How to Live Image
Metascore
82

Universal acclaim - based on 9 Critics What's this?

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  • Summary: The debut full-length release for the music project from Mazes/ex-Ultimate Painting member Jack Cooper and Beak>'s Will Young features contributions from Rupert Gillett, Woods' Aaron Nevue and Sunwatchers' Jeff Tobias.
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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 9 out of 9
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 9
  3. Negative: 0 out of 9
  1. Aug 22, 2019
    80
    Like some of the more cerebral acts of Britain's early-'70s folk-rock heyday, Modern Nature aren't a portable commodity of singles and small ideas. Their music is defiantly experimental -- though by no means impenetrable -- and best enjoyed in its long-form splendor.
  2. Aug 26, 2019
    80
    Some of the songs work atmospherically; other take shape as more conventional songs. Yet it all proceeds like a pastel colored daydream, faint sounds swirling into mirage-ish structures then melting away into mist. The words are so buried in the mix that you’ll need a lyric sheet to parse them; like the music, they teeter on the boundary between pastoral calm and 21st century angst. They cling to subtle melodies like a fresh coat of dew.
  3. Uncut
    Aug 22, 2019
    80
    Modern nature is an explicitly English affair: unbluesy, unassuming and slightly uptight (in a good way). [Sep 2019, p.36]
  4. Mojo
    Aug 22, 2019
    80
    How To Live is more of a creative evolution than a total break from Cooper's previous music. [Sep 2019, p.88]
  5. Aug 23, 2019
    80
    Jack Cooper’s soft vocals are so understated that for long sections it feels like an instrumental record, but this only adds to the album’s blissful allure. It’s a delicate piece of work that somehow it manages to feel fully-formed at the same time. And it’s this contradiction that makes it such a compelling piece of work.
  6. Aug 26, 2019
    76
    How To Live uncovers an internal landscape just as wide open, much easier to get to, and even harder to escape from.
  7. Sep 4, 2019
    70
    How To Love is an interesting departure for Cooper and one that breaks down some of the barriers Ultimate Painting in particular seemed contained by. You get the feeling, though, that we’re not quite there yet, it’s almost as if this is hinting, teasing even, at a bigger arrival that’s just over the horizon; something worth sticking around for, undoubtedly.

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