Albums to watch

Animal Joy


Animal Joy

Eighth album from the Austin, Texas indie rock band fronted by former Okkervil River member Jonathan Meiburg

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Sub Pop
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  1. 10.0 |   Scotland on Sunday

    Like an enema for all those clogged up by too much contrived mainstream fodder
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  2. 9.0 |   Blurt

    A cinematic journey that opens doors into a multi-textured; intermittently sublime, parallel universe
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  3. 8.3 |   A.V. Club

    In its hunt for instinctual performance, comes close to the classic album Shearwater surely has in it
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  4. 8.2 |   Paste Magazine

    By combining the group’s most noticeable skills from the past and developing surprising new musical attacks, Shearwater has set a new standard for itself
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  5. 8.0 |   AU Review

    Animal Joy shatters the dreamlike spell of its predecessors and gives in to more rock-orientated impulse
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  6. 8.0 |   DIY

    Animal Joy is, for lack of a better word, rich and textured, packed to the brim with a dense, congealed instrumentation alongside the elegantly high vocals of Meiburg
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  7. 8.0 |   Uncut

    The sound of Americana meshing its cogs with the machinery of the world outside its grimed window. Print edition only

  8. 8.0 |   Mojo

    A set of Anglophile songs, bookish and gently melancholic. Print edition only

  9. 8.0 |   Clash

    While it’s hardly the straightforward “rock” record the band had previously hinted they might make, it’s easily their most accessible
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  10. 8.0 |   The Observer

    Affixes twisted blue-collar rock to the kind of free-form pop perfected by Talk Talk, resulting in a contender for their boldest LP yet
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  11. 8.0 |   Drowned In Sound

    Though harder, happier and a little more direct, Animal Joy is above all a Shearwater record: swooping, eloquent, concerned with nature. You could maybe accuse it of being a touch AOR, but frankly that suits the immensity of the band’s sound
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  12. 8.0 |   God Is In The TV

    Animal Joy is a big record, sonically big. It’s less raw, more polished than much of the Okkervil sound and perhaps explains why Shearwater aren’t quite the mainstream success – comparitively speaking – that Okkervil River undoubtedly are
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  13. 7.5 | mag

    Jonathan Meiburg is back – with a band, which outside the circle of the usual critics just didn’t get the deserved attention, and with an album that could finally change that
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  14. 7.5 |   Bowlegs

    It may have an unashamedly 80s epic edge to it, but there are also timeless qualities that will help this album stand the test of time
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  15. 7.0 |   Under The Radar

    We’re listening to a band shedding their heavy coat after a long winter and braving forward into a brighter spring
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  16. 7.0 |   Consequence Of Sound

    Meiburg’s regal, commanding baritone sounds like it should be attached to the lead in The Phantom of the Opera
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  17. 7.0 |   music OMH

    Meiburg’s voice is a thing of rare range and beauty, but it seems the band have yet to settle on the best way to maximise its formidable gifts
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  18. 7.0 |   Prefix

    A big album built on small parts. Its size can be a bit much towards the end but on the whole its another strong set from Shearwater
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  19. 7.0 |   Rave Magazine

    It’s meticulously arranged and often devastatingly beautiful, but at the same time, it feels like a lie to say this deft technical facade and measured melodrama passes for an honest record
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  20. 7.0 |   Tiny Mix Tapes

    Animal Joy adds sentiment to intellect, an undefined rebellion to Shearwater’s heady songwriting
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  21. 6.9 |   Pitchfork

    Both emotionally and sonically, they're taking their best shot at meeting new listeners halfway
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  22. 6.6 |   Beats Per Minute

    The melodramatic yet undeniable power of Shearwater has remained intact, but it is difficult to imagine that we will still be listening in a few years if they don’t begin to veer slightly from the template that most of this album relies on
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  23. 6.0 |   State

    Won’t mark any major breakthrough for Shearwater but will add to an already fine cannon of songs
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  24. 6.0 |   The Digital Fix

    Whilst their transitional album isn’t all that likely to leave behind a more transcendent joy, these tunes have the potential to be hummed for weeks afterwards
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  25. 6.0 |   The Quietus

    Instead of a coherent collection of songs, Animal Joy feels like a series of very clever blueprints that, while admirable in form, are often (despite that title), rather bloodless
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  26. 6.0 |   The Skinny

    It's a solid if somewhat polished collection of songs that confirms Meiburg is a lyricist of considerable talent
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  27. 6.0 |   NME

    May herald a bold new incarnation
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  28. 6.0 |   PopMatters

    Stripping away layers of orchestration and drama, the record exposes a muscular guitar- and drum-based simplicity lurking underneath, to mostly successful, albeit far more understated results
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  29. 6.0 |   Q

    Enough to rouse any stadium from its slumbers. Print edition only

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Shearwater: Animal Joy

  • Download full album for just £8.49
  • 1. Animal Life £0.99
  • 2. Breaking the Yearlings £0.99
  • 3. Dread Sovereign £0.99
  • 4. You as You Were £0.99
  • 5. Insolence £0.99
  • 6. Immaculate £0.99
  • 7. Open Your Houses £0.99
  • 8. Run the Banner Down £0.99
  • 9. Pushing the River £0.99
  • 10. Believing Makes it Easy £0.99
  • 11. Star of the Age £0.99
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