The Competition Image
Metascore
74

Generally favorable reviews - based on 12 Critics What's this?

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  • Summary: The Baltimore indie pop band is now a duo with just Jana Hunter and Nate Nelson on its fourth full-length release.
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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 10 out of 12
  2. Negative: 0 out of 12
  1. Sep 10, 2019
    86
    The Competition heralds Hunter’s arrival as an artist who is able to communicate implicitly every bit as much as much as explicitly.
  2. Mojo
    Sep 4, 2019
    80
    Meditative Time (You Got Me) sets the pace: a gently rambling rumination twinkling with congas, shakers and bird-like flutes. [Oct 2019, p.92]
  3. Sep 10, 2019
    80
    The Competition uses the aesthetics of the ‘80s dance floor to try to understand the rising tide of global nationalism. That makes it an easy listen despite its divisive subject matter.
  4. Uncut
    Sep 4, 2019
    70
    The follow-up sees them cutting all ties to their bleak kosmische past, shaping Jana Hunter's songs--which reflect politico-personal anxiety about our collective raging competitiveness, among other things--into darkly gleaming and hopeful synthpop panoramas. Hunter's rich contralto is always at their centre. [Oct 2019, p.29]
  5. Sep 9, 2019
    70
    He embraces a lush, widescreen sound with such vigor that even he can't keep up with, causing the album to lose some momentum as it settles into repetition. But Hunter's biting social critique is the focal point from start to finish, revealing his more vulnerable self in the process—a bold reinvention that should follow whichever direction he chooses to take from here on out.
  6. Sep 5, 2019
    70
    The album maintains the smouldering quality that Lower Dens have always had, but replaces all the washed-out splendor with exacting pop hooks borrowed straight from the Reagan era. It ends up being both the headiest and most commercial material the band has created. It’s a different beast from their earlier iterations, but a compelling remodelling with interlocking layers of both sound and cultural critique.
  7. Sep 4, 2019
    60
    The Competition may be Lower Dens' most accessible album, but its best moments come when the band slow down and strips back their sound.

See all 12 Critic Reviews

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