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Cults
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25 of 27 people found the following review helpful
on June 7, 2011
I have been obsessed with Cults since the first time I heard about them. I really enjoyed their sound on first listen and was anxiously awaiting their debut album.

Cults have a 60s vibe/sound with a modern twist. This is understandable, since the only kind of music the two of them both enjoy is from that time. They have combined something they both love and put their own twist on it. While some may complain about this style saying it's just repackaging, I disagree. I found this band and their debut album to be completely wonderful and a great listen. A perfect summer soundtrack. On the other hand while the music is upbeat, the lyrics are on the darker side. It's the perfect contrast, I think. You are humming/singing along to a catchy song with a nice beat, then all of a sudden you do a double take because of a lyric you just sang. I love that about music, and Cults do that quite well. (Some of my favorites: Abducted, Go Outside, Never Saw the Point, and Bumper.)

Take a listen. I don't think you will regret it, and before you know it you will have a summer soundtrack.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
When British singer Lily Allen started embarking on other endeavors, one of the things she did was start her own record label. Her Columbia Records distributed imprint In The Name Of found the New York indie pop duo Cults. Comprised of singer Madeline Follin and guitarist Brian Oblivion, they originally were a couple who just happened to share the same interest- a career in music. They decided to form a band- the only problem was their music tastes weren't exactly along the same lines. Melanie leaned toward Americana and folk music, while Brian was more into electronic music like Aphex Twin and Squarepusher. To find a common ground, they both met in the middle with an affinity towards 60's pop music. From there, they recorded and released their self-titled debut in which they produced themselves with assistance from recording engineer Shane Stoneback.

While this album is heavily influenced by the music of the 60's, their album is less Motown and more Wall Of Sound. Look no further than the leading track and first single "Abducted", where Madeline sings about being loved and later abandoned. On the catchy "Go Outside", they sing of a couple confined to being homebodies when one of them wants to get out and see the town. They nail down the old doo-wop sound on "You Know What I Mean" and sing of heartbreak on "Never Heal Myself". Madeline sings lead on most of the songs, but gets rare guest vocals from Brian on the aforementioned "Abducted" as well as on the uptempo "Bumper". They close out the album with the swinging style of "Rave On". As upbeat as a majority of the songs sound, most of the tracks have an underlying theme of heartbreak and sadness. It's also a brief recording as well, with most of the songs being real short bringing the album to well under 35 minutes. Overall, this debut album is a great starting point from Cults and from the looks of it, we may hear a lot more from them.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on August 20, 2011
I bought this after reading the reviews and I was definitely not disappointed. "Cults" is a blast from start to finish. If Lou Reed wrote songs for a Motown girl group and Phil Spector produced it might sound like this. The tracks are bouncy and hook filled and with Madeline Follin's voice buried in reverb you might not notice how dark the lyrics really are. While it sounds totally different, the album made me think of The Cars self-titled album, as they're both debut albums that for most bands would be 'greatest hits' compilations. Highlights are "Go Outside" (of course), "You Know What I Mean", "Never Heal Myself" and, erm, well frankly its ALL highlights. Some of the riffs are a bit familiar, but that's what rock musicians do: borrow/steal from their influences. The album is a bit short, but again that didn't phase me; 30 minutes of genius is preferable to an hour of mediocre any day. The samples from cult leaders are a bit gimmicky but they work. They don't get in the way of the tunes and help to emphasize the scary undercurrent beneath the sugary surfaces. Highly recommended.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on July 23, 2011
Cults' self titled debut is a sweet and simple swirl of 60's pop jingles and echo-y girl-group vocal sensibilities, which lends itself to easily understanding why Columbia records snatched them up so quickly. The album's opener, "Abducted", begins with distant sounding guitar riffs and vocals before exploding into crisp, shimmery melodies about heartache-"He broke my heart because I really loved him." This theme of girl loves boy/girl hates boy is one that carries through many of the songs making the delicate bedroom vocals all the more sweeter.

The album continues with "Go Outside." Between the song's toy xylophone-sounding instrumentations, hand claps, and layered vocals, it's no wonder the song grabbed the attention of many before the album even existed. The song continues to work that same magic on the album, pulling the listener further into the album's addicting spiral of playfully girly vocals and deliciously simple musical arrangements.

Songs such as "You Know What I Mean" and "Bumper" posses a retro feel and call up images of a 1960's brokenhearted high school girl singing into her hairbrush while thinking about the captain of the football team, while "Oh My God" and "Bad Things" sound like chalky, playground hopscotch sing-alongs with jump rope percussion.

With its playful melodies tinted with hints of aggressive guitars weaving around the lyrical exploration of failed relationships ("Never Saw The Point" ), and fluttering pianos mixed with girl-singing-to-her-mirror vocals ("Most Wanted"), this is the perfect summer album. The album's blend of infectiously catchy riffs and lyrical frustrations- "Please don't tell me you know the plans for my life / I can run away and leave you here to stay inside dreaming"-make Cults a fun and alarming realistic listening experience.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on January 14, 2013
I first heard snipets of the first single "Go Outside" on the game MLB 11: The Show that my roommate played constantly. It didn't really stick until I started hearing the clip under the indie rock category in SongPop. From their I listened to the song on heavy rotation on youtube. From there I also discovered "Abducted". Then I started listening heavily to that track, which is also featured on SongPop.

I gave the whole album a solid listening for a couple of weeks. I was vaguely familiar with "You Know What I Mean". What stands out about this whole album, to me, are the melodic vocals of Madeline mixed with the organs. I cannot get enough of her voice!
I wouldn't say there are any filler tracks on this album. I enjoy pretty much all of the tracks, save the last one - "Rave On". That song just doesn't do it for me, the lyrics don't match the music.

All in all, my favourite tracks are "Go Outside", "Abducted", "You Know What I Mean", "Walk at Night", "Never Saw the Point", and "Oh My God". "Abducted" and "You Know What I Mean" are my absolute favs!

Any indie rock fan should own this album! Thie 60's inspired rock with a modern electronic twist are a great combination. My only complaint is that the whole album of 11 tracks is barely a half hour worth of listening, although, it is a very enjoyable half hour of listening.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on January 29, 2012
This album is a must-have for anyone enamored with the fun girl group doo wop sound of the 60s! I love this CD from start to finish but stand out tracks include: "Most Wanted", "You Know What I Mean", "Never Saw the Point."
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on October 23, 2013
This album reminds of a bunch of different bands. Some 60's style stuff, some dancier stuff, some poppy elements, it's really well put together. I'm quite fond of "Bad Things"
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on October 14, 2013
I had never heard of this band until about two weeks ago when NPR did a spotlight/preview of their newest album. Listened to one track, thought it sounded alright, quick checked Amazon because the NPR story mentioned they had another album, bought it, loved it, and listened to it for a week straight. I had no idea I would enjoy 60's era girl-pop so much but god damn, do they make it work. The album cover is also quite fitting because that's how I imagine I look while listening to it. Just rocking the hell out. My biggest complaint about the album is that it's a little over 30 minutes long but that's it. Every song is solid, but the first three tracks are the clear stand outs. If you enjoy music buy this album.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on February 3, 2013
My friend played the album at work and I liked it, so I bought myself a copy........ would definitely recommend it
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on August 26, 2012
Saw them later at the Metro in Chicago for a show that fit the album. A lot of poppy tunes with a kick. They are a young duo that are able to add something extra to the retro-base they are starting with so it's not just derivative.
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