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Three Image
Metascore
64

Generally favorable reviews - based on 13 Critic Reviews What's this?

User Score
7.6

Generally favorable reviews- based on 30 Ratings

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  • Summary: The third full-length release for the New York duo of Sarah Barthel and Josh Carter features contributions from Darby Cicci of the Antlers, Matt Chamberlain, Ricky Reed (aka Wallpaper), and Dan Wilson of Semisonic.
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Top Track

Cruel World
[Verse 1] I'm putting you out of your misery Cause darling you're dragging me down I wish I could say that I'm sorry But I'm over that, now I'm... See the rest of the song lyrics
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 9 out of 13
  2. Negative: 0 out of 13
  1. Sep 30, 2016
    80
    Tracks such as ‘Answer’ contain more light, pop-ridden sensibilities, yet it’s with the grittier, heavier-sounding choruses where Phantogram are at their best.
  2. Sep 30, 2016
    80
    Phantogram's fix and mend methods, and above average song craft, are admirable and compelling. An unexpected treat.
  3. 75
    Three is perhaps Phantogram’s most incisive record yet, sustaining a very solid and concrete idea of what kind of pop it wants to promote.
  4. 70
    Phantogram have always been able to craft sleek, cerebral tunes, but it hasn't always been clear that they were having a blast doing it--until now.
  5. Oct 5, 2016
    70
    Three's high points come when some of the pop veneer is pulled back to let more raw, real feeling through. Overall, it's a solid record that should draw a wider audience to Phantogram's music.
  6. Oct 3, 2016
    70
    Three represents only an incremental progression, not the seismic shift of Voices, but it demonstrates the duo's ability to transform darkness into light, taking personal tragedy and shaping it into professional growth.
  7. Oct 6, 2016
    50
    Three underwhelms from beginning to end.

See all 13 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 3 out of 4
  2. Negative: 0 out of 4
  1. Oct 7, 2016
    10
    Phantogram is displaying a level of maturity and diversity not seen in their previous albums (which says a lot, since previous albums werePhantogram is displaying a level of maturity and diversity not seen in their previous albums (which says a lot, since previous albums were great as well).

    The overall musical range incorporates 80s synth, indy-pop, hip-hop, techno of several stripes, alt, and a tiny splash of folk.

    Sarah Barthel's amazing vocals are spot on, as usual,

    Writing from both Sarah and Josh Carter have just become a pleasant expectation with each album. It's a new bar for artists to achieve and I hope their peers follow suite. We could do with more original artists that don't all share the same song writer.

    It is a great recipe for an incredible album.
    Expand
  2. Oct 19, 2016
    9
    Such a solid album. "You're Mine" deserves radio airplay. Quieter songs like "Answer", "Funeral Pyre", and "Destroyer" do what they doSuch a solid album. "You're Mine" deserves radio airplay. Quieter songs like "Answer", "Funeral Pyre", and "Destroyer" do what they do amazing. "Barking Dog" is meh but I guess it fits as a interlude. As for the singles they are all very good. Expand
  3. Oct 9, 2016
    8
    I'm so glad to have more Phantogram in my life! Everything I love about their music is on full display in Three. The layered textures, edgyI'm so glad to have more Phantogram in my life! Everything I love about their music is on full display in Three. The layered textures, edgy sound, high-energy beats, and hook-laden melodies are all present, which is great. Funeral Pyre and Calling All bookend the album wonderfully and showcase just how great of songwriters this duo is. When they are on their A-game, their music is seriously some of the best I've ever heard.

    Three is a somewhat shorter album with only 10 tracks, and I'd say there are 4 fantastic songs, 3 good songs, and 3 songs I'm not too crazy about. It would be nice to have a bit more material here, partly because I like their music a lot, but also because the songs have pretty varied styles, so having a few more tracks might make the transitions flow more nicely.

    Overall I'd give this a 7.5/10, and I'll round up to an 8.

    Standout tracks: Funeral Pyre, Same Old Blues, Destroyer, Calling All
    Expand
  4. Oct 14, 2016
    6
    Kind of a step backwards from their last one, isn't it? Not like it's a big step; not like the result is unlistenable, but it's still easy toKind of a step backwards from their last one, isn't it? Not like it's a big step; not like the result is unlistenable, but it's still easy to notice that nothing on this record is as menacing as any of the highlights of Voices. It's a more accessible record with some very overtly "poppy" songs, but the beats are still nicely produced and Sarah Barthel sings like an heroine addict at the point of breaking down (that's good). Shame it feels tired. I guess we should have known in advance that the same tactics wouldn't work forever. Expand