On The Water

Future Islands - On The Water
Critic Score
Based on 20 reviews
2011 Ratings: #137 / 964
User Score
Based on 71 ratings
2011 Ratings: #142
October 11, 2011 / Release Date
LP / Format
Thrill Jockey / Label
Synthpop / Genres
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Tiny Mix Tapes
It’s either an existential dilemma or a celebration of cosmic circularity, and by implicating themselves in the dilemma, Future Islands have landed on terra incognita, and it’s an exciting discovery.

The noises are fitting, quietly cyclical and gently evocative of a process of ebb-and-flow, of slow—and beautiful—loss. These are the emotions of On the Water, and Future Islands create them with hands that rarely tip to show the careful craft that must have gone into building a stunner like this one.

Drowned in Sound

The songs are thematically and stylistically united with enough variation and nuance within that template to satisfy less patient listeners

Consequence of Sound

Their dreamy, romantic and melancholy music is the perfect accompaniment to hope, the kind that can pull you through, and in a time of timidity, they are true believers


It's the polar opposite of the tension-building repetitions of In Evening Air: With each utterance of this coda, he seems more and more to loosen his grip on the past.


Rollaround rhythms and forward momentum make this an uplifting anthem, not just a dead piece of 'concept'.

No Ripcord

On The Water holds together better as an album, but there’s nothing I’ll play on repeat here, at least not like before. It doesn’t matter too much; they’re still steadily improving on their basic sound.

Aquí comienza el sonido más puro de los Islands, que se verá intensificado con su próximo álbum "Singles", su, por el momento, mejor álbum.
Fav Tracks: Before the Bridge , On the Water , Give us the Wind
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Year End Lists

#36/Tiny Mix Tapes

Track List

  1. On the Water 
  2. Before the Bridge 
  3. The Great Fire 
  4. Open 
  5. Where I Found You 
  6. Give us the Wind 
  7. Close to None 
  8. Balance 
  9. Tybee Island 
  10. Grease 
  11. (untitled)
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Added on: July 19, 2011