and I was hooked by the tracks “Peroration Six” and “Silhouettes (I, II, III)”. The album as a whole ebbs and flows as one large composition: it hides in plain sight with soft droning notes on some occasions, and gradually builds with swallowed digital bleeps and swelling synthesizer, bursting into grand conclusions. “Elaenia” ends suddenly, just as a guitar lick seems inevitable. One can hope that Floating Points will soon pick up where this great album left off. Full Review »