The Magic

Deerhoof - The Magic
Critic Score
Based on 20 reviews
2016 Ratings: #242 / 843
User Score
Based on 82 ratings
2016 Ratings: #380
June 24, 2016 / Release Date
LP / Format
Polyvinyl / Label
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A.V. Club

The Magic, the band’s aptly named 13th album, is the loosest, most expansive Deerhoof LP in some years.


On The Magic, Deerhoof bring it just as much as they do in their live shows, which, over a dozen albums into the band's career — and given their live prowess — is a spectacular feat.

Drowned in Sound
It should come as little surprise ... that 16 albums in, their newest is perhaps the most purely fun to listen to.
The 405

The Magic is a superb pop album. It doesn't relinquish substance for catchiness and doesn't dive head-first into reckless abandon throwing any semblance of cohesiveness to the dogs.

The Skinny

Whether soaking up dizzyingly kaleidoscopic noisepop with ragged chunks of R’n’B or simply encasing gnarly riffs in super-sweet bubblegum, Deerhoof’s chutzpah and audible glee are enough to ensure that The Magic is yet another triumph.

The Line of Best Fit

The group’s trademark alchemical blend of punk, noise, electro and the unexpected is stamped all over the LP.

NOW Magazine

It's in this fine balance between control and abandon, tension and resolution, that Deerhoof thrive. The Magic is not their best album, but it's an excellent Deerhoof album, and they are the greatest of all time at what they do.

Tiny Mix Tapes
The magic is how Deerhoof goes further in and only branches farther out.

This is one of the most striking aspects of The Magic: that it’s perhaps the most varied record the band have delivered since Friend Opportunity or The Runners Four.


Even if The Magic doesn't always hold together, it still delivers moments of pure anarchic fun.

The Needle Drop
Deerhoof delivers yet another collection of fun and eclectic songs.

Within the context of Deerhoof’s oeuvre, The Magic is a bit of a back-to-the-garage reset that doesn’t approach the heights of career apexes Friend Opportunity and Runners Four, but offers a fresh energy that rewards the converted.

Consequence of Sound
With the freedom and solitude to create essentially anything, the end result is an unsurprisingly eclectic mixture of sounds molded into a mostly cohesive body of work.
While unpredictability is certainly part of Deerhoof’s charm, and the aim of ‘The Magic’ was to take listeners out of their comfort zone, the erratics can feel contrived and its off-kilter aesthetics too disparate for it to ever really take hold.
Under The Radar

There's no escaping a diminishing ability to knock listeners to the floor.

It ain't the best but it's catchy, weird and fun. I can dig it, some excellent grooves here too.
A likeable continuation of the wild, hard-edged spirit that channeled a lot of Joan Jett from their previous effort, La Isla Bonita. The Magic is wildly inconsistent and even a tad bit unadventurous despite the large tracklisting, but even with all these flaws, the band still proves themselves worthy of making some of the most eccentric and fun, rock music of the decade. It's simply Deerhoof being Deerhoof and they're still kicking heavy ass.

Favourite tracks: The Devil and His Anarchic ... read more
Worth a listen
As opposed to many records this year, Deerhoof sets out to create anything but a traditional indie rock/noise pop record. Its obscure and abstract production mixed with its interesting and at times often humorous lyrics, makes the album a peculiar listen. The album is extremely shallow and one dimensional at times. The songs 'This ain't no life for me' and 'Model Behavior' are perfect examples of the aforementioned creative deprivation. The songs fluctuate between being amusing and ... read more
This just sounded like Deerhoof trying to get some sweet songs to tour with. I'm sure they would be fun to see live, but they're not too unique to listen to without the live experience.
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Year End Lists

#39/Louder Than War

Track List

  1. The Devil and his Anarchic Surrealist Retinue
  2. Kafe Mania!
  3. That Ain't No Life to Me
  4. Life is Suffering
  5. Criminals of the Dream
  6. Model Behavior
  7. Learning to Apologize Effectively
  8. Dispossessor
  9. I Don't Want to Set the World on Fire
  10. Acceptance Speech
  11. Patrasche Come Back
  12. Debut
  13. Plastic Thrills
  14. Little Hollywood
  15. Nurse Me
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Added on: April 19, 2016