Darling Arithmetic

Villagers - Darling Arithmetic
Critic Score
Based on 21 reviews
2015 Ratings: #425 / 916
User Score
Based on 42 ratings
April 14, 2015 / Release Date
LP / Format
Domino / Label
Indie Folk, Folk Pop / Genres
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The Line of Best Fit

No disrespect to the absentees (that being the band with whom he recorded with on the previous two albums) but In Darling Artihmetic Conor O'Brien has put together his best album under the Villagers moniker.


O’Brien writes lyrics with a novelist’s eye for subtle detail, honing his songs into tight, lean narratives that are often at their most personal, and revealing, on Darling Arithmetic.

The album itself reflects the minimalism of its site. But lyrically it is rich pickings for those that savour the words so often masked by either sheer noise or mumbled vocals, as O’Brien proves how he has developed into a rather impressive poet.
Drowned in Sound

Darling Arithmetic is rarely anything but elegant. There are a multitude of splendid noises across its focused path but never anything approaching a scream.


Darling Arithmetic is a nine-track walk out of the studio and into the country air.


Most of all, it’s a graceful, beguiling and sumptuous set of songs, one worthy of both patience and praise, an extension of the excellence the Villagers brand introduced so early on. Darling Arithmetic is nothing less than calculated genius, manifested.

Under The Radar
It's a tumultuous listen, but one that sweeps you up in its compassion, bravery, and beauty. Honesty has never sounded so good.
The 405
Those who are anticipating more of the same from this third outing however, may wish to readjust their expectations.

The need to stop pretending—to admitting one’s deepest insecurities and wants—seems central to Darling Arithmetic, an album that delivers a gorgeous, if somewhat restrained, step forward.

The Skinny

Villagers’ two previous albums have managed to combine O’Brien’s polished songwriting and rich vocals with considerable bombast, so there’s no doubting that removing one of those elements leaves a sizeable hole in Darling Arithmetic.

As beautiful and accomplished as ‘Darling Arithmetic’ is, it’s hard not to hope Villagers isn’t finished ripping up the rule book yet.

Musically, much -- if not all -- of Darling Arithmetic is pitched at a slow, dream-inducing pace and, while lushly recorded, feels smaller in scope than even Villagers' debut.

An album with some beautiful songs and committed lyrics; easy on the ear but the words are far from sugary.
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Year End Lists

#91/Drowned in Sound

Track List

  1. Courage 
  2. Everything I Am Is Yours 
  3. Dawning On Me 
  4. Hot Scary Summer 
  5. The Soul Serene 
  6. Darling Arithmetic 
  7. Little Bigot 
  8. No one To Blame 
  9. So Naïve 
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Added on: February 3, 2015