AOTY 2018

European Heartbreak

Amber Arcades - European Heartbreak
Critic Score
Based on 11 reviews
2018 Ratings: #460 / 705
User Score
Based on 40 ratings
2018 Ratings: #336
September 28, 2018 / Release Date
LP / Format
Heavenly / Label
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CRITIC REVIEWS

100
The Skinny

There’s not a single track on European Heartbreak that isn’t a beautifully composed, shining picture postcard of emotion.

80
Northern Transmissions

In her exploration of Americana, Amber Arcades fleshes out the personal stories that made the tones we recognize so memorable to begin with.

80
The Guardian

European Heartbreak has a lovely, human optimism, and leaves a warm glow and a feeling that all things – however uncomfortable – eventually pass.

80
Clash

It’s an album in tune with sometimes grim social realities but one which doesn’t get wrapped up in them, privileging lovely tunes and a broad appeal. ‘European Heartbreak’ is a triumphant wodge of sparkling pop.

80
musicOMH

Some may be turned off by the sheer melancholy on European Heartbreak, and yearn for the drive and verve of songs like It Changes. Yet, for anyone who enjoys soaking in sorrow, this makes for perfect listening.

70
No Ripcord

European Heartbreak is a maturing of de Graaf as an artist; her lyricism is smarter and sharper, the instrumentation ambitious and grand.

70
God Is in the TV

The sophisticated and breeziness of the blues-piano-brass-folk sound reminiscent of Natalie Prass, Weyes Blood and the honky-tonk moments of Foxyen, the wanderlust music videos, the touristy album cover and the adventure-seeking lyrics make the record sound like a nice long road journey.

60
Dork

Her second album contains a real maturation of sound, which sees Arcades at her most self-assured.

60
DIY

Full of lilting indie-pop, often swelling with trumpets, string sections and a sense of wistfulness, ‘European Heartbreak’ sounds nostalgic for a dream, the realisation of which has long since passed.

60
AllMusic

It's just not as interesting or ultimately successful as Fading Lines, and it while it does contain a few songs that could be split off and saved, it mainly goes to show that she makes for a better melancholy dream pop artist than a singer/songwriter with her toes dipped in Americana and soft soul.

40
Under The Radar

While there is nothing unpalatable on European Heartbreak, there is also some intangible ingredient missing from the music.

Tsareena
68
Production is generally great and Amber has some good melodies but her vocals are very monotonous and leave most of the songs feeling empty. Still a bit enjoyable
Faves: Baby, Eternity, Oh My Love, Hardly Knew
TheRootBoy
49
Not quite the standout performance I was hoping for. It's a rather boring indie effort yet again.
dijkvanruben
91
Produced by Trey Pollard and Chris Cohen, it isn't wholly surprising that this album ~sounds~ impeccable. It's the cherry on top of almost a dozen brilliantly written and beautifully orchestrated songs, made irresistible by the sheer amount of trumpets, choirs and, above anything else, Annelotte's mesmerizing voice. If you couldn't tell by the amount of superlatives, I think this is bound to be my Dutch AOTY.
Plats
68
“European Heartbreak” is beautiful and catchy while also being very extremely formulaic. Overall, it’s just another run-of-the-mill indie record.

Fav Tracks: Goodbye Europe, I’ve Done the Best, Simple Song, Oh Love (What Have We Done), Self-Portrait in a Car at Night

Least Fav Track: Where Did You Go

Score:
6.8
Decent
AndrewMoore
64
European Heartbreak is occasionally catchy but rather quickly drifts into the background, becoming just another fine if unremarkable indie rock record.
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END OF YEAR LISTS

#82/Drift

Track List

  1. Simple Song
  2. Hardly Knew
  3. Oh My Love (What Have We Done)
  4. Goodnight Europe
  5. Alpine Song
  6. I've Done the Best
  7. Self-Portrait in a Car at Night
  8. Something's Gonna Take Your Love Away
  9. Antoine
  10. Where Did You Go
  11. Baby, Eternity
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Added on: May 20, 2018