The Monitor (album)

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The Monitor
Titus andronicus The Monitor album cover.jpg
Studio album by Titus Andronicus
Released March 9, 2010 (2010-03-09)
Recorded August 2009
Genre Punk rock, Lo-fi, Indie rock, Folk punk
Length 65:24
Label XL Recordings
Producer Kevin McMahon
Titus Andronicus chronology
The Airing of Grievances
(2008)
The Monitor
(2010)
Local Business
(2012)

The Monitor is the second studio album by New Jersey punk rock band Titus Andronicus, released on March 9, 2010, through XL Recordings. It is a concept album loosely based on themes relating to the American Civil War.[1]

The album title is a reference to the USS Monitor, the first ironclad warship commissioned by the United States Navy, and the closing track, "The Battle of Hampton Roads," refers to the battle between the Monitor and the CSS Virginia, which took place on March 8–9, 1862; according to the band, "Releasing this record is our way of celebrating the 148th anniversary of this historic event."[2] There are numerous references to early Billy Bragg songs such as some lyrics in "A More Perfect Union" and the song "Richard II". "A More Perfect Union" also includes references to the band's New Jersey roots as well as riffs on the lyrics of Bruce Springsteen, another New Jersey native. The album features guest appearances by members of Ponytail, Wye Oak, Hallelujah The Hills, Felice Brothers, Spider Bags, Vivian Girls and The Hold Steady.

Reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Source Rating
Metacritic 82/100[3]
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 4/5 stars[4]
The A.V. Club B+[5]
The Guardian 4/5 stars[6]
Los Angeles Times 3.5/4 stars[7]
MSN Music A−[8]
NME 7/10[9]
Pitchfork Media 8.7/10[10]
Rolling Stone 3.5/5 stars[11]
Slant Magazine 3.5/5 stars[12]
Spin 8/10[13]

The Monitor received a Metacritic score of 82 out of 100, signaling universal acclaim. Pitchfork Media included the album in their list of top albums of 2010, at #10[14] while Spectrum Culture gave the album its #1 position.[15] "The Monitor" was named Exclaim!'s No. 20 Pop & Rock Album of 2010.[16]

The album was recognized as number 30 of The 100 Best Albums of the Decade So Far by Pitchfork Media in August 2014.[17]

Track listing[edit]

All songs written and composed by Patrick Stickles. 

No. Title Length
1. "A More Perfect Union"   7:09
2. "Titus Andronicus Forever"   1:55
3. "No Future Part Three: Escape From No Future"   5:16
4. "Richard II or Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds (Responsible Hate Anthem)"   5:06
5. "A Pot in Which to Piss"   8:53
6. "Four Score and Seven"   8:38
7. "Theme From 'Cheers'"   5:01
8. "To Old Friends and New"   7:00
9. "…And Ever"   2:24
10. "The Battle of Hampton Roads"   14:02
Total length:
65:24

Personnel[edit]

Titus Andronicus[edit]

  • Patrick Stickles – Guitar, harmonica, piano, synthesizer, tape operator, electronics, engineer, vocals
  • Liam Betson - Guitar, vocals
  • Ian Graetzer – Bass
  • Eric Harm – Drums, percussion, vocals

Additional musicians[edit]

  • Julian Veronesi – Vocals
  • Dan McGee – Vocals
  • Matt Miller – Vocals
  • Brendan Stickles – Vocals
  • Ryan Walsh – Vocals
  • Andrew Cedermark – Guitar
  • Pete Feigenbaum – Guitar
  • Kevin McMahon – Guitar, mixing, percussion, producer, recording, vocals
  • Ian O'Neil – Guitar, vocals
  • Jenn Wasner – Guitar, vocals
  • Dustin Wong – Guitar
  • David Bentley – Cello
  • Brett Bondar – Highland bagpipes, Scottish small pipes
  • Peter Buettner – Tenor saxophone
  • Elio DeLuca – Piano, organ, electric piano, engineer, vocals
  • Ian Dykstra – Bass drums, sleigh bells, tambourine
  • Greg Farley – Fiddle
  • Dean Jones – Trombone
  • Brian Rutledge – Trumpet
  • Alex Tretiak – Snare drums, research assistant, vocals
  • Andy Stack – Engineer
  • Dustin Miller – Vocal recording

References[edit]

  1. ^ Tom Breihan (14 December 2009). "Titus Andronicus Reveal Civil War-Themed Second Album". Pitchfork Media. Retrieved 19 December 2009. 
  2. ^ Patrick Stickles; Titus Andronicus (14 December 2009). "Our new record". Titus Andronicus, Myspace. Retrieved 19 December 2009. 
  3. ^ "Reviews for The Monitor by Titus Andronicus". Metacritic. Retrieved March 2, 2012. 
  4. ^ Lymangrover, Jason. "The Monitor – Titus Andronicus". AllMusic. Retrieved March 2, 2012. 
  5. ^ Adams, Erik (March 9, 2010). "Titus Andronicus: The Monitor". The A.V. Club. Retrieved March 2, 2012. 
  6. ^ Hann, Michael (March 11, 2010). "Titus Andronicus: The Monitor". The Guardian. Retrieved April 28, 2016. 
  7. ^ Martens, Todd (March 9, 2010). "Album review: Titus Andronicus' 'The Monitor'". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved April 28, 2016. 
  8. ^ Christgau, Robert (June 2010). "Consumer Guide". MSN Music. Retrieved April 28, 2016. 
  9. ^ Parker, Rob (March 5, 2010). "Album Review: Titus Andronicus – 'The Monitor' (Merok/XL)". NME. Retrieved April 28, 2016. 
  10. ^ Mitchum, Rob (March 12, 2010). "Titus Andronicus: The Monitor | Album Reviews". Pitchfork Media. Retrieved March 2, 2012. 
  11. ^ Hermes, Will (March 15, 2010). "The Monitor : Titus Andronicus". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on April 1, 2010. Retrieved April 28, 2016. 
  12. ^ Cole, Matthew (March 8, 2010). "Titus Andronicus: The Monitor". Slant Magazine. Retrieved March 2, 2012. 
  13. ^ Kandell, Steve (February 28, 2010). "Titus Andronicus, ‘The Monitor’ (XL)". Spin. Archived from the original on July 14, 2011. Retrieved April 28, 2016. 
  14. ^ Pitchfork top 50 albums of 2010, page 5
  15. ^ Spectrum Culture Best Albums of 2010
  16. ^ "Pop & Rock Year in Review". Exclaim!. 
  17. ^ "Pitchfork's Top 100 Albums of 2010-2014".