Albums to watch

Painted Ruins

Grizzly Bear

Painted Ruins

Fifth LP from the Brooklyn indie four-piece, produced by bassist Chris Taylor

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  1. 10.0 |   The Skinny

    With Painted Ruins, Grizzly Bear continue to show that use of every crayon in the box can create a true masterpiece
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  2. 9.1 |   A.V. Club

    Few of their contemporaries sound as comfortable in their own skin, or as quietly essential, as Grizzly Bear, even after the time away. Turns out sounding good is evergreen
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  3. 9.0 |   Clash

    ‘Painted Ruins’ holds an explorative nature — testing for gold before gifting itself to dust in the wake of self-excavation
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  4. 9.0 |   Uncut

    Songs beautiful on the surface, but with darkness nibbling on all sides
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  5. 9.0 |   The Line Of Best Fit

    While the music industry has changed and evolved since Shields, on Painted Ruins Grizzly Bear prove that there is still a space and a sound that only they can occupy
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  6. 8.3 |   Pretty Much Amazing

    Only when you dive in does the beauty reveal itself. Grizzly Bear have never been afraid to expect something of the listener. That’s never been truer than on Painted Ruins
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  7. 8.3 |   Consequence Of Sound

    The return of one of indie rock’s sharpest bands reminds us why they earned that designation and is entirely worth the wait
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  8. 8.0 |   Drowned In Sound

    While the band have clearly slowed down to create their fifth record, Painted Ruins shows no signs of stopping their quality of sound and long may that continue
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  9. 8.0 |   Q

    The album you suspect Grizzly Bear didn't think they'd ever make. Print edition only

  10. 8.0 |   Mojo

    Grizzly Bear sound enchanted with the pure pleasure of texture. Print edition only

  11. 8.0 |   Under The Radar

    An album that captures the fear, confusion, and wonderment of what it's like to be alive in 2017. Print edition only

  12. 8.0 |   PopMatters

    The band's best album to date
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  13. 8.0 |   Exclaim

    Vocalist/instrumental Daniel Rossen all but spells out Painted Ruins' appeal during "Four Cypresses": "It's chaos, but it works"
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  14. 8.0 |   The Guardian

    When its constituent parts come together, as during the wonderfully groggy climax of album closer Sky Took Hold, there are few that can match them
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  15. 8.0 |   State

    Make no mistake – Grizzly Bear are back
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  16. 8.0 |   The Quietus

    A dazzling meditation on how to persevere in the leering face of the unknown
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  17. 8.0 |   Evening Standard

    Takes time to reveal its many charms
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  18. 8.0 |   The Irish Times

    Grizzly Bear’s first record in five years considers what happens when our protective world crumbles, exposing our deepest anxieties
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  19. 8.0 |   The Observer

    From unpromising beginnings, the indie band’s fifth album achieves an uncanny brilliance
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  20. 7.8 |   Earbuddy

    The group feel a little wearier on this outing, but also bring a little more focus and clarity than previous records
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  21. 7.5 |   The 405

    They enjoy playing, they enjoy pushing each other and they enjoy challenging us
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  22. 7.5 |   Spectrum Culture

    For those interested in sonic puzzles that tease rather than tell, Grizzly Bear has delivered another delirious and gorgeous effort
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  23. 7.5 |   Paste Magazine

    Five albums into their career, Grizzly Bear show that they still know how to nail the dichotomy of beauty and tragedy
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  24. 7.3 |   Pitchfork

    The intricate compositions on the band’s fifth album are bound tighter than ever, evoking distant images and emotions that continually shift in and out of focus
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  25. 7.0 |   Slant Magazine

    Stops short of fearlessly exploring new musical terrain, instead content to approach the familiar from new angles
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  26. 7.0 |   Rolling Stone

    With Chris Taylor conjuring a bedsheet pyre in his most sumptuous choir boy-loverman voice, the avant-soul plaint "Systole" might fit nicely into a Solange or FKA Twigs set list
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  27. 7.0 |   Prefix

    On Painted Ruins, Grizzly Bear scuffs up the album's veneer, reminding us the four-piece is more than a studio product. It's also an immediate, nervy band.
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  28. 7.0 |   All Music

    Occasionally, Painted Ruins' drifting meditations border on meandering, but its open-ended beauty is well worth the close listening it takes for the album to fully reveal itself
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  29. 6.0 |   DIY

    An eclectic slow burner
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  30. 6.0 |   The FT

    The album is intriguing, absorbing, but seldom fully engaging
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  31. 6.0 |   The Music

    The elegant production, the stately performances and pretty harmonies are all there, but there are fewer surprises
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  32. 4.0 |   The Independent

    Too much hard work – on the listener’s part, as well as theirs – is invested, with scant return
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  33. 4.0 |   Tiny Mix Tapes

    With nary an aural step forward from their hitherto records, Painted Ruins ends much in the same way it begins, not with a bang, but with a drone
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