Unknown Mortal Orchestra - II
Critic Score
Based on 27 reviews
2013 Ratings: #183 / 1063
User Score
Based on 366 ratings
2013 Ratings: #114
Liked by 8 people
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CRITIC REVIEWS

100
The Fly

Fuzzy, funky, freaky, fragile – there aren’t enough F-words for UMO.

90
The 405

Whether or not this finds UMO a wider audience, only time will tell. As it is, it's a supremely commendable second effort.

90
FasterLouder

From soul to psychedelia may seem like a stylistic jump, but Ruban Nielson has absorbed his influences so completely, and has attained such control of his sound, that he makes such eclecticism seems completely natural.

90
Clash
‘II’ displays both a glowing warmth in its production and a deft use of space that illuminate Nielson’s superbly-crafted compositions.
85
Beats Per Minute

II exists on that threshold, between life and death, consciousness and sleep, day and night, fantasy and reality, beauty and violence, where thesis and antithesis blur and become indistinguishable from one another

83
Paste

Unlike the Frankenstein approach Nielson employed on the debut—which sounded like a depository for all of the music and pop culture he absorbed as a kid—there’s more consistent musical plasma coursing through the veins of II.

83
Pretty Much Amazing

With II, UMO remains humble in composition and production, creating an honest album that comforts in the strangest ways.

80
NME

Raw melody made Unknown Mortal Orchestra exciting two years ago; now they’ve matched it with attention to detail. 

80
No Ripcord

II triumphantly bypasses novelty for a more meaningful level of significance: An album whose songs, personality, and band-chemistry come together for something that could well outlast its own current weirdness

80
AllMusic

Even if II is not as sunny, fun, or simple, Nielson wears the badge of maturity well and doesn't fall prey to typical sophomore pitfalls or lose track of his original psychedelic vision.

75
Under The Radar

He pulls as generously from classic soul as he does from those deep vintage rock reserves, crafting great, visceral pop tunes with appeal far beyond their stylistic underpinnings.

75
The Line of Best Fit

Even with that loose, untethered album serving as a guide to get the listener to this point, you still aren’t fully prepared for II, their frustratingly muted but nevertheless enthralling follow-up.

73
Pitchfork

A record that's equally remarkable and frustrating, split between incredible pop songs and turgid guitar noodling with very little middle ground.

70
Drowned in Sound

Beneath the isolation blues, II is buoyant and visceral enough to suffuse its existential cloud with a redemptive joie de vivre by way of the playful talent inherent in its creation.

70
Consequence of Sound

While II doesn’t kick around quite the same as its predecessor, it makes up for that with subtleties.

70
musicOMH

While the album is weakened a little by an aimless middle, the majority of II shows just how good Unknown Mortal Orchestra can be when Nielson knows which direction he wants to take.

70
PopMatters

Unknown Mortal Orchestra have crafted a tight, enjoyable sophomore album that solidifies their sound and sets them apart from their peers and musical ancestors.

70
Rolling Stone
Nielson unspools his delightedly spacey mumble-croon over neo-hippie guitar magma and dusty grooves that might've been found in a box out behind Beck's garage.
50
Tiny Mix Tapes

While it still has a few standout moments that grab the listener and spark a mood, it’s only occasionally eventful and, ultimately, doesn’t reach the heights of its predecessor.

knewnie
75
oh, to sleep and swim like a shark does......
LetalShertly
72
Nice, just nice. This is such an improvement to their boring self titled album. This time they dropped the repetitive nature for a suitable sounding experience. Also this is has more rock elements which I feel they implemented into the album really well.

The only one really noticeable problem is the production, some songs just dip in quality sometimes or just have poor-ish quality to start, which I guess that's why this is tagged as "lo-fi" ... it can get a little annoying and makes ... read more
Enneti
85
I was addicted to this album when I discovered it. It is very reminiscent of 60's psychedelic rock and it has a beatles vibe to it. The melodies are hypnotizing and addicting and the Basslines are keeping you into the groove.
Flamingooooo
50
I don’t like psychodelic guitar tone
comunismin
85
besides that seven minutes track that was extremely boring, nice album, loved the textures in this songs
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Added on: October 11, 2012