The Jesus and Mary Chain - Damage and Joy
Critic Score
Based on 21 reviews
2017 Ratings: #596 / 724
User Score
Based on 83 ratings
2017 Ratings: #602
March 24, 2017 / Release Date
LP / Format
ADA, Warner / Label
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Their sound may have matured, and may be more accustomed to a laconic calmness, but ‘Damage and Joy’ still burns with purpose and when it throws its punches it lands them with ease.

The Line of Best Fit

The Jesus and Mary Chain are trapped in amber on Damage and Joy, untouched by the very different musical climate to the one they last sent an album out into. Good job, then, that it contains far more hits than misses.

Under The Radar

The songwriting and playing here are more assured than their legendarily ramshackle live shows would lead one to believe.


The best way to enjoy Damage and Joy is to leave their past out of it ... The fact that they've come back at all is a remarkable thing. But doing so with an album that lives up to expectations is all we could have asked from the Reids.

Rolling Stone

Damage and Joy is full of fabulously morbid gems like "Simian Split" ("I killed Kurt Cobain/I put the shot right through his brain") and "Mood Rider," with its Hallmark-ready motto, "Kill everybody who's hip."

Drowned in Sound

Although not entirely perfect ... Damage and Joy heralds the dawning of a new era in its creators' colourful history, providing a worthwhile addition to a canon of musical eminence in the process.


It is a record that manages to be both nostalgic and refreshing, making it accessible to a diverse audience.

Northern Transmissions

There’s enough great tracks on this record to recruit new fans onto something more than just a single-powered record, and there’s a powerfully consistent record that could be made out of this after some cuts.


Despite the epic lag between releases, Damage and Joy feels very much like a logical extension of its predecessor, 1998’s seeming swan song Munki, because the Reids had been unwittingly leaving a breadcrumb trail between the two records this whole time.


As an album, Damage and Joy feels fundamentally out of focus — a fractured collection that sound more slapped together in ProTools like than a polished work of art.

The Skinny

Damage and Joy triumphs far more than it disappoints ... After 18 very long years, Damage and Joy is a near-faultless return to form, even if some of these 'new' songs are actually over a decade old.

The Independent

There’s not quite as intense a contrast between the sweetness of the melodies and the antagonistic howls of guitar feedback on this first album in 18 years.


There's nothing here that might jolt anyone out of thinking the album came out in the mid-'90s, nothing that will thrill or shock as it spins to a predictable close. It might make their fans happy, but for a band that claims to be dangerous and rebellious, it goes a long way towards reinforcing the fact that the JAMC are no longer either of those things.

The Guardian

Even after the magnesium flare of Psychocandy, the Mary Chain had their greatest effect in brevity; the more you get of them, the less forceful they feel. It’s a lot better than it might have been, but not quite as great as one might have hoped.

NOW Magazine

The mirror JAMC are holding up to the mainstream nowadays is less distorted, but still fully engaged in sharp and timeless songcraft.


Ranging from simple rhymes and harmless clichés to rebel teenage snideness to some fairly poignant points, the lyric sheet may not be Damage and Joy’s biggest selling point but rarely do the words get in the way of a good tune.

No Ripcord

It’s as carelessly abrasive and reverb-heavy as it should be, but it’s also mounted with a heavy number of throwaways that document different periods of their celebrated past without a clear notion of how they should move forward.

Consequence of Sound

Damage and Joy should be welcomed and celebrated for being a good record – make no bones. But it’s also such a great distance from that initial volley of the self-proclaimed musical revolution the brothers attempted to launch from their childhood home in East Kilbride, Scotland, more than 30 years ago.


The damage is more abundant than the joy, and too often on its bloated tracklisting do they fall back on clichés and ageing rockstar posing. Musically there is little to remember, lyrically some of this is challenging to forget. For a 19-year wait, this is a mild payoff indeed.

this isn't the worst thing ever but jesus fucking christ i despise it, seeing as Psychocandy is one of my favourite albums period.
neither as good as some of us wish it would have been, nor as bad as some of us think it is. still more listenable than most of the mainstream crap out there.
This officially doesn't work anymore

Favorite Track: Song for a Secret
I feel like the killjoy of this place, because when an album has a couple of positive ratings or even excellent ones, I come and I write a non-approving review to them. What can I do, I just give my personal opinion to the albums.

Apparently this is the year of the comebacks of the eighties and nineties bands that did not get commercial success while they were active. They return 20 years later, with a solid base of fans, mainly young people, and with the vague hope of causing a musical ... read more
The Reid brothers, nearly two decades after their previous album, gathered all of the material they could easily access, called Youth and made a damage-oriented return, since there's no joy around to use.
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Track List

  1. Amputation 
  2. War On Peace 
  3. All Things Pass 
  4. Always Sad 
  5. Song For A Secret 
  6. The Two Of Us 
  7. Los Feliz (Blues and Greens) 
  8. Mood Rider 
  9. Presidici (Et Chapaquiditch) 
  10. Get On Home 
  11. Facing Up To The Facts 
  12. Simian Split 
  13. Black And Blues 
  14. Can’t Stop The Rock
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Added on: December 8, 2016