Screen Memories

John Maus - Screen Memories
Critic Score
Based on 19 reviews
2017 Ratings: #302 / 721
User Score
Based on 99 ratings
2017 Ratings: #363
October 27, 2017 / Release Date
LP / Format
Ribbon / Label
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CRITIC REVIEWS

90
Exclaim!

Like Maus's best work, Screen Memories converses primarily through its musical and instrumental affect. These songs are so clearly laboured over and full of detail that their impact as a whole, coupled with bizarre and often-obfuscated lyrics, can easily wash over a first-time listener. Spend some time immersed in their depths, though, and watch as they unravel and fill in Maus's immaculate vocal sketches.

90
Clash

Throughout his latest work, Maus rarely delves into anything resembling uncharted waters, instead opting for a repurposing of familiar sounds on what is an album that’s as playful and political as it is mockingly profound.

86
Resident Advisor

Screen Memories is intelligent, catchy, brimming with personality, and, in spite of a solemn outlook, a fun ride—perhaps moreso than any other John Maus album to date.

80
Loud and Quiet

The ghost of Ian Curtis still lingers in the vocals, but the mood of the record goes in a different direction; less claustrophobic and more open, like a great, electric, gothic symphony.

80
Crack Magazine
There is a sense of lethargy throughout the record but it is greatly outweighed by striking moments of ethereal bliss along with the profound reflections of an isolated intellect. As the beloved John Maus stares down the eyes of society’s inevitable demise, or indeed his own emotional awakening, his music is just as tragically captivating than ever before.
80
Pitchfork

While the actual apocalypse shows no signs of slowing down, Screen Memories strikes a chord in a way that most blatantly political albums never quite manage. As society crumbles, John Maus’ commitment to being John Maus is inspiring, tapping an unexpected synchronicity with our doomed world.

80
The Line of Best Fit
This album is yet further proof that John Maus has no boundaries and relishes unearthing new patterns, sequences and progressions. He’s in his element when creating music quite unlike anything else.
80
The Skinny

Fuggy, lo-fi vocals and gleaming synth lines are in constant conflict, creating a lot of pretty songs that sometimes sacrifice their message for pop kicks.

75
Northern Transmissions

On John Maus’ new full-length, Sci-fi overtones flow through the electrifying synth work of “The Combine” starting the record on a mysterious note.

70
AllMusic

With engaging basslines that act as the hooks and the glue to Maus' carefully contrived sound, Screen Memories succeeds by basking in its murky splendor.

70
Drowned in Sound

With Screen Memories, John Maus has accidentally entered the mainstream. The results are mixed, but as we all know, trends change.

70
No Ripcord

He propels the masses into an apocalyptic party with simple and inviting gestures, even if behind the songs lays an exhaustive perfectionist who’s fully dedicated to his craft.

70
The 405

John Maus was able to gather in Screen Memories a collection of songs that reflect and certify him as a reference to his genre. All his unconventionalism is what makes him so exciting as a musician, thinker and creative, as he successfully manages to build bridges between his passions.

67
A.V. Club
Whatever interpretation you choose to bring to it, Maus’ music does have an undeniably hypnotic pull. Sometimes it’s even enough to convince you you’re hearing something else.
65
Under The Radar
With the world a darker, scarier place than ever this could have been a triumph for Maus. Yet, what he's created is a sometimes brilliant, sometimes meek recording that lacks the purpose and poise of its predecessor.
60
PopMatters

Maus is not here to give us answers. He’s here to mull it over, complicate it, ruin any possibility of a didactic truth.

unknownpleasure
80
Only listened to this through one time, but after first listen I love this album. This album is typical John Maus, with the deep synths and basslines as well as the Ian Curtis like vocals, but it does feel fresh and creative. This album comes with a certain aesthetic that goes really well with Halloween/late October. I feel like this is going to take a couple of listens and will ultimately grow on me, but if you like John Maus, I think you'll enjoy this album.

Edit: I know I may be in the ... read more
AmericaanSpirit
79
Leans too heavily into synth pop tropes for it to stand out in his discography. While there are gems here, there's certainly not enough to convince me he's back in full swing.

BEST TRACKS: The Combine, Decide Decide, Touchdown, Pets, Bombs Away
85
Fav tracks: The Combine, Touchdown, Walls of Silence, Find Out, Edge of Forever, Bombs Away
Doofy
72
Very much business as usual for Maus, despite the long gap between this and his last release. Dense synthscapes whoosh and wheel around some typically strange song writing concepts.

The same year’s somewhat similar Ariel Pink album trumped this for variety and vocal personality, for my money at least.
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Track List

  1. The Combine
  2. Teenage Witch
  3. Touchdown
  4. Walls of Silence
  5. Find Out
  6. Decide Decide
  7. Edge of Forever
  8. The People Are Missing
  9. Pets
  10. Sensitive Recollections
  11. Over Phantom
  12. Bombs Away
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Added on: August 29, 2017