The Microphones - Microphones in 2020
Critic Score
Based on 13 reviews
2020 Ratings: #28 / 871
Year End Rank: #48
User Score
2020 Rank: #14
Liked by 290 people
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CRITIC REVIEWS

90
PopMatters

Microphones in 2020 might be his apex as a songwriter.

90
Sputnikmusic

Microphones in 2020 hits the pause button for Phil to reflect and catch his breath, and in that there’s a certain peace to be found.

90
Exclaim!

This is Elverum's indelible stamp of style, distilled into a single track that flows like waves in the ocean or hills on the mountainside.

90
Crack Magazine
Trundling through an expansive but fraught landscape, the narration is preoccupied with minutiae because the true meaning is so large, so fundamental, it’s best stirred up through feeling rather than explained.
90
Spectrum Culture
If nothing else, the song/album is a remarkable display of Elverum’s ability to write on both a micro and massive scale, blending the two with shocking ease.
89
Beats Per Minute
Elverum has produced one of his defining works here. It is a monumental piece that dextrously straddles his musical epochs; it is an account of history and a document of where he is now.
89
Paste

Elverum’s work proves as expansive as ever. An engrossing one-track album is no easy feat, but he draws us in with expertly rich, layered lyricism and immersive production.

85
Pitchfork
Phil Elverum resurrects his beloved Microphones alias for a 44-minute song about art-making, self-mythologizing, and the endless search for meaning.
80
AllMusic
Time has only made Elverum's music more transcendent, and anyone who loves the Microphones or Mount Eerie will find the album's fresh yet timeless perspective on it a fascinating and moving listen.
80
Uncut
Sometimes diaristic, sometimes philosophical, it's a long litany of past memories and formative moments that, while demanding patience, gradually inches its way to somewhere profound.
80
Mojo
Intimate, absorbing.
70
God Is in the TV
Performing a single folk song, sustained for this length of time, in lesser hands would be absurd. The Microphones get away with it.
70
The Needle Drop

Microphones In 2020 is an instrumentally predictable but narratively thorough deep dive into the formative years of singer-songwriter Phil Elverum’s music career.

TreyLikesBands
70

When I see the AOTY community quoting lines from this album in their reviews, it just goes to show that Phil Elverum is one of the greatest and most quotable songwriters to ever live. He can say literally anything and it would sound poetic.

I’m not complaining, you old dog.

“Microphones in 2020” makes me feel nervous and at ease and the same time. Whether it be the endlessly progressing yet unchanging instrumental, or the softly spoken, touching, depressive, cathartic ... read more

ThrowBackG
80

“It's not that bad, but I know I wanted to go deeper beneath the pain // beneath the human.”

Plato can be credited for saying that it's the ultimate duty of writers and painters to "help us live better lives." Over 2000+ years later and I doubt anyone would want to discredit this sentiment. Though, maybe it could use some amending for the modern day. In a world riddled with injustices (and outlets for mental deterioration) at every corner, I find that the novelist, ... read more

Doublez
83

Spiritually and in retrospect, Phil Elvrum has written a kind of autobiography through Microphones in 2020. A grandiose work, particularly intense, introspective and intimate, which remains forever one of the most beautiful demonstrations of life.

Beyond all the nostalgia we feel musically and through all the landscapes of memories he tries to make us live, Phil Elvrum has an extraordinary life and career path. From his youth under the nickname of The Microphones and later his ... read more

Dashi3l
95

phil doesnt know when to stop tickling my brain with his elegant words and tasteful instrumentation fr!

Display
100

Both the music and the video that accompanies it are truly beautiful.

100

listened to this while watching the sun rise on a lake. every time the heavy guitars came in omggggggggggggggggg

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Track List

1Microphones in 2020
44:44
95
Total Length: 44 minutes
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Added on: June 16, 2020