Mangy Love
Cass McCombs - Mangy Love
Critic Score
Based on 18 reviews
2016 Ratings: #169 / 724
User Score
Based on 81 ratings
2016 Ratings: #103
August 26, 2016 / Release Date
LP / Format
Anti- / Label
Rob Schnapf, Dan Horne / Producer / Website
Your Review



On his eighth album, the singer-songwriter connects his gentle, acerbic soul to his most politically charged, well-stated, and funniest songs.


This gnarly, nomadic songwriter has honed his grubby poetry over the 13 years since debut album ‘A’, and he continues to combine it with humour, surreal imagery and deeply melodic folk-rock here.

The Line of Best Fit

Mangy Love is a terrific, bizarre album made up of familiar parts rearranged into something new, unfamiliar, and offbeat.


It's not just McCombs' Technicolor aspirations that make his latest, Mangy Love, so absorbing, but his generous use of instrumentation and collaboration.


Those who don't process the lyrics will be missing a lauded part of the McCombs experience, Mangy Love, arguably more than ever, works as a musical expression alone, mixing the sometimes caustic lyrics and roguish indie touches with an overriding smooth '70s veneer.

NOW Magazine

It is songwriting that somehow avoids feeling songwriterly, undercutting its own sophistication with crassness, borrowing liberally from a broad range of genres, and unafraid to occasionally wander into the Jam Zone.

Drowned in Sound

Mangy Love makes itself distinct from its predecessors with its outright jazziness and ethereality.

Rolling Stone

His latest shows a low-key master at work, and not in a bubble.


On Mangy Love, he continues this attentiveness to character creation, draping a new dramatis personae in a billowing glow of soft rock, Philly soul, and cryptic folk.

No Ripcord

The creative zeal McCombs displays on Mangy Love, and his willingness to take some chances, even if low stakes, engages both the heart and the mind.


Though Mangy Love is well constructed, the album at times has a slippery feel, and some of the songs can just slide by without making the impression it seems like they should.

Consequence of Sound

Mangy Love explores new sonic directions for McCombs without drifting too far away from his past. He works in a variety of styles here, yet keeps continuity through politically charged lyrics and imaginative storytelling.

American Songwriter

This is shrewd, layered music that demands the songs be mulled over and scrutinized; even if that may not provide answers to questions McCombs poses.


It shows divergent aspects of Cass, at his most subtle, resonant, and resplendent, and at others, his most maddeningly repetitive and scabby.

The Guardian

here’s a lot here that’s really terrific, where the oddness of the lyrics and the mood of the music match perfectly and disconcertingly, as on "In a Chinese Alley". But the missteps, when they come, are jarringly horrible.


The laidback, psych-tinged nature of his sound has always sounded like something from a bygone era anyway, so the fact that he’s gone sociopolitical on ‘Mangy Love’ sounds a little jarring in theory. In practice, the results are mixed.

Dec 14, 2017
fav tracks: Bum Bum Bum, Opposite House, Cry, In a Chinese Alley
Jul 21, 2017
this album is so musically diverse, the instrumentation is perfect and so detailed. The lyrics are great
Cant get enough out of this album
Fav tracks: bum bum bum, opposite house, low flying bird (the guitar is brilliant) cry
Sep 15, 2016
•••••: Bum Bum Bum | Opposite House | Cry
Sep 3, 2016
Interesting ideas and sorta catchy production is what McCombs tries to mix with political and social issues in his new album. I'll just go on and say that I'm not crazy about his vocal performance, it's actually pretty average and it holds back his speech sometimes. The lyrics are decent, it was great to see him discuss a big variety of topics. I really liked how he introduces some elements of other genres to his songs, but I was left wondering if the lenght could've been shorter. Anyway, it's ... read more
Sep 2, 2016
American singer/songwriter Cass McCombs is back with another full lenght, at a pretty advanced stage in his career. Despite the super gentle approach to folk/americana/indie-rock, the artist certainly displays a more mature side, mostly on his lyrics and songwriting skills, that reveal some moments of reflective beauty throughout the album. Meanwhile, what we get soundwise is a rather lackluster, timid take on all the folk subdivisions that McCombs chooses to explore on the album, hardly making ... read more
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Added on: May 24, 2016