After parting ways with Virgin Records, it was unclear what Ima Robot would do with their newfound independence. Not surprisingly, that uncertainty is captured on the band's third album, Another Man’s Treasure. Written and recorded in the period after the band was freed from its obligations to the major label, the album finds the band moving away from its dancier beginnings and into murkier, more exploratory waters. The change is a welcome one, and rather than chasing after the post-punk revival, it feels like the band is trying to make something that’s all its own. The interplay between the album’s intro and “Ruthless” really reinforces this idea as the intro’s wall of sound falls away, allowing the bright bassline to emerge like the first light of dawn, as if to say that this is a new beginning for Ebert and company. From that moment on, the album is in an entirely different headspace from anything the band has done previously, and while Ima Robot still have a tendency to borrow from other bands, they do so in a more interesting way than they have before. The druggy “Life Is Short” feels like some kind of lost collaboration between Ween and Animal Collective, combining goofy, faux reggae with synth atmospherics in a way that makes the artsy stuff feel less serious and the reggae grooves less tongue in cheek. It feels like the freedom and uncertainty of being independent again has been a real boon to Ima Robot. Another Man’s Treasure feels like it was written by a band whose members no longer had anyone looking over their shoulders, allowing them to focus less on being the next big thing and more on starting over and doing something outside of their comfort zone, resulting in an album that will not only surprise old fans, but also anyone who passed on these guys the first time around.
AllMusic Review by Gregory Heaney