What Happened to the Beach?

Declan McKenna - What Happened to the Beach?
Critic Score
Based on 11 reviews
2024 Ratings: #36 / 105
User Score
Based on 551 ratings
2024 Rank: #124
Liked by 45 people
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CRITIC REVIEWS

100
Dork
A record of quirky charms and sonic playfulness.
90
The Line of Best Fit

This stunningly ambitious yet surprisingly restrained album is a personal inspection of Declan’s current life, putting politics (mostly) aside and abandoning grandeur to think about himself for a minute, gifting listeners a vessel for empathy along the way.

90
Still Listening
Mckenna’s third album takes us across all seasons and into all corners of the modern condition, marrying the perfect levels of personal and political so when we feel, we feel together.
80
NME
On his third album McKenna, an artist who first established themselves as a political voice, briefly sheds the title to find joy in music.
80
DIY
Decidedly mature yet still with that same self-aware playfulness, this is undoubtedly his most eclectic offering to date.
80
Clash

His third is a fun yet wonderfully composed record that sounds radically different to what he’s produced before. If a little odd at points with a dialling down of immediacy, patience is required to fully appreciate the pay-off.

80
The Guardian

The 25-year-old’s excellent third album recalls the White Album for its breezily restless invention.

73
Beats Per Minute

What Happened to the Beach? is a musical ride. While it does not hand out aces on all fronts, it remarkably returns to classically flamboyant roots that urge the importance of enjoying life.

72
Paste
The English glam-rock singer-songwriter’s third album explores a new sound, the pressures of young success and the ebbs and flows of creativity.
70
musicOMH

The follow-up to 2020’s Zeros fully embraces experimentation and demonstrates impressive range.

60
The Arts Desk

What Happened to the Beach? feels uncontrived. It’s often light and bubbly, but also rich in ideas, and sonically entertaining.

jlebon
63

There's few things worse than seeing an artist you love slowly regress with every album they put out

NeedlefluuJr
78

On first listen this album was actually surprisingly unenjoyable. I found Declan’s whispy and usually sweet, innocent vocals to clash badly with the artistic and experimental rock methods he chose to use. The production also felt very messy and straight out unlistenable.

However as time has gone on McKenna’s charm has won me over and I have found the seen the quirks in his music fun, seen the light in the past negativity.

I have known about Declan’s music for a few years ... read more

SnowyFighter
74

Hopefully bro finds what he’s looking for 🤧

Woah wtf. This is a wonky listen. I’m somewhat familiar with Declan McKenna, I’ve heard a handful of songs and the ones that I’ve listened to I’ve honestly enjoyed a lot, especially the song British Bombs. This album is very weird. It jumps from one vibe to another through each song. BUT is it fun? Absolutely. That’s what won me over with this album. Not only that but the production is great, and there are some ... read more

ReturnToMonke
55

Alternates between two types of indie sleaze. The kind that feels like slacker rock but is endearing, and the kind that annoys the shit out of me. The kind that feels lazy and like it carries no identity whatsoever. Unfortunately I find these sons to mostly be that type: more sleaze than indie.

Favorites: The Phantom Buzz (Kick In), Elevator Hum
Least Favorites: 4 More Years, Nothing Works, I Write The News, Sympathy, Breath Of Light, Mezzanine

Individual Track Ratings:
WOBBLE ... read more

Urbanov
60

What Happened To The Beach? showcases occasional brilliance amid a search for identity, leaving listeners with a sense that McKenna's true sonic fingerprint has yet to fully emerge.

ojoaobessa
71

great album to listen while driving tho

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Added on: September 13, 2023