Face Control

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This article is about the album from the indie rock duo Handosome Furs. For the policy of screening people in nightclubs based on their appearance, see Face control.
Face Control
Studio album by Handsome Furs
Released March 10, 2009
Recorded 2007-2009
Genre Electropunk
Length 38:27
Label Sub Pop
Handsome Furs chronology
Plague Park
Face Control
Sound Kapital

Face Control is Handsome Furs' second full-length album, which was released through Sub Pop Records.[1] The album was recorded and mixed by Wolf Parade's Arlen Thompson at Mount Zoomer, and it was mastered by Harris Newman at Hotel2Tango.[1]

The album's title takes its name from the face control policy seen in upscale Russian nightclubs where people are admitted based on physical attractiveness.[2][3][4]

Background and Release[edit]

The album was heavily influenced by the Handsome Furs' travels through Eastern Europe. Dan Boeckner has referred to the album as a "travel diary."[5] In choosing the album's title, Boeckner said:

Face Control was originally set to be released on February 3, 2009. However, the album's release dated was delayed until March 10, 2009,[1] due to a legal issue.[6] According to the official Wolf Parade fansite, the Handsome Furs referenced a New Order song on the track "All We Want, Baby, Is Everything".[6] In order to use the reference, the band needed to legally clear it with New Order, which took some time to do and caused the release to be pushed back.[6]


Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 3.5/5 stars link
The A.V. Club (D) link
Drowned in Sound (8/10)
Pitchfork Media (8.0/10) link
PopMatters (7/10) link
Rolling Stone 3/5 stars link at the Wayback Machine (archived April 10, 2009)
Spin Magazine (8/10) link

Face Control has received generally positive reviews. On the review aggregate site Metacritic, the album has a score of 68 out of 100, indicating "generally favorable reviews."[7]

Pitchfork Media's Paul Thompson praised the album, writing "On every conceivable level down to the cover art, Face Control bests its predecessor, adding stuttering nuance to their previously too-spare sound, which they drape over some of the finest songs Boeckner's ever written."[8] Drowned in Sound's Alexander Tudor compared the album to Bruce Springsteen's Born in the U.S.A., writing "Yeah, it’s THAT good..."[9] Margaret Reges of Allmusic called Face Control "...a solid album, and just another example of Boeckner and Perry's tingling creative chemistry."[2]

Matthew Cole of Slant Magazine gave the album a mixed review, writing "Fans of off-kilter pop will enjoy at least a few of the stronger cuts, but too much of Face Control sounds like the unfinished blueprint of a much better album."[10] In a scathing review, The A.V. Club's Chris Martins wrote "Everything about these songs feels lazy, from the sludgy rock and tinsel-thin beats of 'Evangeline' to the couple’s weak approximation of The Knife on '(White City)' to the half-assed 'Dancing In The Dark' paean at the end of 'Legal Tender.'" Martins concluded: "This is easily the most flavorless fruit yet to fall from the Wolf Parade family tree."[11]

Spinner named Face Control the best Canadian album of 2009.[12] The album was nominated for the Juno Award for Alternative Album of the Year in the 2010 Juno Awards, where it lost to Metric's Fantasies.[13] In addition, Face Control was one of the long list nominees for the 2009 Polaris Music Prize.[14]

Track listing[edit]

All songs written and composed by Handsome Furs. 

No. Title Length
1. "Legal Tender"   2:50
2. "Evangeline"   3:40
3. "Talking Hotel Arbat Blues"   2:40
4. "(Passport Kontrol)"   1:24
5. "All We Want, Baby, Is Everything"   3:08
6. "I'm Confused"   3:35
7. "(White City)"   1:27
8. "Nyet Spasiba"   4:18
9. "Officer of Hearts"   5:44
10. "(It's Not Me, It's You)"   1:33
11. "Thy Will Be Done"   3:16
12. "Radio Kaliningrad"   4:52


The following people contributed to Face Control:[15]

Handsome Furs[edit]

Additional personnel[edit]

  • Jouko Lehtola - Artwork
  • Harris Newman - Mastering, Remastering
  • Dusty Summers - Art Direction
  • Arlen Thompson - Audio Engineer, Engineer, Mixing


Chart (2009) Peak
US Billboard Independent Albums 44[16]
US Billboard Heatseekers 16[16]



  1. ^ a b c Sub Pop Records, Handsome Furs: Face Control, subpop.com, November 12, 2008.
  2. ^ a b Reges, Margaret. Face Control - Review. Allmusic. Retrieved 28 June 2011
  3. ^ Boersma, Caitlin. Everybody Has a Fucking Xylophone: An Interview with the Handsome Furs. KUPS. 14 May 2008. Retrieved 28 June 2011
  4. ^ Radio Free Canuckistan, "Dan Boeckner Interview", December 12, 2007.
  5. ^ a b Carew, Anthony. Interview: Dan Boeckner of Wolf Parade and Handsome Furs. About.com. 7 July 2010. Retrieved 28 June 2011
  6. ^ a b c Wolf Parade Fansite, "News News News", wolfparade.nonstuff.com, December 31, 2008.
  7. ^ Critic Reviews for Face Control. Metacritic. Retrieved 28 June 2011
  8. ^ Thompson, Paul. Album Reviews: Handsome Furs. Pitchfork Media. 12 March 2011. Retrieved 28 June 2011
  9. ^ Tudor, Alexander. Handsome Furs - Face Control. Drowned in Sound. 9 March 2009. Retrieved 28 June 2011
  10. ^ Cole, Matthew. Handsome Furs: Face Control. Slant Magazine. 9 March 2009. Retrieved 28 June 2011
  11. ^ Martins, Chris. Handsome Furs: Face Control. The A.V. Club. 10 March 2009. Retrieved 28 June 2011
  12. ^ The Best Canadian Albums of 2009. Spinner. Retrieved 30 June 2011
  13. ^ JUNO Awards - Alternative Album of the Year. Juno Awards. Retrieved 30 June 2011
  14. ^ 2009 Winner & Nominees. Polaris Music Prize. Retrieved 30 June 2011
  15. ^ Face Control - Credits. Allmusic. Retrieved 28 June 2011
  16. ^ a b Face Control - Charts & Awards. Allmusic. Retrieved 28 June 2011.

External links[edit]