Albums to watch

Barbara Barbara, We Face A Shining Future

Underworld

Barbara Barbara, We Face A Shining Future

Ninth album and first in six years from techno / electronic duo Karl Hyde and Rick Smith

ADM rating[?]

7.6

Label
Caroline International / Hyde Smith Productions / Astralwerks
UK Release date
18/03/2016
US Release date
18/03/2016
  1. 9.1 |   Pretty Much Amazing

    These tracks don’t feel futuristic, but they shine with a blinding light, capping one of the most impressive arcs of any album so far this year
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  2. 9.0 |   PopMatters

    An album that is absolutely, unabashedly classic Underworld
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  3. 8.5 |   The Quietus

    An album on which Underworld reestablish themselves as supreme dance music architects
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  4. 8.5 |   The Line Of Best Fit

    Underworld reflect on their past work to come up with their best album in nearly twenty years
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  5. 8.3 |   A.V. Club

    By the time the triumphant final expansive push to the end arrives, it’s become one of Underworld’s most powerful musical statements—and the memorable grace note to a strong return to form
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  6. 8.1 |   Pitchfork

    The kind of music that makes you sob happysad tears in your car in the Sunday afternoon sunlight as you think about the people you wish were riding with you
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  7. 8.0 |   Spin

    It’s an inspired record born from the desperation of years-long stagnancy
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  8. 8.0 |   Mojo

    It’s elemental Underworld, and their most generous work in years. Print edition only

  9. 8.0 |   Q

    Reanimated and expansive, the grand old men of rave get their mojo back. Print edition only

  10. 8.0 |   All Music

    If it's considered to be "late-era," it must also be considered "miraculous"
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  11. 8.0 |   The Arts Desk

    For the most part, Barbara… is the sound of a band peaking all over again
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  12. 8.0 |   The Irish Times

    They’ve still got those old smarts when it comes to productions that pack a punch and a thump
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  13. 8.0 |   The Guardian

    Dance music pioneers reach a state of bliss
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  14. 8.0 |   Evening Standard

    As ever they’re at their best when they take chances, not least on the clattering I Exhale
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  15. 8.0 |   Sputnik Music (staff)

    Creative and melodic, this is a step forward in their career
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  16. 8.0 |   The Observer

    The optimism of the title is well founded
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  17. 8.0 |   music OMH

    They remain one of our lingering national musical treasures
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  18. 8.0 |   State

    Underworld deserve kudos for striving for artistic betterment – the sense of hope in the album’s title pointing to where the gleaming years ahead might bring us
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  19. 8.0 |   Gig Soup

    One of the sharpest records the band have crafted in years
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  20. 7.5 |   Spectrum Culture

    Underworld manages to sound more current than their peers reforming for a quick buck
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  21. 7.5 |   Consequence Of Sound

    The British electronic duo slow things down for their strongest record in years
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  22. 7.5 |   Under The Radar

    They just keep doing what they want, how they want, when they want. Nothing is more punk than that
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  23. 7.0 |   Beardfood

    They're still so capable as electronic musicians
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  24. 7.0 |   Drowned In Sound

    Gone are the tub-thumpers of yore in favour of understated, yet nevertheless, euphoric electronica bursting with hope
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  25. 7.0 |   Uncut

    Maybe the missing link between Mark E Smith and James Murphy. Print edition only

  26. 7.0 |   Clash

    Shows that Karl Hyde and Rick Smith are content to inhabit a secluded glade of Olympus away from the glare of the spotlight
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  27. 6.0 |   The Independent

    It’s beautiful and warm, more poignant than nostalgic, and it heralds an album on which that pioneer spirit drives Underworld’s best music in years
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  28. 6.0 |   Tiny Mix Tapes

    It’s a settled, domestic, respectably middle-class dance record
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  29. 6.0 |   Slant Magazine

    The album's title is both informed by death and incongruously the most optimistic phrase the group's been attached to since “You bring light in”
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  30. 6.0 |   The Skinny

    There are moments here that stand alongside Underworld's best
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  31. 5.0 |   The Music

    Barbara ends up fading away leaving concerns about Underworld's own future
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