Hippo Lite

Drinks - Hippo Lite
Critic Score
Based on 19 reviews
2018 Ratings: #634 / 830
User Score
Based on 49 ratings
April 20, 2018 / Release Date
LP / Format
Drag City / Label
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Loud and Quiet

The likes of ‘Hippo Lite’ don’t come around too often: an album that negates the usual connotations of pop music and takes it somewhere completely new.

God Is in the TV

If you’re someone who needs music to ‘click’ the first, or even second, time you hear it, then Hippo Lite is perhaps not for you. But for the more patient amongst us, give it some time and you will surely be richly rewarded.

The Line of Best Fit

Very often Hippo Lite feels like wandering into Cate Le Bon and Tim Presley’s tossed off living room recording session.

The Guardian

It is a fairly bizarre album, but an absorbing and clever one that gets stranger as it goes on.


With moments of sheer chaotic genius married with brilliant songwriting, ‘Hippo Lite’ offers something new on every listen.


Cate Le Bon and Tim Presley sound blissfully removed on their second album as a duo, in a quizzical world of their own creation. This one’s best played late at night.

Tiny Mix Tapes

What remains most alluring about this experiment’s broken logic is the sense that you’re furtively occupying someone else’s dream.

Under The Radar

Hippo Lite is as refreshing as one can expect from Cate Le Bon and Tim Presley but this time around, the drinks this pair are serving have a bit more bite.


Like Hermits on Holiday, it's first-rate experimental rock made by two musicians with interesting, complicated ideas and the skills to bring them to life.

Drowned in Sound

The second album from Cate Le Bon and Tim Presley carries the same sense of freedom as their first outing, this time a bit softer and more song-shaped than their debut’s meanderings.

No Ripcord

The results border on “rough cut,” as if five or six of the album’s twelve tracks were fully developed and meant as anchors for Hippo Lite’s more spontaneous and quirky output.

Northern Transmissions

Hippo Lite is too uneven an album to have their sound be both musically freewheeling and enjoyable enough for the listener in its eccentricities. It may not be short on ideas, but its focus can sometimes be left to drown in that sea.


In a quest to discover simple living free of consequence, Le Bon and Presley can, at times, get lost in their own little bubble. Still, it’s hard to pinpoint another act who recalls DRINKS’ vividly weird, cinematic strain of pop.


This time, there are a couple of solid songs surrounded on all sides by wandering experiments which never quite form into a whole.

The 405

The songs on Hippo Lite have would-be hooks that can barely sustain their first go-rounds. None of the songs here are particularly lengthy, but the way ideas evaporate almost instantaneously makes it a slog of an album.

The Observer

While Hippo Lite does have its moments, well before the end you find yourself reflecting that Young Marble Giants, Rosa Yemen and the Raincoats did this far better almost 40 years ago.


Most of the tracks unfortunately tread into self-indulgent wank territory, perhaps too clever by a half.

There's a difference between quirky and bad. We get to experience both of these on this album. I'm a big fan of quirky/unique albums, but once they sound self-aware it's ruined for me. A good example of this is the song Real Outside. You get the feeling that they know it sucks and it's our job to try and like it. Nope, the song is trash. Then we have gems like You Could Be Better. This is easily one of my favorite songs Tim Presley has been apart of. I just wish it would have been on another ... read more
insanely good.
Cate Le Bon and Tim Presley come together for their second album under the DRINKS name, and it might just be the most awkward collaboration you'll hear this entire year. Cate is a truly accomplished Singer Songwriter, and I've loved Tim's production in the past, this should be a match made in heaven. But there are only a very few moments on here that DRINKS sound like they're on the same page. The performances are genuinely awkward, the instrumentals are amateurish, and if this album has a ... read more
'Hippo Lite' is an album that revels in its quirkiness. However, it feels like it ostracises many of its listeners due to this; it almost feels like an inside joke that Cate Le Bon and Tim Presley don't want to let anyone else in on.

"Real Outside" is one of the better tracks on the album. A lot of the elements of the song juxtapose well against one another, creating an eccentrically disjointed track. "Greasing Up" has a great folk feel to it, with its banjo strumming that ... read more
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Track List

  1. Blue From the Dark
  2. If It
  3. Real Outside
  4. When i Was Young
  5. In the Night Kitchen
  6. Greasing Up
  7. Corner Shops
  8. IF IT (reprise)
  9. Ducks
  10. Leave the Lights On
  11. Pink or Die
  12. You Could Be Better
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Added on: February 13, 2018