Cults - Host
Critic Score
Based on 11 reviews
2020 Ratings: #577 / 672
User Score
Based on 50 ratings
2020 Ratings: #681
September 18, 2020 / Release Date
LP / Format
Sinderlyn / Label
Indie Pop / Genres
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Northern Transmissions

While the album is mystifying at times, the sporadic nature of the new songs somehow create a dream like calmness throughout the record that leaves listeners feeling fresh and ready to address the inner workings of their own personal relationships. Host is a well written lesson worth listening to.


The album sees Cults swear allegiance to contemporary underground music’s core ethos: corrode the classic.

Slant Magazine

The album’s real allure is rooted in Cults’s representation of Stockholm syndrome, that sickeningly insidious pathology responsible for a host’s attachment to its parasite.

Beats Per Minute

Host is a consistent record in its drive towards freedom, and both sound and lyrics embody that. At times this really allows them soar, and at others there’s the struggle to go it alone.


Notably, the record is without the pair’s usual darkness, but ‘Host’ feels organic and true, like the first day of spring after a winter full of rain.

Cults is a duo that pulls vey directly from a very simple, sunshine and rainbows era in pop music, and does so quite faithfully. I mean, this throwback is easily the main selling point of the group, and while it may lure in some people, it's not working on me. Mostly due to the same reasons, I didn't care for Tennis' new album this year. While the sound is cute and nostalgic, that's literally all it has going for it, and at least Tennis had a few compelling song topics. Cults though, are ... read more
The 4th studio album from Cults, may just be their worst album. It’s sort of hard to say though, because I feel like they’ve been completely lost since their debut. “Host” is pretty painful however, with one dreary, emotionless ballad after another. Occasionally, they string together some good choruses or sweet vocals. But Cults is a duo without any direction. The songs on “Host” would be bad coming from some of my favorite bands, but Cults make it ... read more

Trials (8.0)
8th Avenue (7.7)
Spit You Out (7.5)
A Low (7.2)
No Risk (7.4)
Working It Over (7.5)
A Purgatory (6.8)
Like I Do (6.8)
Masquerading (6.8)
Honest Love (7.4)
Shoulders to My Feet (7.5)
Monolithic (7.5)
Trials - 10
8th Avenue - 10
Spit You Out - 9
A Low - 10
No Risk - 10
Working it Over - 10
A Purgatory - 9
Like I Do - 10
Masquerading - 9
Honest Love - 10
Shoulders To My Feet - 10
Monolithic - 10
I’m actually amazed that Cults is still together and making music in 2020, but good for Madeline Follin and Brian Oblivion for sticking with their passion project and refusing to be consigned to the buzz band dumpster even in the face of gradually dwindling interest. That said, the solid but unremarkable “Host” seems unlikely to revive the critical or audience attention of their early 2010s glory. At least on the strength of their 2011 self-titled, Cults justified the hype ... read more
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Track List

  1. Trials
  2. 8th Avenue
  3. Spit You Out
  4. A Low
  5. No Risk
  6. Working It Over
  7. A Purgatory
  8. Like I Do
  9. Masquerading
  10. Honest Love
  11. Shoulders to My Feet
  12. Monolithic
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Added on: July 15, 2020