Albums to watch


Grizzly Bear


The Brooklyn experimental indie rock quartet follow up 2009's widely-acclaimed Veckatimest with album No.4

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  1. 10.0 |   God Is In The TV

    This is not just any album; it is the best album of 2012 and quite possibly of many more years to come. Prepare yourself to be dazzled
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  2. 10.0 |   Sputnik Music (staff)

    Where Grizzly Bear make leaps the most on Shields in being able to give their songs space after having grounded them, to let them move around again and trawl back into the wilderness
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  3. 9.1 |   Pretty Much Amazing

    Shields works because of its complexity rather than in spite of it
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  4. 9.1 |   A.V. Club

    On an album that touches repeatedly on the barriers people build between each other, the members of Grizzly Bear have forged further ahead into sweet synchronicity
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  5. 9.1 |   Pitchfork

    With Shields, Grizzly Bear make certain demands - hold still, listen closely - that seem downright radical in a busy and impatient world
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  6. 9.0 |   musicOMH

    This is an ensemble that seems to have reached a sort of pinnacle in collaboration and musical communication
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  7. 9.0 |   PopMatters

    A band that continues to challenge and captivate in ways that are entirely their own
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  8. 9.0 |   Consequence Of Sound

    Aesthetically, Shields defends Grizzly Bears overarching vision by having its most dissimilar sounds and styles tear each other apart. It builds these barriers sonically, then crashes through them
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  9. 8.5 |   Bowlegs

    Every Grizzly Bear album has its awesome moments and this one is no different. It’s just with Shields, they have finally mastered the formula to create a beautifully coherent whole
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  10. 8.5 |   Under The Radar

    This band, fussy or not, is making some of the most moving music of the year
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  11. 8.4 |   Paste Magazine

    Though at time reaching heavenly heights, Shields is, as the name suggests, a heavy, protected album, stuffy with an ennui particular to the young and gifted
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  12. 8.0 |   State

    Shields is all about journeys and discovery, taking the listener on a treasure hunt in Grizzly Bear’s intricate and this time totally rewarding compositions
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  13. 8.0 | mag

    They sound more resolute yet playful than ever before
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  14. 8.0 |   The Quietus

    Like Wild Beasts on last year's Smother, Shields finds Grizzly Bear hitting a more confident note, free of the youthful urge to 'show 'em what you got by tossing everything into the pot' that marked earlier albums
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  15. 8.0 |   Spin

    Beautiful as Grizzly Bear is, they remain an emotionally cloistered lover, willing only to speak in vagaries, never of concrete emotional needs
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  16. 8.0 |   Rolling Stone

    They still sound like Radiohead at a Buddhist retreat, but the songs are more muscular
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  17. 8.0 |   All Music

    While it's not as obviously big a statement as Veckatimest was, Shields is plenty ambitious in its own right, and its complexity demands and rewards patient listening
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  18. 8.0 |   The Guardian

    They're getting more intriguing as they go on: an object lesson in the value of allowing things to progress at their own pace
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  19. 8.0 |   The Fly

    The scale of Grizzly Bear’s previous soundscapes has been somewhat pulled back, but don’t let that give you any false impressions of a band lacking in ideas
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  20. 8.0 |   Q

    Grizzly Bear are now reaching for greatness. Print edition only

  21. 8.0 |   Uncut

    For the first half alone, Shields marks a great advance for Grizzly Bear
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  22. 8.0 |   Mojo

    It's poppier, darker, louder, quieter and a heroically creative album. Print edition only

  23. 8.0 |   Clash

    An engrossing, beautiful work which could only come from Grizzly Bear, and only at this point in their career. Stunning
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  24. 8.0 |   Drowned In Sound

    A warm-blooded record, beholden to analogue gear and flawless mastering — one destined to fit snugly on a turntable rather than to live as ones and zeros on your iPod
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  25. 8.0 |   The Arts Desk

    This is a deeply striking calling card for Grizzly Bear in 2012
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  26. 8.0 |   BBC

    With songs shifting with casual precision, arrangements that are fluid and brave, and an honest, organic production – there’s a sense throughout that Grizzly Bear are on the cusp of a genuine breakthrough
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  27. 7.8 |   Beats Per Minute

    In electing to forgo the majestic sweep of Veckatimest, Grizzly Bear have made a record that succeeds on its own winsome terms
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  28. 7.5 |   Prefix

    Conservative, describes Shields: Veckatimest authorized it to be far bolder. You yearn for what could’ve been
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  29. 7.0 |   NME

    For all the strange twists and turns, the rich layers and dark beauty to be found, nothing here grabs you and sets up home in your heart like ‘Veckatimest’ did
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  30. 7.0 |   No Ripcord

    Shields is undeniably tuneful, and you could even say that it’s the perfect record to build [the band's] swelling momentum, but it’s also detached and emotionally destitute
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  31. 7.0 |   The Line Of Best Fit

    At its best it sounds like a cross-pollenation of Local Natives and Beach House, with less chaos than the former but more drive than the latter. Some tracks will stay with you, but others you are happy to leave where they are
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  32. 6.0 |   The Skinny

    Though it lacks the initial stand-out singles of their previous record, album number four is perhaps a more consistent cursory listening experience, whilst eking out new highlights with each subsequent spin
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  33. 6.0 |   Slant Magazine

    Pretty but formless, Shields plays like a calculated retreat into something altogether indistinct and inconsequential
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  34. 6.0 |   The Observer

    Shields is a grower and that Grizzly Bear are artists not merely computing business plans, but striving for a 21st-century take on widescreen American orchestral rock
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  35. 5.0 |

    Listened to isolated from the hype that surrounds its release, it is difficult to hear anything more than a solid if unspectacular effort, a case of music's equivalent of the Emperor's New Clothes
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Grizzly Bear: Shields

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