• Record Label: 4AD
  • Release Date: Mar 25, 2014
Metascore
82

Universal acclaim - based on 32 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 30 out of 32
  2. Negative: 0 out of 32
Buy On
  1. 90
    The Baltimore-based band’s fourth album is layered with songs that are faultlessly executed from top to bottom. Although the lyrics are somewhat simplistic, their direct marriage is welcomed.
  2. Mar 24, 2014
    90
    The vocals, the songs, the music, and the production work together to make Singles a one-of-a-kind experience that's nearly perfect.
  3. Mar 21, 2014
    90
    It's rare to find an album this coherent and firm in quality. But best of all, a good half of the record will give you plenty of inspiration to channel Herring's sweet dance moves.
  4. 90
    Singles is an effortless wonder. Each and every track runs its course avoiding any pitfalls.
  5. Mar 20, 2014
    90
    Singles is a record that is experimental, yet hugely accessible.
  6. Mar 18, 2014
    90
    Future Islands have crafted the best ten of their career.
  7. Magnet
    Apr 18, 2014
    85
    Not every song justifies Herring's bold imprimatur, but enough do to make them stand out in a catalog that wasn't wanting for impact tracks. [No. 108, p.55]
  8. Entertainment Weekly
    Mar 28, 2014
    83
    Their fourth album is their tightest, most complete effort yet. [4 Apr 2014, p.64]
  9. 83
    ingles is sometimes stark, and sometimes surprising – but its key constant is that it’s rarely short of spellbinding.
  10. 80
    More sweeping and grand than any of their previous records, the trio’s fourth LP is by far their most cinematic.
  11. Q Magazine
    Apr 23, 2014
    80
    The overwrought Fall From Grace is the only bum note: otherwise Singles is a brilliant, bewitching album. [May 2014, p.110]
  12. Mar 25, 2014
    80
    People have finally started to give this band its due attention, and with Future Islands’s virtually unmatched ability to make such a wide variety of lived experience sound unwaveringly electrifying, it’s no wonder why.
  13. Mar 25, 2014
    80
    Singles [is] the first of their albums that really forces the repeat button; as good as In Evening Air and On The Water are, they're so emotionally draining that you don't exactly find yourself in a hurry to play them again right away.
  14. Mar 25, 2014
    80
    Singles is risky, but the strength of the songwriting carries it over.
  15. Mar 25, 2014
    80
    Get over Herring's Shatner-like earnestness like you did with Destroyer's Kenny G moves on Kaputt and you'll unlock the furrowed brows, baggy eyes and bulging veins beneath the metronomic perfection.
  16. 80
    Get past the initial jolt of weirdness and you'll find in his delivery a soul-puncturing cry from the very frontlines of life, able to evoke both desperate tragedy and skyscraping joy all at once.
  17. Mar 24, 2014
    80
    On Singles, their first for 4AD, the band perfect the persuasive and pervasive nature of pop.
  18. Mojo
    Mar 21, 2014
    80
    In taming their wilder side, Future Islands' ecstatic melancholy has never sounded quite so free. [Apr 2014, p.96]
  19. Mar 21, 2014
    80
    The album never quite catches fire like their live performance but it gets close.
  20. Mar 20, 2014
    80
    Beneath catchy pop hooks, there’s deep-rooted pain in these love songs.
  21. Uncut
    Mar 18, 2014
    80
    Bassist William Cashion and keyboardist Gerrit Welmers match him for breathless passion, whipping up a stirring synth-pop writ in bold emotional colours. [Apr 2014, p.74]
  22. Under The Radar
    Mar 18, 2014
    80
    Singles makes Future Islands more accessible without sacrificing integrity. [Feb/Mar 2014, p.71]
  23. Mar 18, 2014
    80
    What they have created is a consistent work which showcases the band’s diversity as well as their skill and passion in making music which treads the ground between weird and wonderful.
  24. Mar 18, 2014
    80
    These deranged components act as one, swinging into motion in one fatal blow. That it comes out sounding seamless is another thing altogether.
  25. Mar 25, 2014
    79
    As easy as it is to enjoy, there is something fleeting in its pleasures, as if it isn’t quite complete without occupying the same spaces as the band.
  26. 75
    No album will ever supplant their trademark live show, but at the very least, the confidence they’re putting to tape sure makes Singles‘ audacious title acceptable.
  27. Mar 25, 2014
    70
    Sometimes the lyrics are as uncanny as the voice.
  28. Mar 25, 2014
    70
    Though rock has always been the ideal genre for artists to explore entropy, Herring and his bandmates have somehow found a way to inject what is arguably the safest kind of music, adult pop, with their own weird brand of controlled chaos.
  29. Mar 25, 2014
    70
    The synth-pop skeletons here are alluring: Singles succeeds in accessing the unconscious pleasures associated with the cold percussion and computer melodies of the early-mid-1980s.
  30. Mar 24, 2014
    70
    Singles leaves the listener in much the same state as their other records: loving what exists, warts and all, yet still gazing expectantly toward what remains to be seen.
  31. Apr 8, 2014
    60
    There are good songs here to be sure, but a measure of skepticism shouldn’t just arise from the band’s original fan base.
  32. Mar 24, 2014
    60
    Herring’s growling vocals prevent proceedings from becoming too gloopy or nostalgic, and make Singles a new-wave treasure.
User Score
8.6

Universal acclaim- based on 82 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 79 out of 82
  2. Negative: 0 out of 82
  1. Apr 9, 2014
    10
    This is the best album of the year so far. The music has an 80s feel to it, and I love that. Samuel T. Herring's voice is extraordinary. HeThis is the best album of the year so far. The music has an 80s feel to it, and I love that. Samuel T. Herring's voice is extraordinary. He has great vocal range, going from mere whispers to abrupt cries. This gives life to the lyrics, which are gorgeous in their own right.

    My favorite tracks are: Fall from Grace, Like the Moon, and A Dream of You and Me. But don't misunderstand; the entire album is terrific. Tracks like Seasons (Waiting on You), Spirit, and Doves are also quite beautiful.

    I just knew that this great band has released three previous albums. Definitely checking them out.
    Full Review »
  2. Mar 26, 2014
    8
    Propelled by their eccentric David Letterman debut, this LP proves to be Future Island's big break. In Evening Air still remains my favoritePropelled by their eccentric David Letterman debut, this LP proves to be Future Island's big break. In Evening Air still remains my favorite of their studio albums but Singles managed to hook me by swapping out the darker tone of previous LPs for more an even more colorful new-wave/synthpop sound. Herring's vocals are still the main appeal, (they are incredible!) as most of the instrumentation is pretty bare-bones. His delivery is less rough, more melodic, and as infectious as ever. This album is a grower and definitely worth your time. Full Review »
  3. Mar 25, 2014
    10
    Despite its misleading title, Future Island's Singles is not a collection of the indie synthpop band's greatest hits. On the contrary, it is aDespite its misleading title, Future Island's Singles is not a collection of the indie synthpop band's greatest hits. On the contrary, it is a holistically unique and totally refreshing ten-track album that bursts with both aged wisdom and bubbling youth. The synthetic sounds are executed with suavity and pensiveness, creating an atmosphere visually (and viscerally) akin to diving into a colorful, luminescent pool. Herring's lyrics and voice are both wistful and grateful as his texture ranges from harmonic whispers to guttural cries. Starting with the unconventionally spectacular single "Seasons (Waiting On You)," the band takes you on a short but powerful forty-minute journey, leaving you stunned and reluctant to believe that's all there is to it. Being in equal parts uplifting and emotionally exhaustive, the album relies significantly on the listener's input. It's a fine piece of music to be played in the car on the ride home; however, it's ultimate potential isn't discovered until you listen to it in your room with undivided attention and allow it to engulf you. Simply put, Singles is the most stellar record of the year thus far.

    FINAL SCORE: 95 (almost perfect ----------o---------- perfect)
    Full Review »