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The Monitor Image
Metascore
82

Universal acclaim - based on 32 Critic Reviews What's this?

User Score
7.9

Generally favorable reviews- based on 105 Ratings

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  • Summary: The first full-length album on XL Recordings for the rock band from New Jersey was named after a warship that fought during the American Civil War.

Top Track

A More Perfect Union
(Whispered) Are we ready to go? "From whence shall we expect the approach of danger? Shall some transatlantic giant step the earth and crush us at a... See the rest of the song lyrics
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 29 out of 32
  2. Negative: 0 out of 32
  1. Titus Andronicus have created an album that will grip the listener, carry them along on a tide of spit and blood and youthful aggression, and leave them dazed and exhausted at the end, with no other option but to start the record all over again.
  2. The Monitor, then, is a boisterous, eloquent argument that rock music need not be dumb in order to be enjoyable, moreover, that we should be questioning and analysing our heritage rather than precariously stumbling onwards. But mostly, it's just a stupendous collection of songs; one that demands to be listened to as loudly as you can possibly get away with.
  3. Catharsis is Stickles' fuel, and The Monitor is a 65-minute endorsement of angst and opposition as the best way to present that combustible sorrow.
  4. Mojo
    80
    Encyclopedic US indie rock--American Civil War, Walt Whitman, Hold Steady, Shakespeare all included.
  5. Uncut
    80
    Scattershot, but so frighteningly intense and packed with ideas that you can't help but be impressed. [Apr 2010, p.100]
  6. There's a bloodymindedness on The Monitor that is equally infuriating and invigorating.
  7. The execution here might have seemed a bit more authentic had they been going for a pure concept album with a Civil War theme; unfortunately, hearing Stickles locked in bloodied-but-unbowed mode throughout the record doesn't add any greater emotional depth to the intertwining themes.

See all 32 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 17 out of 17
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 17
  3. Negative: 0 out of 17
  1. JoeC.
    Mar 13, 2010
    10
    Hard driving yet the music is tuneful and catchy, and the lyrics
  2. HarryB.
    Mar 9, 2010
    10
    This album works so well as a cohesive concept, but not in that over bearing "I'm an art dork who makes high brow nonsense" kind of way. This album works so well as a cohesive concept, but not in that over bearing "I'm an art dork who makes high brow nonsense" kind of way. More in the "I have serious things to say and the only way i know how is to write a string of incomprehensibly good songs and arrange them in chronological order". This album is special. Expand
  3. Rob
    Apr 1, 2010
    10
    Messy, confused, angry, brilliant.
  4. EricN
    Mar 15, 2010
    10
    Absolutely stellar. It's hard to imagine a more raucous, fun, epic album will be released in 2010. A total pleasure from start to finish.
  5. Jan 30, 2011
    10
    7.6 overall rating is **** **** The people who gave this a negative score are all **** idiots.
  6. Aug 19, 2015
    10
    I can't believe this has the lowest user rating of their 4 albums when it is clearly the best one. This album is phenomenal from start toI can't believe this has the lowest user rating of their 4 albums when it is clearly the best one. This album is phenomenal from start to finish. The occasional violin and vocals from Amy are fantastic and exactly what the newer albums are missing. Don't get me wrong, TAOG was a great debut, but they really came into their own on the Monitor. Local Business was incredible and TMLT is beyond impressive, but neither of those albums surpassed the Monitor in my opinion. +@ Forever!!! Expand
  7. Oct 22, 2021
    7
    How a civil war concept album by an unknown awfully titled band become one of the strongest indie rock albums? Maybe it's the control theyHow a civil war concept album by an unknown awfully titled band become one of the strongest indie rock albums? Maybe it's the control they possess in being able to navigate grand narratives and sonic experiments whilst remaining traditional. Obviously culling influences from Connor Oberst in the phenomal 7min opener "a more perfect union " or the energetic rager "Theme from Cheers". It's a gem of a record that despite some songs ambitious runtimes and narratives keeps it moment till the end. Effortlessly replayed and thoughtfully funny. The 14 min opus "The Battle of Hampton Roads" takes the first battle between ironclad warships and makes it a solid extremly detailed retelling involving faith lost,drunks and depressed **** A record with everything for every indie rock fan. Expand

See all 17 User Reviews

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