Cymbals Eat Guitars - Pretty Years
Critic Score
Based on 11 reviews
2016 Ratings: #32 / 724
User Score
Based on 95 ratings
2016 Ratings: #81
Your Review


A.V. Club

Pretty Years is joyous, revelatory, and the moment where the varied sounds of those past three records all come together.


Pretty Years is a document of Cymbals Eat Guitars’ most accessible music, D’Agostino’s richest vocal performances, and his ever-deepening lyrical acuity. It’s the best release yet from one of America’s most promising bands.


This record's varied influences are held together by the mastery of both D'Agostino's songwriting and Congleton's production. It's unpredictable but immensely rewarding.


While his vocals may remain an acquired taste ... his lyrics here, in conjunction with the band’s more nuanced sound and adventurous production, make Pretty Years their most complete record.

Under The Radar

They've glacially been building to this, one of the most inventive, adventurous, and best rock records of 2016.

The Line of Best Fit
With an emo revival seemingly taking shape at the moment Cymbals Eat Guitars may finally be able to find an audience, but the truth is they’re too good a band to need to fit into a scene. "Pretty Years" is one of the best guitar albums of the year.

Every Cymbals Eat Guitars album has been dense, but none have covered as much ground as effectively as Pretty Years.

Drowned in Sound
Despite a noble resume, no other album comes closer to capturing the true essence of their onstage presence.
No Ripcord

In Pretty Years, the perennial late 90’s sounding rockers are stepping somewhat outside the box by introducing elements of heartland Americana and synth rock without turning away from their layered, guitar-heavy parts.


It takes advantage of a broader palette as Cymbals Eat Guitars continue to dip into more styles without losing their warped, crunchy center.


It just falls short of completely engulfing your interest and really exposing itself as anything completely fresh and inspiring. It’s pretty in places, but you’re left wishing that it was truly beautiful.

Mar 14, 2017
Super abrasive, and certainly intentionally so. Personally a bit disappointing for me, as the opening cut "Finally" seemed to signal a movement towards more melodic and sonically appealing territory only to prove a red herring; still recommended for fans of the noisier side of the emo revival.
Dec 15, 2016
Fav Tracks: Have a Heart, Wish, Close, Well
Dec 12, 2016
Fav tracks: have a heart, wish, 4th of july philadelphia, shrine
Nov 13, 2016
CEG's newest album, "Pretty Years", is a sharp veer from their last LP--"LOSE". From the blaring horns to the dancey rhythms, Joe and co. experiment with different sounds and styles. Fortunately for us, they pull it off while still remaining true to their identity.

Notable Songs: "Finally"; "Wish"; "Dancing Days"; "4th of July, Philadelphia (Sandy)"; "Beam"; "Well"
Sep 22, 2016
While the album trades the manic energy of the band's previous entry "LOSE" for shorter, tighter, more controlled songs, Cymbals excels in this new dynamic. The album is filled with songs-anxious, sad, yearning, and accepting-about aging in your 20s, accepting yourself, and wondering if your best years are ahead or behind. If this sounds depressing, the great guitar tracks, unexpected hooks, and strong lyrics promise to make it feel more like a party and less like a dirge. There is a ... read more
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Track List
  1. Finally
  2. Have a Heart
  3. Wish
  4. Close
  5. Dancing Days
  6. 4th of July, Philadelphia (Sandy)
  7. Beam
  8. Mallwalking
  9. Well
  10. Shrine

Added on: May 23, 2016