Los Campesinos! - No Blues
Critic Score
Based on 17 reviews
2013 Ratings: #125 / 955
User Score
Based on 76 ratings
2013 Ratings: #155
October 29, 2013 / Release Date
LP / Format
Wichita/Turnstile/Heart Swells / Label
Indie Pop / Genres
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CRITIC REVIEWS

90
musicOMH

There’s the archetypical vulnerability lurking beneath each track, but their sound suggests something everyone from that mid-2000s period has (hopefully) done – matured and become more assured. 

90
Paste

By the close of the album the band is flexing musical chops, playing with textures, detuning and rebuilding the song in front of your eyes and being something very much outside its wheelhouse. They are taking risks, and they work.

85
The Line of Best Fit

The peaks and troughs are much less pronounced here, because nothing is quite as straightforward as it used to be – the surface is more composed but beneath the songs are coloured with the complexity of age, as everything melts into everything else.

83
A.V. Club

Where Hello Sadness seemed like a more mature album, No Blues finds Los Campesinos! getting a better, more pragmatic handle on aging: Growing up doesn’t mean giving up on what you’ve loved.

80
The 405

Given all the changes, it's good to report that there's still a distinct voice. Most importantly, and most impressively, five albums in and Gareth Campesinos! has produced his best performance ever.

80
Drowned in Sound

Their fifth album continues the work done on their last, 2011’s Hello Sadness, the emotional context and sentiments much sharper, painfully so in some cases, with big, lovely pop hooks on even their starkest tracks.

80
DIY

It's one gripped with thoughts of death and yet somehow it's is the very sound of being alive. Los Campesinos! are a band who've clearly grown up, but here, that's only a good thing.

80
Pitchfork

Rather than letting their energy splay out in all directions, LC! maintain a focus and unanimity that reinvigorates the band and should surprise people who may have checked out after Romance is Boring

80
NME

‘No Blues’ finds the band settling into a more consistent sound. Despite the positive title, singer Gareth Paisey is as lyrically downbeat as ever, but it’s the melodic swells that prevent everything becoming too suicidal.

80
Consequence of Sound

No Blues sees Los Campesinos! continue to file their sound down to its purest form. No Blues shows the wisdom of age, rather than its perceived follies.

76
Sputnikmusic

Los Camp have never sounded better or more essential, even if it’s all a little Motion City Soundtrack-ish. No Blues should propel them forward creatively and gain them a well deserved new fan base, all while giving all of us something to dance to with our friends after a few long islands. 

75
Under The Radar

Without the usual thrust of instrument, No Blues refocuses on melody and Gareth Campesinos' vivid lyrical constructions. 

50
AllMusic

The band's previous album, Hello Sadness, was something of a return to form after the really stiff Romance Is Boring, but No Blues can't keep up the energy and fire that the band began to stoke.

CheapandLethal
45
Pretty poor
Felindie
80
Fav Tracks: Avocado, Baby; Cemetery Gaits; What Death Leaves Behind
steviedub
80
A fabulously crafted album that brings a youthful sound to an otherwise aging band.
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END OF YEAR LISTS

#14/Drowned in Sound
#18/A.V. Club
#49/PopMatters
#72/musicOMH

Track List

  1. For Flotsam
  2. What Death Leaves Behind
  3. A Portrait of the Trequartista as a Young Man
  4. Cemetery Gaits
  5. Glue Me
  6. As Lucerne/The Low
  7. Avocado, Baby
  8. Let It Spill
  9. The Time Before the Last Time
  10. Selling Rope (Swan Dive to Estuary)
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Added on: August 29, 2013