Mikal Cronin - MCII
Critic Score
Based on 20 reviews
2013 Ratings: #48 / 955
User Score
Based on 181 ratings
2013 Ratings: #94
May 7, 2013 / Release Date
LP / Format
Merge / Label
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CRITIC REVIEWS

91
A.V. Club

MCII exhibits such an easy, enjoyable knack for pop songwriting that, whatever it is, it’ll almost certainly be a joy to behold.

90
Consequence of Sound

His fleshed out followup and Merge debut, MCII, feels like something substantial, anthemic, and, to crib from Burt Reynolds, “out of this world.”

85
The 405

Not only are his lyrics and themes wonderfully whittled, his fretwork is phenomenal; the resulting combination is a release that has the capacity to astonish on your first listen.

85
Beats Per Minute

Though the subject matter is serious, the record is consistently catchy, with Cronin’s vocals sitting cleanly atop fuzzy guitars, strings, and piano.

84
Pitchfork

One of the most impressive things about MCII is how Cronin balances "power" and "pop".

83
Pretty Much Amazing

MCII, ironically, is inventive in its constant recreation of a single trope: the use of simple progressions with several different dressings. As an album set out to reappropriate pop rock, MCII succeeds.

82
Paste

There remains just the right amount of depth to these summery sounds. Cronin’s lyrics, too, contain just the right amount of open-endedness.

80
No Ripcord

Cronin certainly does share some commonalities with his longtime collaborator Ty Segall, particularly a fondness for guitar solos, nasally vocals, and bombastic percussion. However, MCII sounds much more concise and meticulously assembled than any of Segall's efforts.

80
musicOMH

It’s perhaps a risk for Cronin to take a partial step away from hazy psychedelic rock in favour of plaintive emoting, but it’s a risk he navigates extremely successfully.

80
Tiny Mix Tapes

With his psychedelia less oblique, his lyrics more concrete, and his desire to please more present than it was with any of his prior associates, Cronin puts pleasure first and hopes for the longevity enjoyed by his musical antecedents.

80
PopMatters

The scope of Cronin’s offerings impress as much as his performance of them, opening up the category he’s working in, not unlike what his better-known comrade Ty Segall has been doing over the past few years.

70
AllMusic

Cronin's second album is a step forward from his debut and shows off a guy with enough talent to step out from behind Segall's shadow and make it on his own.

70
Under The Radar

Listeners may find themselves settling comfortably with Cronin right where he was probably hoping to be at this moment. 

70
DIY

Cronin might have been previously better known as Ty Segall’s collaborator and live band member, but ‘MCII’ will certainly cement him as an excellent singer-songwriter in his own right.

79
"MCII" is a refreshing reminder that power pop/rock music need not innovate or expand beyond its roots in order to be great. It's basically a collection of addictively melodic, well-performed, guitar-hook-laden songs that fit in concise pop packages, but transcend any limitations due to the sheer well-craftedness of the material and Mikal Cronin's palpably passionate delivery. Closer "Piano Mantra" shows that Cronin is perfectly capable of composing in other styles; the rest ... read more
joewindlebrox
87
One of the best straight up pop-rock records to have come out in a long while. Mikal Cronin's guitar work is fantastic and his lyrics match his songs perfectly. A highly enjoyable album.
Siamak
80
Garage Rock with an unbelievable lightness
FinalLifeline
83
Taking many cues from his pal Ty Segall's book of psych-punk secrets, Mikal Cronin has made a piece of work with a catchiness that equals Segall's, and has cranked up the psychedelics to a brighter and more vibrant level. It's beautiful and moody, and great for driving and just overall jamming out. (Watch out for the viola on "Change". It's a disarming moment of raw, bizarre emotion that is a highlight of the record.)
Caffro
86
Super catchy garage rock tunes with a poppy feel to them. Cronin's vocals are wonderful. Definitely the album of the Summer so far.
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Track List

  1. Weight
  2. Shout It Out
  3. Am I Wrong
  4. See It My Way
  5. Peace of Mind
  6. Change
  7. I'm Done Running from You
  8. Don't Let Me Go
  9. Turn Away
  10. Piano Mantra
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Added on: February 5, 2013