• Record Label: Merge
  • Release Date: Apr 9, 2002

Generally favorable reviews - based on 12 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 10 out of 12
  2. Negative: 0 out of 12
  1. Pop isn't an ambition for these smart people with other things to do, it's a discipline--the tunes strong, the beats solid, the vocals lightly yearning and pungently sweet.
  2. Magnet
    What On really proves is that great albums aren't a thing of the past. [#54, p.94]
  3. Ridiculously catchy melodies, driving synths, sharp, snapping drums, and super lo-fi bass and guitars churn out straight up dirty rock'n'roll, some twisted pop, and the occasional ethereal mid-tempo composition.
  4. Blender
    Imperial Teen deploy the familiar language of pop-rock, then subvert it with strange, chewy tales, making music that wraps arsenic in a candy coating. [Apr/May 2002, p.114]
  5. Imperial Teen is clearly evolving into a group of subtler, more nuanced songwriters.
  6. Imperial Teen is delightful with just enough bite; danceable without having to count beats per minute; ready to have as much fun as you are.
  7. On succeeds not in spite of its simplicity, but because of it.
  8. On is that increasingly rare rock & roll specimen -- a magnificently hedonistic party album for extremely consenting adults.
  9. Resonance
    Imperial Teen keeps it fresh, and the mostly mid-tempo On flavors its bubblegum pop by adding a sticky, erotic center. [#34, p.60]
  10. Alternative Press
    On offers tight musicianship, intimate lyrics and a wider sonic berth in comparison to indie pop's lyrically trite mistake celebrations. [May 2002, p.90]
  11. By the time On reaches its finale, it's stored up enough goodwill that it's more than possible to believe that there's an art to all this artlessness.
  12. Uncut
    Either annoyingly sweet or refereshingly well-adjusted, depending on your mood. [Oct 2002, p.107]

Awards & Rankings

User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 6 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 5 out of 6
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 6
  3. Negative: 1 out of 6
  1. Apr 7, 2012
    One of my favorite records of all time. It didnt start out that way. Dont get me wrong, I liked it a lot right from the start. But over theOne of my favorite records of all time. It didnt start out that way. Dont get me wrong, I liked it a lot right from the start. But over the years I keep coming back to it. Imperial Teen are amazing, absolutely brilliant Pop Rock artists. They prove that being smart and having great taste is far more important than being an instrumental virtuoso. I love this record and this band. Full Review »
  2. CliffR.
    May 25, 2002
    Solid from start to finish, simply put. I like the production much more than 'What Is Not To Love', particularly the vocals, juicy.