Porches - Pool
Critic Score
Based on 15 reviews
2016 Ratings: #550 / 763
User Score
Based on 239 ratings
2016 Ratings: #287
February 5, 2016 / Release Date
LP / Format
Domino / Label
Synthpop / Genres
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porchesmusic.com / Website
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CRITIC REVIEWS

83
Pitchfork

Oceanic synths, wobbly basslines, and precise snare drums cohere into a crisp pop sound, while his high, expressive voice bobs brightly above the surface.

80
Spin
There is almost always an underlying inorganic sound that’s either ominous, nauseous, or both, and it’s the only thing that guarantees that none of the slower tracks will unknowingly be embraced in dentists’ waiting rooms next to classic soft rock. The faster songs are highly danceable, especially with these queasy keys.
80
Exclaim!
Maine often taps chic '80s synth hooks, twangy guitar chords and disco/house jukes for an offbeat merger that carries the album's sense of bliss throughout.
80
Northern Transmissions

Porches’ music rides the beautiful/dark line very, very well. A solid label debut, Porches are gonna be strong contenders in 2016’s “Best-Album-to-Make-Out-To” category.

75
Pretty Much Amazing

Instead of being filled to the top with slacker guitar riffs, Pool stacks layers of synths into pleasing, if a bit repetitive, shapes.

70
FasterLouder
They’re songs that will soundtrack a night out and the subsequent drive home, finding the moments of subtle magic in the melancholy.
70
AllMusic

Written and recorded almost entirely in Maine's Manhattan apartment, the album was mixed by Chris Coady and should play equally well in bedroom headphones and basement nightclubs, and leave many anticipating album three.

70
musicOMH

It’s perfectly easy to listen to Porches on a superficial level and find beautiful hooks to hang on to, but the real joy of this album is to dip beneath the surface, and see what’s going on underneath.

70
Rolling Stone

Maine's forlorn moan and whatever-works recording quality suggest a Lou Barlow-style miserablist, but he's closer to the Jonathan Richman school of naif romanticism.

65
The Line of Best Fit
Although most probably disappointing expectant fans; a long EP would have held together the worthier ideas more artistically.
60
DIY
On tracks like ‘Car’ and ‘Be Apart’, Maine’s determination to retain that sense of despair can overshadow everything and cause some slight desensitivity. When ‘Pool’ does hit home though, it really hits the spot, and ends up coming off like the promising beginnings of a musician who’s finally starting to find his feet.
60
NOW Magazine

His vocals have a distinctly haunting feel but often fall out of focus since he tries to showcase peculiar electronic arrangements within the limitations of the instruments available in his bedroom.

58
Consequence of Sound

Maine seems to have spent the time since Slow Dance studying classic soft rock and the inner workings of the recording studio. That change saps the warmth out of his lo-fi style, and the Auto-Tune and synths slow his already flat delivery and lyrical meditations on slowness even further.

50
No Ripcord

His boyish sensibilities alongside his weary, romantic croon does grate, and especially so considering he’s taking a musical approach that automatically puts him in a more vulnerable place.

50
The Needle Drop
Porches pull together some decent synth-led pop instrumentals here, but they're topped with some of the most off-key and uninspired vocals I've heard this year.
thisisabtlgrnd
80
Absolutely yes with this project. Woozy synths, boyish vocals, new wave basslines, unorthodox lyrics; this is yet another standout 2010s synthpop project. Bravo.

Fav tracks: Be Apart, Hour, Braid, Shaver, Underwater
exception
42
BLAND BLAND BLAND BLAND BLAND BLAND BLAND BLAND BLAND BLAND BLAND BLAND BLAND BLAND BLAND BLAND BLAND BLAND BLAND BLAND BLAND BLAND BLAND BLAND BLAND BLAND BLAND BLAND BLAND BLAND BLAND BLAND BLAND BLAND BLAND BLAND BLAND BLAND BLAND BLAND BLAND BLAND BLAND BLAND BLAND BLAND BLAND BLAND BLAND BLAND BLAND BLAND BLAND BLAND BLAND BLAND BLAND BLAND BLAND BLAND BLAND BLAND BLAND BLAND BLAND BLAND BLAND BLAND BLAND BLAND BLAND BLAND BLAND BLAND BLAND BLAND BLAND BLAND BLAND BLAND BLAND BLAND BLAND ... read more
Aoaystheory
90
Porches' second LP,"Pool," takes cool and refreshing synths and mixes them with Maine's smooth and somber voice which provides us with an atmosphere perfect for any late night pool party or midnight drive.

One fact that may surprise “Porches’” fans is that project leader Aaron Maine’s girlfriend is none other than Frankie Cosmos, the artist who dropped critically acclaimed “Next Thing" earlier this year. Not only that, but she’s also ... read more
Gupla
67
Sí tan sólo el resto del material me hubiera gustado tanto como la canción "Be Apart", ya la cosa sería distinta. A pesar de que Pool suena siempre fresco, no podría decir que ese es el factor determinante para que todo suene bien, creo que la producción es insuficiente en términos de creatividad, tanto que algunas cosas pueden parecer repetitivas, o nada innovadoras. No me quiero centrar tanto en lo negativo, es un material sin dudas ... read more
JulianGomez974
85
Between all the long and dense synthesizers, Pool sounds like a great after party record. Not even one song feels repetitive nor incoherent, which leads me to the production, it may feels like they are doing the same thing in each track, but it's the details that make the melody sublime. On the other hand, the vocals are on point, they never feel dated or anything, even with the autotune, they add even more feeling to the sound. My only complain would be the lyrics, I don't think they're ... read more
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Year End Lists

#49/Pitchfork
#51/Earbuddy

Track List

  1. Underwater
  2. Braid
  3. Be Apart
  4. Mood
  5. Hour
  6. Even the Shadow
  7. Pool
  8. Glow
  9. Car
  10. Shaver
  11. Shape
  12. Security
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Added on: November 21, 2015