Boy King

Wild Beasts - Boy King
Critic Score
Based on 26 reviews
2016 Ratings: #326 / 758
User Score
Based on 124 ratings
2016 Ratings: #461
August 5, 2016 / Release Date
LP / Format
Domino / Label
Art Pop / Genres
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The Line of Best Fit

That’s how Boy King comes across on the first few listens, as if it’s squaring up to us, strutting, all testosterone and violent, eyeballing virility.

A.V. Club

More so than ever on the new Boy King, Wild Beasts seem especially comfortable and confident with their wayward electro. Which only shows in the added coats of glitz.

Under The Radar

Boy King is a thrilling and evocative step forward for a band who seem to continue evolving at a remarkable rate.

The Skinny

Certainly a contender for the most electronic of their canon, Boy King is perhaps also their most compact and claustrophobic release since 2011’s Smother.


A fifth album u-turn that few could pull off, ‘Boy King’ is the sound of a band reborn. The core elements are all still there ... but they’re glitched-up and garbled.


This time they’ve decided to house their fulsome electro-indie randiness in something of a concept album, one that picks apart the idea of masculinity, stripping it down in an attempt to reveal its hidden depths.

Loud and Quiet

It’s a brilliantly soft evolution of the rich creativity that made ‘Present Tense’ run so deep, and a fresh take on the electricity, funk oddities, lovelorn supplication and familiarly bold intent that make ‘Boy King’ an album that only Wild Beasts could have made.

The Guardian
Reinvention and liberation have brought the Beasts’ best yet.

On their fifth album, they have decided to strip away all the book learning and play dumb. Of course, this being Wild Beasts, “playing dumb” still means invoking Byron and TS Eliot, but here the lyrics are relatively blunt, more like haiku than sonnets.

No Ripcord

Its songs churn out their most muscular grooves yet, leaving a trail of testosterone in their wake.

Pretty Much Amazing

Critically, this may not move many needles. But to casual listeners, Wild Beasts are on a mission to refine their own definition. This is must-witness music at its very finest.

Drowned in Sound

While not hitting the tremendous heights of the band's late Noughties output, it is refreshing to see the band put a halt to the glacial drift which had seemingly consumed them in the current decade.


After the crossroads moment that was Present Tense, Boy King is undoubtedly a powerful statement of intent from a talented, ambitious group of musicians clearly keen to explore new and bold territory.


Boy King may be some of Wild Beast's most consistent and accessible music, but at a price: It comes dangerously close to predictable, something the band never would have been called before.


Boy King is defined by its self-consciously uncensored lyrics, in which the deepest, most problematic masculine urges are bared in sexy, spare songs built around cutting synths, provocative vocal performance and in-your-face drums.

I don’t think even Wild Beasts would consider this their best album, and maybe somewhere down the line they can have a real crack at surpassing their magnum opus ‘Present Tense’. For now they’ve made the right call by following their pricks along a whole new avenue of sound and attitude, one that injects a real sense of playfulness into a band who were in danger of gaining ‘maturity’.

Wild Beasts' Boy King replaces the ornate detail of its predecessors with machine-tooled funk and pitch-shifted gasps. It's by no means a disaster, but it is a disappointment.

Consequence of Sound

Believing it’s possible to critique toxic masculinity, even while displaying it proudly, Boy King approaches a kind of social satire.

Slant Magazine

Even with a sheen of knowing ironicism, the spectacle of cocky white males subverting gender binaries to bolster their inherent phallic force feels completely tired, not to mention irrelevant to an ever-more-diverse musical landscape.


On Boy King, Wild Beasts' fifth LP, the band take on a more dance-oriented sound that doesn't pay off.

The 20 minutes bonus track is way better than the whole album.
Listening to "Boy King Trash" its just the layering, where things went wrong, the words, the soul of this record, so fucking brillant. Execution is what went wrong, the words placed on the chopping block. And its true for most things in the 21st century, putting on electronic armour around organic feelings, become lost things,

Such a shame, that this would be their last complete thought
Slinky, urgent and utterly depraved. Soundtrack of my year.
come on, sometimes we do need this chill face of them and it's good quality
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Track List

  1. Big Cat
  2. Tough Guy
  3. Alpha Female
  4. Get My Bang
  5. Celestial Creatures
  6. 2Bu
  7. He the Colossus
  8. Ponytail
  9. Eat Your Heart out Adonis
  10. Dreamliner
  11. Boy King Trash
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Added on: May 24, 2016