Arca - Xen
Critic Score
Based on 20 reviews
2014 Ratings: #97 / 1004
Year End Rank: #44
User Score
Based on 366 ratings
2014 Ratings: #153
Liked by 11 people
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Fans of his hip-hop and R&B work will certainly be challenged by the sparse and experimental nature of Xen, which makes it one of the most satisfying listens of the year.

The Line of Best Fit

Not many records can worm their way into your mind so successfully – this is abyssal electronica with a tormented bent and visions of nowt but pitch black pits of despair.


Taken as a whole, it is an album about unstable unities, things that cannot easily hold together, wholes breaking to pieces and being put back together again in new and unfamiliar shapes.

The Skinny

The album is a slow starter, however once immersed there's no point of return, with the title track exploding before your ears, while the world of Slit Thru carves a scene where drowning and dancing are one and the same.


The way Arca plays with and decorates time, letting sounds and moods mutate spontaneously, makes Xen a complete picture of his artistry and also promises much more.


Contorting his sounds into discordant beauty and cacophony, Arca’s ‘Xen’ is full of gorgeously haunting contradictions. Intent on terrifying one second and cushioning with spectral beds of sound the next, it’s a record that’s hard to keep up with.

Tiny Mix Tapes

It’s a gracefully self-contained ecology — a sonic environment rich with empty and warm spaces, within which the listener is urged to breathe more easily and share in a queer feeling of belonging.

Resident Advisor

An album that's never quite what you want it to be, nor for that matter is it any one thing for more than a few minutes.

Rolling Stone

What sets these tracks apart from any trend, current or foreseeable, is their emotional punch. Arca has built a robotic, alien world strengthened by its beating heart.

Apesar do forte tom experimental, 'Xen' se mantém na mesma estrutura do início ao fim, oferecendo apenas canções repletas de instrumentais eletrônicos que aqui, acabam contribuindo para os primeiros passos de Arca como uma produtora de prestígio.
Xen is a pretty decent yet somewhat underwhelming debut for Arca. The sound design on this project is amazing, but some of the tracks could've been fleshed out more to keep it more engaging throughout. While it is pretty rough around the edges, it is a promising start for Arca and would cement the sound that would make her sound more interesting on future projects like Mutant.

Fav Tracks: Now You Know, Xen, Sisters, Slit Thru, Thievery, Lonely Thugg, Fish (highlight)

Least Fav Track: Family ... read more
oh arquinha
Arca's debut album seems like its constantly breaking, fading away with twisted beats, euphoric distortions and spasms. It's a music not to be held but to be felt.
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Added on: September 11, 2014