AOTY 2017
Preoccupations
Preoccupations - Preoccupations
Critic Score
Based on 19 reviews
2016 Ratings: #98 / 721
User Score
Based on 190 ratings
2016 Ratings: #68
Your Review

CRITIC REVIEWS

100
Loud and Quiet

The overall experience is simply a much more listenable one; the LP puncturing the occasionally overwhelming sense of foreboding and paranoia with one of positivity – euphoria, even – just as Flegel sings about “suicide machines” et al.

91
Pretty Much Amazing
Whereas bands like Protomartyr and Savages tend to operate in shades of grey, Preoccupations speaks in a monochromatic tongue, which, in addition to translating to more color, also means albums that are not as wearying.
90
The 405

Preoccupations is a tough, black and resilient modern rock album. It takes an intense and undiluted look at the dark mental landscape of someone who is dealing with today's stresses and responsibilities. It doesn't attempt to try to explain them away; it just offers a vision of what it's like to live amidst them.

85
The Line of Best Fit

Preoccupations' greatest asset is in its breadth of ability; spontaneous, yet considered; off-kilter, but instinctive; eccentric, although well composed.

80
The Skinny

The darkness that seeps through Preoccupations' self-titled offering comes from a more personal place. Written amidst breakups and instability, the album is more introspective than its predecessor – and a hell of a lot more visceral.

80
Under The Radar

There is a stout cohesiveness that gives Preoccupations a feeling of completion and resolute artistic confidence and its reverberations mount with close and repeated listens.

80
Drowned in Sound
The interesting thing about Women/Viet Cong/Preoccupations is the extent to which they wantonly shun notions of music as an expression of personality: for all the undoubted passion that flows though it, their work never really seems to be about them, or indeed about anything in particular other than abstract, elemental feeling.
80
PopMatters

Preoccupations makes strides to shore up Preoccupations’ identity without losing the crucial spontaneity of their debut.

80
DIY

Their second record hits harder, digs deeper and lingers longer than that promising debut, and keeping all eyes on their art proves to be the best statement Preoccupations could ever have offered.

80
AllMusic

Preoccupations is a more coherent, more accessible set of songs that proves this band doesn't need an edgy name to attract the attention they deserve.

80
The Needle Drop
Preoccupations--formerly Viet Cong--return with a new album and a darker sound.
79
Pitchfork

What makes Preoccupations much more than a circular exercise in self-analysis is the vitality of the music. There’s a tense, nervous energy running through all the tracks, which connect to each other like wires that spark electrical currents when they meet.

75
Consequence of Sound

Understanding Preoccupations is easiest when setting it against Viet Cong. That record was marked by claustrophobic arrangements ... Preoccupations does away with the murkiness, sounding remarkably clear in contrast to its predecessor.

70
Slant Magazine

Preoccupations is focused on songcraft. The freewheeling, spiky abstractions peppered throughout the band’s earlier work as Viet Cong and Women are all but absent. While not exactly slick, the album has the polished dynamism of studio pop, its hooks varnished for maximum impact.

70
Exclaim!

Preoccupations are steadying their footing here, both growing up and grounding themselves sonically.

70
No Ripcord

Preoccupations is a strong follow-up to an excellent debut record. It showcases a band that is evolving and finding new ways to stretch out their sound.

60
NOW Magazine

The new material isn't a huge departure but does feature synths more prominently, and Preoccupations have embraced their 80s goth-pop tendencies more wholeheartedly.

50
Tiny Mix Tapes

The album gains momentum as it enters its second half, but it still sounds like they’ve lost some of the vigor and confidence of their debut.

Nov 18, 2016
guileffb
82
I was worried with this one.
I didn't like their first album so much, but I absolutely LOVED 'Continental Shelf' and 'Silhouettes'. I kept wondering - Why didn't they make an album with songs that were as good and creepy as those two? -

Well, I kind of got my answer with this album.
Most of the songs here feel nostalgic, creepy, sci-fi-ish and noisy. This album got me hooked for months, specially songs like 'Degraded' and 'Stimulation'. I really feel like they're the modern/horror version of ... read more
Oct 16, 2016
Errandboy
88
I didn't think this record was going to be as great as it is, but wow; this easily is one of the most impressive releases of the year so far. The sound on this record is just so much more beefier and depressive compared to their last effort, with tracks like Anxiety coming down with that awesome synth lead and great lyrics from frontman Matt Flegal. The real winner on this record is the diverse cut Memory, with the band channeling their inner New Order to make what might be the track of the ... read more
Sep 12, 2016
somans
86
In the parlance of our times, Jagjaguwar is absolutely killing it this fall; Angel Olsen is burning up our Top 30 chart here at WLUR, Justin Vernon is releasing a new Bon Iver record, and the Preoccupations (FKA Viet Cong) are following up their excellent self-titled debut with...their self-titled sophomore release. For those of you who aren't in the know, it's been a strange year for the Preoccupations, who finally changed their name in April -- months after announcing their intent to do so -- ... read more
Oct 14, 2016
73
Preoccupations' self titled album is a dark and weird effort in the post-punk field with surprises and disappointments in the way. First, I really liked the production, they're adding a lot of synthesizers this time and in my opinion it gives an edge to each song, it makes you pay attention even though sometimes it can be too much for the sake of the track. However, I find the vocals to be the weakest point of the album, Flegel sounds so generic and without any energy to at least make the ... read more
Sep 9, 2016
MarkCooper
78
This is the album Women needed in their discography. To me, it sounds like some weird post-punk mix between Grizzly Bear and Morrissey. The classic Women sound is still there. However, it seems with this they've made up their mind that the sound we heard on Viet Cong is what they prefer, which is fine. One thing this album has on all their others is the atmospheric backgrounds, which seems like they stressed over. The first minute or so of Degraded and the middle of Memory are two real shining ... read more


Added on: June 13, 2016