Strangers to Ourselves

Modest Mouse - Strangers to Ourselves
Critic Score
Based on 29 reviews
2015 Ratings: #553 / 771
User Score
Based on 214 ratings
2015 Ratings: #413
March 17, 2015 / Release Date
LP / Format
Epic / Label
Indie Rock / Genres
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CRITIC REVIEWS

100
Entertainment Weekly

Modest Mouse work by their own inscrutable logic, so instead of returning with an album of material made for outdoor sing-alongs, they’ve thrown back to the squirrelly experimental roots that produced their 1997 cult classic The Lonesome Crowded West.

83
A.V. Club

Strangers To Ourselves is anything but unrecognizable. Long break aside, Strangers wins on near-uniformly excellent songwriting rather than reinvention.

80
Exclaim!

Strangers to Ourselves is everything a Modest Mouse album should be in 2015: a bold, far-reaching and determined work that continues Brock's journey creating music both accessible and eccentric.

80
DIY
It’s bruised and brilliant, idiosyncratic and anthemic, sloppy and heartfelt. It’s an album only Modest Mouse could make.
80
musicOMH
There has been no attempt to smoothen out the idiosyncrasies that make them distinctive, and though this album’s patchwork quilt of musical textures may sometimes be uneven there is much that intrigues.
80
Clash

'Strangers To Ourselves' boasts a raft of furiously energetic tracks in which the cascading rhythms and uplifting instrumentation deliberately belie the dark themes explored

75
Consequence of Sound
It is by turns tender, angry, ferocious, and fantastical, and it joyfully references the band’s own history without getting bogged down in the particulars.
75
Pretty Much Amazing

Strangers isn’t bottled lightning like The Moon & Antarctica or The Lonesome Crowded West, nor does it contain a magnitude 9 single like Good News or Ship, but its unwieldy stature and combative stance compliments Modest Mouse’s storied discography.

70
NME
‘Strangers…’ doesn’t pack the emotional punch of their classic albums, but there’s something laudable about its genre-hopping loopiness. Their Cinderella story just got a surreal new chapter.
70
FasterLouder

It may not stand up with their best work, but it’s much more exciting than 2007’s ponderous We Were Dead Before The Ship Even Sank.

70
The Line of Best Fit

This isn’t quite that fantastic album we wanted and we know ... Brock and company have in them; however, it’s enough to prompt the hope that the axles are greased well enough now to deliver it next time around.

70
Paste

Strangers to Ourselves continues the chapter of Modest Mouse’s career that began with We Were Dead Before the Ship Even Sank ... offering occasional highlights scattered with forgettable diversions, too smart to be fully disappointing, but never inspired enough to really satisfy.

70
Rolling Stone
The effect is a riot of craft that never coheres but rewards committed listening, thrilling in bolts and spurts like a good multiband compilation.
70
Under The Radar
They never quite hit the peaks of their last two albums, but the result is ultimately a more even experience.
70
Drowned in Sound
Modest Mouse have written 15 good tracks that don’t amount to a great album.
65
The 405

There's plenty to like about Strangers to Ourselves; it's just that it genuinely baffles that an LP as sprawling as this can have so many different ideas, and so few new ones.

64
Pitchfork

Strangers to Ourselves is a pleasant album, and one that completes their transition from "inspired" to "sturdy".

60
The Skinny
Despite some plodding missteps, Modest Mouse’s welcome return manages to maintain an impressive stride.
60
PopMatters

It’s when Modest Mouse’s own signature approach provides a strong foundation for the new elements to add to that Strangers to Ourselves finds a happier medium between its own barbed rock aesthetic and a more pop-minded angle. 

60
Sputnikmusic
It’s not all bad, but one can’t help but think that this fifteen-track recording is a long album for someone with nothing to say.
60
AllMusic

Strangers to Ourselves is an album where the trees matter more than the forest: song for song, it demonstrates the exacting nature of Brock but put it all together, it sprawls.

60
The Guardian

The lack of progression is a shame, as the album’s chief lyrical theme – mankind’s disregard for nature – is one that needs hearing.

50
Tiny Mix Tapes
Nothing here feels necessary, and very little even worth repeating. No one’s expecting Modest Mouse to set the world ablaze all over again this late in their career, but they’re damn sure capable of more than this.
50
Slant Magazine
Flashes of contingent weirdness appear throughout the album, and the lyrics remain reliably sardonic, but the band surrenders too often to a prefab pop-rock idiom that isn't entirely their own.
50
Spin
This band has never made an out-and-out bad album, but now it has made an uninspired one.
50
The Needle Drop
Indie rock vets Modest Mouse release their first album in 8 years.
20
NOW Magazine

No one is asking Modest Mouse to be timely, and it's frustrating to hear them discard what has made them timeless.

Doofy
71
Going into this album with realistic expectations based on their previous two releases both being solid yet unspectacular, this album delivered exactly what I predicted - a sprawling mish mash of good and bad ideas with an attempted concept of sorts trying desperately to link everything together.

It ends up almost exactly the same quality as the aforementioned albums and as such goes down as a decent if mildly disappointing listen - but one that does have enough chops to reward perseverance.
jayman
86
Come on...it's better than you's guys think!!!
NoCollegeForTyl
69
Fall of a great band
notbuzzzila
71
"It'th not old Modetht Mouthe" WHATEVER I don't think it's as good as their older stuff either but WHO CARES IT'S NOT LIKE ANTHRAX IS GONNA RELEASE ANOTHER AMONG THE LIVING ANYTIME SOON JUST DEAL WITH IT

Sugar Boats is a fav
MasterCrackfox
72
This is such a difficult album to rate as it is such a mismatch of some of the groups best songs mixed in with some of their absolute worst. Songs like Pistol and Coyotes are absolutely underwhelming, whereas tracks like The Ground Walks and Pups To Dust are the exact kinds of tracks you would expect from the group after more than two decades of making music. Part of me expected this album to be worse, but it really isn't. Comparing it to their previous album, which I felt was more of a ... read more
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END OF YEAR LISTS

#37/Blare
#69/Uncut

Track List

  1. Strangers to Ourselves
  2. Lampshades on Fire
  3. Shit in Your Cut
  4. Pistol (A. Cunanan, Miami, FL. 1996)
  5. Ansel
  6. The Ground Walks, with Time in a Box
  7. Coyotes
  8. Pups to Dust
  9. Sugar Boats
  10. Wicked Campaign
  11. Be Brave
  12. God is an Indian and You're an Asshole
  13. The Tortoise and the Tourist
  14. The Best Room
  15. Of Course We Know
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Added on: December 14, 2014