The Emotional Plague has the unique ability to draw a listener happily through some of the most indirect and seemingly unfocused constructions of the Dicks' recorded work -- even the record's most rambling and apparently directionless moments have the quirky twang and casual beauty of the Silver Jews' best work, or Yo La Tengo's homespun Fakebook. The key seems to be an underlying organization that's carefully disguised in the Dicks' folky drawl -- beneath all of the sprawling quirkiness of The Emotional Plague, there are simply gorgeous tunes like "Cuchulain," and the oddity of the band's presentation sets them off perfectly. Strangely enough, this distinction renders The Emotional Plague as one of the Dicks' most accessible (if least immediate) albums -- rather than the vaguely eerie psychedlic folk which characterized The Unexamined Life, the record's emphasis is on sparkling, rustic constructions which add a necessary emotional element to the band's sonic idiosyncracies.
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AllMusic Review by Nitsuh Abebe