The Man Who Died in His Boat

Grouper - The Man Who Died in His Boat
Critic Score
Based on 13 reviews
2013 Ratings: #86 / 961
User Score
Based on 169 ratings
2013 Ratings: #126
February 5, 2013 / Release Date
LP / Format
Kranky / Label
Ambient / Genres
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CRITIC REVIEWS

90
Drowned in Sound

This is music that challenges and provokes. It may require a bit of effort to 'get' Grouper, but it's worth it. And as this record illustrates, even her cast-offs are stunningly good.

85
Beats Per Minute

Catchy would be the wrong word to use here, but these songs have a staying power as unassuming yet durable as moss on the side of a stone. 

85
The 405

Where many of the tracks on The Man Who Died in His Boat could have been as easily thrown away as the debris that floats across the ocean, Grouper's conceptual vision and subtle songwriting makes this an immersive and ethereal addition to her impressive catalog.

83
Pitchfork

When it really hits, as it often does here, the music of Grouper creates a feeling that can only be defined as awe, an uncanny mixture of wonder and dread that nobody does better. 

80
Consequence of Sound

This is an album that follows the drifting of a boat at sea, and discovers that even the most pleasant journeys can end in nothingness.

80
No Ripcord

The Man Who Died avoids the stigma of outtakes releases because it’s an ideal entry point into one of the most distinctive, fascinating musicians of our time.

80
musicOMH

It is apparent from the start that the album is a valuable piece of work in its own right however and its reclaimed origins should not bring any negative preconceptions.

70
NME

Her music isn’t quite as inert and emotionally crushing as all this might suggest, but it remains a masterclass in medicated bleakness.

70
FACT Magazine

The simplicity of the material, recurring song after song, enables it to settle on a room like perfume; it affects through generalities rather than the specifics of a particular melody or lyric. But by the same token there’s very little to distinguish this album from its counterpart.

70
PopMatters

The Man Who Died in His Boat feels immediately of its time, a period we know to be completely unique. It culls some of the most accessible Grouper material ever, just in fragments.

MinatoArisato
70
Another emotional and stunning record from Liz.

Best Track: Cover the Long Way
Worst Track: Difference (Voices)
Doofy
69
Sometimes Grouper sound like 'easy work if you can get it' - some vague acoustic strumming and distant disembodied sounding vox. Is there much more to it than that?

This album is just diverting and pretty enough sounding for you to conclude it doesn't matter too much - it is what it is, as they say.
lachlantula
76
Another absolutely stunning release from Grouper, who has one of my favourite runs of the 2010s. As good as this release is, it does lack the magnitude that makes some of her other work stand out; A I A is a poignant instance of how her style can be executed incredibly well. Although this is a very ethereal and spacey project, it doesn't achieve the magical loneliness that encompasses her other work to quite the same degree. One may argue that this quality positions the album as more a intimate ... read more
musicmagpie55
75
Grouper's follow up to Dragging a Dead Dear is a little more uneven, but still an incredibly rich album of ambient pop. This feels more like a collection of songs than a unified album, but damn there are some stunning nuggets. 'Towers' and 'Vital' are two of my favorite Grouper songs; I would live inside the strums of her guitar if given a chance. This one is just not as cathartic as her previous album, but it is still beautiful, and I love it.
holsgr
69
( ☆☆☆ ) good/average work
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Track List

  1. 6
  2. Vital
  3. Cloud in places
  4. Being her shadow
  5. Cover the long way
  6. Difference (voices)
  7. Vanishing point
  8. The Man Who Died In His Boat
  9. Towers
  10. STS
  11. Living room
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Added on: January 4, 2013