We Must Become the Pitiless Censors of Ourselves

John Maus - We Must Become the Pitiless Censors of Ourselves
Critic Score
Based on 19 reviews
2011 Ratings: #350 / 990
User Score
Based on 220 ratings
2011 Ratings: #98
Liked by 3 people
Sign In to rate and review


Tiny Mix Tapes

Pitiless Censors is a sparkling album, a lo-fi synth pop masterpiece that manages to give endless aural delights while still being intellectually engaging, and despite having been caught at the center of a whirlpool of current movements, all of which reflect some aspect of Maus’ style, he has only cemented his identity as a singular, unimpeachable figure.


The most vibrant and toothsome expression of Maus' pursuits yet.

Loud and Quiet
Live, he’s an intense mess, close to Ian Curtis’ unhinged, disco-fanatic of a brother. Here, he’s far more restrained and all the better for it.
Beats Per Minute

I think John Maus is a good pop songwriter. I also think he’s a smart guy. That’s what makes We Must Become the Pitiless Censors of Ourselves so frustrating; it’s nothing special, and nothing we haven’t heard before (from Maus and from other artists).

Slant Magazine

Generous guy that I am, I'll concede that We Must Become the Pitiless Censors of Ourselves does, on some level, constitute music. Really shitty music.

{SJO 32}

This album is actually a lot like the movie The Lighthouse. Because it's blocky, strange, and I'm still not sure if I like it or not.

On one hand it's very boring at times with long passages of nothing and not even John Maus sounds like he wants to be here.

But on the other….idk it's kinda fun. I like how INTENSE the synth sounds and even John Maus' Pure Monotone sound is kinda interesting.

You're Fond of me album, ain't ye.
SJO4 Counter: 31

ughhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh,,,,,,, whyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy.,.,.,.,,,,,,,, what is wrong with this? the instrumentation is okay, but at times it's just downright shit. its all very midi kinda and plinky synthy kinda shit, with the occasional post-punk bassline or guitar or drum groove. this can lead to cool interesting moments like the opener Streetlight, but most of the time it just makes the album sound awful. these sounds dont meld all that well most of the time, ... read more
His most well received album for a reason. Even when Maus plays it safe, his genius approach to music makes it timeless. Even if it doesn't take all the risks his previous works have made, it doesn't need to. Truly groundbreaking synth pop from the brilliant mind of Maus.

BEST TRACKS: Hey Moon, Cop Killer, Streetlight, Keep Pushing On, Believer, Quantum Leap, And the Rain
[July Challenge] July 16, 2020
This album was pretty okay for a first listen. I am not familiar with anything related to John Maus, but this is a pretty cool album to come out during 2011. It is definitely a mysterious record for me to listen to and its whole aesthetic is dark and gloomy. I think the closest thing I can compare this to as of right now would probably be Molchat Doma's sound with its whole dark synthwave vibe. It is an interesting concept, but it does sound flat at some points.
hbd dylan. i guess i've got a new genre/scene of music to check out and a whole lot of projects this guys got his name on. i remeber hearing hey moon partially before, it's a GREAT SONG. rest of the album holds up neatly.
Purchasing We Must Become the Pitiless Censors of Ourselves from Amazon helps support Album of the Year. Or consider a donation?
Contributions By
thisisabtlgrnd, erik, Alex69, philthy

Added on: July 6, 2011