Real Estate - Atlas
Critic Score
Based on 38 reviews
2014 Ratings: #238 / 1019
User Score
Based on 445 ratings
2014 Ratings: #118
Liked by 10 people
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CRITIC REVIEWS

100
AllMusic

Their songs have always resided somewhere between head-in-the-clouds lightheartedness and day-dreamy nostalgia, but the ten songs that make up Atlas seem more mature, more deliberate, and lacking some of the carefree naiveté of earlier work.

90
The Fly

This time round, perhaps due to Courtney’s settling down and the addition of Girls keyboardist Matt Kallman, the band sounds fuller and more mature, with a tendency to look forward rather than harking back to the past.

88
Paste

Atlas might seem like an obvious career peak were this not the work of a still-young band that, from the start, has been predisposed toward graceful maturation. 

88
Pitchfork

They’ve made the first record of their career that feels like it might teach you something over time. It is rare, and special, for a band to be this effortlessly and completely themselves. 

83
Consequence of Sound

Their third LP, Atlas, trades in 20/20 hindsight for the courage of trying to grasp an endlessly unclear future.

83
Pretty Much Amazing

These sonic tweaks are welcome, but they are merely the fine grain of an album that works in broad, hypnotic strokes – song by song capturing feelings of separation, exploration, and uncertainty.

80
Uncut

Atlas is dominated by a saturated prettiness that seems at once virtuoso and effortless

80
Mojo

Charm, tunes and a certain hazy vision--Real Estate have them in abundance, and on Atlas they are more than enough to coax endless summer warmth from behind the wall of winter.

80
Q Magazine
It contains some of the band's most beautiful, idyllic songs to date.
80
musicOMH

Real Estate seem to have sharpened up their songwriting chops this time around. While some of their self-titled debut and Days had a tendency to float over the listener, each track here has a hook that pulls you in.

80
DIY

Through lulling endless days to fretting thoughts about the future, they remain the same bunch, capable of making the impossible sound almost too easy.

80
The Line of Best Fit

There’ll be plenty of albums this year that grab you by the throat more vigorously than Atlas does, but very few of them will be quite as lovingly nuanced – and none will make the guitar sound anything like as appealing.

80
Under The Radar

Here's an album dedicated to the kind of sweet, streamlined guitar pop that, in a better world, could bring us world peace. It's easy and free, sailing along serene waves and stealing all our bad feelings to bury them at the bottom of the ocean.

80
No Ripcord

As simple and unchallenging as Atlas is, it’s undoubtedly the group’s most emotionally resonant album, both sonically and lyrically, even if Real Estate chooses to unleash them in a diminutive sigh rather than a fearsome roar.

70
Exclaim!

It's amiable, deceptively dense and, ultimately, rewarding.

70
Rolling Stone

Their third LP refines the approach with keyboardist Matt Kallman, allowing guitarists Martin Courtney and Matt Mondanile more curlicue time and adding a spacier vibe

70
Spin

We already expected pastoral folk-rock with dewy thickets of guitar lines that ripple like a pond. But they've internalized the difference between relaxation and an aural shrug.

70
Drowned in Sound

Courtney's songs circle around the suburbs, but they never really leave – they can’t. The point is the journey, rather than the destination.

60
The 405

The LP is sympathetically produced - less cluttered than Days without feeling too airy - but the ease that once made for a deliciously languid listen now seeps into being listless, and the band's melodic grip, previously their strong suit, has slipped. 

58
A.V. Club

Despite some strong material, the album is ultimately too light to stay grounded, too loose to stick.

40
PopMatters

With such of wealth of new music competing for our ears, the gruel-bland stylings of Atlas barely merit a chance listen. In fact, like a jangle-pop case of the plague, it should be avoided at all costs.

40
The Skinny

Atlas will find its place, undoubtedly in the collections of Teenage Fanclub aficionados, but for all the joy that sunny indie pop can bring to our hearts, others have been here before and just done it a little better than Real Estate

SnowyFighter
62

Mini Review:
This is another indie rock album on my random search for music that is just sort of fine and listenable. Past Lives and Navigator are both pretty good. Everything sounds really nice but the songwriting doesn’t feel as unique, so songs end up losing their identity, at least to me. Still, it’s an album that would be pretty alright background music, but nothing I’d be super excited to hear again.

Had to Hear - 6
Past Lives - 7.5
Talking Backwards - 7
April’s ... read more

raymon
82

Atlas is an excellent album that feels like the band members made it effortlessly. I only wish it carried more memorable tunes as their previous album Days.

MAN
10

Nope.

SnowyFighter
62

Mini Review:
This is another indie rock album on my random search for music that is just sort of fine and listenable. Past Lives and Navigator are both pretty good. Everything sounds really nice but the songwriting doesn’t feel as unique, so songs end up losing their identity, at least to me. Still, it’s an album that would be pretty alright background music, but nothing I’d be super excited to hear again.

Had to Hear - 6
Past Lives - 7.5
Talking Backwards - 7
April’s ... read more

84

Not as good as Days, however its so catchy and chilled out

pandasmasher
79

64 -> 79

I think I dig this album more than I initially thought. Is it because the guitars and backing instrumentation sound less hazy and punchier than the prior two Real Estate albums, or is it Martin Courtney's more crestfallen and introspective lyrics that can at times be profound and cutting while being so simple? Either way, this is their best album and an essential jangle pop album from the 2010s.

Favourite songs: Had to Hear, Past Lives, April's Love, The Bend, Crime, Primitive, ... read more

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Track List

1Had To Hear
4:50
77
2Past Lives
4:33
74
3Talking Backwards
3:07
74
4April's Song
3:32
76
5The Bend
5:12
74
6Crime
3:15
81
7Primitive
4:16
73
8How Might I Live
2:29
72
9Horizon
3:11
79
10Navigator
3:33
75
Total Length: 38 minutes
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Added on: January 14, 2014