Tender Buttons (album)

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Tender Buttons
A black-and-white picture of a woman. Handwritten black text to the left reads "Broadcast Tender Buttons"; "Tender" is written backwards. Partial repetition of the text is visible to the bottom left.
Studio album by Broadcast
Released 19 September 2005 (2005-09-19)
Genre Indie electronic, dream pop
Length 40:34
Label Warp
Producer Trish Keenan, James Cargill
Broadcast chronology
Haha Sound
(2003)Haha Sound2003
Tender Buttons
The Future Crayon
(2006)The Future Crayon2006
Singles from Tender Buttons
  1. "America's Boy"
    Released: 15 August 2005

Tender Buttons is the third studio album by the English indie electronic band Broadcast. It was released on 19 September 2005  by Warp Records. The album marks a turn in the band's sound, bearing similarities to the sound of the Young Marble Giants, an early 1980s Welsh minimalist post-punk band.[citation needed]

Upon its release, Tender Buttons received acclaim from critics but failed to place in international charts. "America's Boy", the lead and only single from the album, peaked at number 139 in the UK Singles Chart.[1] The eleventh track was named "Minus 3" due to the third loss of a member from the band.[citation needed]


Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Source Rating
Metacritic 76/100[2]
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 4/5 stars[3]
The Guardian 4/5 stars[4]
Pitchfork Media 7.5/10[5]
PopMatters 7/10[6]
Stylus Magazine B+[7]
Tiny Mix Tapes 3.5/5 stars[8]

Upon its release, Tender Buttons received critical acclaim. At Metacritic, which assigns a weighted average score out of 100 to reviews and ratings from mainstream critics, the album received a score of 76, based on 21 reviews, indicating "generally favorable reviews".[2] AllMusic writer Heather Phares said that the album "strips [the band's] luminous electronic pop down to its barest essence" and "has a uniquely fresh, modern feel. Sparingly applied beats, intricate but subtle guitars, and hazy synths dominate the album, providing a restrained backdrop for Keenan's quietly commanding voice and crossword-puzzle lyrics." Phares awarded it four out of five stars.[3] The Guardian's David Peschek wrote in a four-out-of-five star review that "Broadcast's recent records have often seemed too cluttered with effects" but that on Tender Buttons the band "managed to find a halfway house between this always engaging but fussed-at sound and … resonant, muscular psychedelia".[4] Paul Woloszyn of musicOMH published a positive review of Tender Buttons and said that it "that takes you to another planet with a sonic soundscape lent from Stereolab, but developed to be distinctly Broadcast", referring to the album as "arguably their finest moment".[9]

Writing for Stylus Magazine, Jeff Siegel said that "on its surface, [Tender Buttons] seems like such a simple little curlicue, all Mother Goose coos, descending-scale melodies, and no-wave screech over dinky drum-machine patters … no mucking around in different time signatures, no showy genre fusions, just a single idea … most acts would falter here, but Broadcast pull it off with an easy grace and breezy elegance". Siegel gave the album a B+ rating.[7] PopMatters reviewer Adrien Begrand wrote that "instead of finding a comfortable middle ground, there's more of a sense of tension to the proceedings, the vocal hooks lulling you, only to have electronic noise jolt you awake", further referring to Tender Buttons as "rewarding [and] their boldest album to date."[6]

Pitchfork Media's David Raposa offered a mixed review of the album, saying that the band "bring the melodies, but then dress their poptastic efforts with whatever ruckus they can conjure" and "there's no … stand-out track on this album (and there's certainly no 'oh wow' moments)" but concluding that "this is still a Broadcast album, meaning it's one of the better things you'll put in your ear this year."[6] Rating the album three-and-a-half out of five stars for Tiny Mix Tapes, Alan Ranta said "Tender Buttons is a fairly strong, unified effort on its own" but commented that with the absence of guitarist Tim Felton "many tracks sound like they're simply missing a piece". Ranta further added that the band's "more minimalist approach allows/forces [Trish] Keenan's surrealist lyricism to take a larger role in their sound" and referred to this as one of the album's many merits.[8]

Track listing[edit]

All tracks written by Trish Keenan and James Cargill.

No. Title Length
1. "I Found the F" 2:21
2. "Black Cat" 3:58
3. "Tender Buttons" 2:51
4. "America's Boy" 3:34
5. "Tears in the Typing Pool" 2:12
6. "Corporeal" 3:54
7. "Bit 35" 1:49
8. "Arc of a Journey" 5:17
9. "Michael A Grammar" 3:56
10. "Subject to the Ladder" 3:13
11. "Minus 3" (also known as "Evil Is Coming") 0:47
12. "Goodbye Girls" 3:08
13. "You and Me in Time" 1:24
14. "I Found the End" 2:05
Total length: 40:34


All personnel credits adapted from Tender Buttons' album notes.[11]

Design personnel


  1. ^ Zywietz, Tobias. "1994–2010 / Darren B – David Byrne". Chart Log UK. zobbel.de. Retrieved 2 October 2014. 
  2. ^ a b "Critic Reviews for Tender Buttons – Metacritic". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved 20 September 2013. 
  3. ^ a b Phares, Heather (21 September 2005). "Tender Buttons – Broadcast | Songs, Reviews, Credits and Awards". AllMusic. All Media Network. Retrieved 16 October 2012. 
  4. ^ a b Peschek, David (16 September 2005). "CD: Broadcast, Tender Buttons | Music". The Guardian. Guardian Media Group. Retrieved 2 October 2014. 
  5. ^ Raposa, David (18 September 2005). "Broadcast: Tender Buttons | Album Reviews". Pitchfork Media. Retrieved 20 September 2013. 
  6. ^ a b c Begrand, Adrien (20 October 2005). "Broadcast: Tender Buttons". PopMatters. PopMatters Media. Retrieved 2 October 2014. 
  7. ^ a b Siegel, Jeff (23 September 2005). "Broadcast – Tender Buttons – Review". Stylus Magazine. Retrieved 2 October 2014. 
  8. ^ a b Ranta, Alan (14 December 2006). "Broadcast – Tender Buttons | Music Review". Tiny Mix Tapes. Retrieved 16 October 2012. 
  9. ^ Woloszyn, Paul (19 September 2005). "Broadcast – Tender Buttons | Album Reviews". musicOMH. Retrieved 2 October 2014. 
  10. ^ Tender Buttons (Album notes). Broadcast. Beat Records. 2005. BRC-134. 
  11. ^ Tender Buttons (Album notes). Broadcast. Warp Records. 2005. WARPCD136. 

External links[edit]