Generally favorable reviews - based on 25 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 15 out of 25
  2. Negative: 0 out of 25
  1. May 25, 2012
    This is Public Image Ltd at its best. This record is good. Outrageously good. Better than a record of an artist of Lydon's vintage has any right to make.
  2. Jun 27, 2012
    Easily absorbing subcurrents from Bollywood and bhangra ("Deeper Water") to fear-of-nature horror film soundtracks ("Out of the Woods"), This is PiL never wanders far from that fierce bass and pulsing percussion at its core.
  3. Q Magazine
    Oct 12, 2012
    It sounds like [he's having a lark]. [Jul 2012, p.108]
  4. Mojo
    Jul 18, 2012
    It's a labyrinthine 64-minute journey, bound together by a group identity that gains clarity with every listen. [Jun 2012, p.80]
  5. Jun 19, 2012
    PiL have created something solid, vicious and with enough value for repeat listens.
  6. An unexpectedly enjoyable late addition to a formidable body of work.
  7. May 25, 2012
    Both as an album opener after a ten year absence and a spiritual partner to Public Image, This is PiL is pretty much perfect.
  8. May 25, 2012
    You do catch hints of PiL's back catalogue... but you're more often struck by Lydon's determination to keep pushing forward into uncharted territory.
  9. The Wire
    Jul 24, 2012
    The unit sound tight and integrated. [May 2012, p.62]
  10. Jul 3, 2012
    PiL still has power. If John Lydon and his current crew of misfits continue to stay the course, we are going to see some classic works that'll stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the band's commercial and artistic heyday. You could already make that case for This is PiL.
  11. Uncut
    May 31, 2012
    It may not be of the caliber of Metal Box, but it finds its maker firmly in 2012, not 1979, and with plenty still to grouse about. [Jun 2012, p.67]
  12. 70
    This Is PiL is a relatively edgeless makeover, albeit infused with the progressive spirit of '79, and bolstered by what has always served Lydon well.
  13. May 25, 2012
    Lydon's ever-inspiring love of de-dub postulates continually throughout the album – it's such a perfect return.
  14. May 25, 2012
    A curious mixture of rage and nostalgia.
  15. May 30, 2012
    Historical importance aside, they're a band built on unreliability and inconsistency, and This Is PiL maintains that reputation.
  16. Jun 18, 2012
    This Is PiL proves that the taunting weaponry of his voice is still a delight, as he drawls out syllables like an over-the-top TV villain.
  17. Kerrang!
    Jun 15, 2012
    It's edgy. inventive, and occasionally frustrating. [2 Jun 2012, p.53]
  18. Jun 4, 2012
    If lyrically This Is PiL marks a step forward for Lydon, then musically the album seems caught in a mid-'90s production rut, the color and texture of the band's rhythm section feeling leached out.
  19. It's an album that alternates between being rewarding and punishing.
  20. 50
    On the surface, it looks and sounds (somewhat) like P.I.L., but in the end, it's a rather soulless copy.
  21. May 29, 2012
    PiL's last album, 1992's That What Is Not, left the outfit hanging on a slick and inconsequential note, one that couldn't be further from the dubby murk of the group's pioneering work from the '70s. This Is PiL circles back to that murk, then buries its head in it.
  22. Aug 22, 2012
    On the majority of This is PiL, they are overshadowed by Lydon's barking vocals.
  23. Jun 6, 2012
    With none of the tension or electricity of the music PiL is best-remembered for, This is PiL is a disappointing return.
  24. 40
    A comeback shouldn't sound this much like treading water.
  25. May 25, 2012
    The biggest failure of This Is PiL, sadly, is the band's centerpiece: Lydon. As fine as he can be (see again "Deeper Water"), he sounds downright unhinged. Not in the puckish, sinister way that made PiL live albums so bracing, either-no, his work here sounds tossed off, and too often just plain off.
User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 6 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 5 out of 6
  2. Negative: 0 out of 6
  1. May 31, 2012
    The first album in 20 years from Public Image Ltd despite its rock tone is quite strange. We can find both reggeae compositions ("One Drop")The first album in 20 years from Public Image Ltd despite its rock tone is quite strange. We can find both reggeae compositions ("One Drop") and indie rock ("Human") or electronic experiments ("The Room I Am In"). John Lydon on vocals continues experimenting, sometimes giving it a psychedelic character ("Deeper Water "), while the songs are characterized by a somewhat antiquated arrangements - which sometimes can be counted on the bands' plus, but usually causes only a bad impression. Full Review »